Somaliland: The Haud and Reserved Area Conflict of 1956 Between the British Protectorate and Ethiopia


1956 map of Somaliland

Somalilandsun – The following is a piece of Somaliland history that dates back to 1956 just two years after the agreement on Haud and Reserved area was signed between Ethiopia and Britain .

I have been able to research the National Archives at Kew , West London and obtain copies of the original documents and memorandum of the Secretary of State for colonies . The document contains policy statement for Somaliland protectorate and other matters relating to development of the colony.

The assurance for the colony issued in Somaliland Protectorate on May 29th, 1956 reads as follows: “The aim of Her Majesty’s Government is to press ahead with economic, social and political progress in the Protectorate. In particular Her Majesty’s Government has decided that steps must be taken to accelerate development of education and economic resources within the limits of the physical capacity of the territory to undertake them ”

On conflict , the document reads ” Recent events in the Territories and in particular the interference by the Ethiopians with the internal tribal organisation of British Somali tribes (Appendix C) indicate that the Ethiopian Government have no real intention of keeping the 1954 Agreement. A strong protest has been delivered regarding the incident but the Ethiopian Government are already contesting the facts. It seems clear that the deliberate policy of the Ethiopians is to try to absorb the Somali tribes in the Territories with a view to the later incorporation of the whole Protectorate and ultimately of all Somalis in the Horn of Africa within the boundaries of the Ethiopian Empire.”

Condensed by Mo Ali of Medeshi

Read the full document in PDF and  or visit Medeshi to request for free electronic copy