Somalia is a federal republic consisting of six federal states, including Somaliland, as well as the Banadir Regional Administration. Somalia is further subdivided into Eighteen administrative regions (gobollada, singular gobol),[1] which are in turn subdivided into districts.


Puntland is an autonomous state in the northeast of Somalia that was formed in 1998. Galmudug is a federal state in central Somalia. Jubaland is a federal state in the south of Somalia.[1] In November 2014, the South West State of Somalia was established as a Somali federal state.[2] In October 2016, a formation conference was launched in order to form the Hirshabelle State as a Somali federal state.[3]

The Federal Parliament is tasked with selecting the ultimate number and boundaries of the autonomous regional states (officially, Federal Member States) within the Federal Republic of Somalia.[4][5] To this end, the legislature in December 2014 passed a law establishing the Boundary and Federalization Commission.[6] The body is mandated with determining the boundaries of the country's constituent Federal Member States, as well as arbitrating between these regional states on their respective jurisdiction.[7]

Federal member states[edit]


As of 2016, Somalia is officially divided into 6 federal member states, including the claimed but uncontrolled Somaliland:[8][3]


President of Somalia Mohamed Siad Barre established five of these regions in 1974–75 for political reasons: Middle Juba, Lower Juba, Gedo, Bay, and Bakool;[9] Banaadir shrank to Mogadishu city only at the same time.[10]

Below are the regions of Somalia, along with their capitals shown in parentheses:


Map of the Republic of Somaliland

Somaliland functions as a de facto state that is located in the north of Somalia, adjacent to the Federal Republic of Somalia, which claims Somaliland as Federal Government of Somalia. Somaliland does not have full diplomatic relations with any other country. According to Somalia, Somaliland comprises the northwestern portion of its territory and around 13.6% of its total claimed territory. Most countries worldwide recognize Somaliland as a breakaway or autonomous region of Somalia. In reality, Somalia has no effective control over Somaliland.[11][12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Somalia". World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. 2009-05-14. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
  2. ^ "SOMALIA: South-west state endorses a new constitution". Raxanreeb. 8 November 2014. Archived from the original on 9 November 2014. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  3. ^ a b "New President elected for Hir-Shabelle state". Garoweonline. 17 October 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  4. ^ "The Federal Republic of Somalia - Harmonized Draft Constitution" (PDF). Federal Government of Somalia. Archived from the original on January 24, 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  5. ^ "Guidebook to the Somali Draft Provisional Constitution". Archived from the original on 20 January 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  6. ^ "Somali parliament endorses the bill of boundaries and federalism". Goobjoog. 21 December 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Cabinet approves Bills for National Electoral Commission, Boundary and Federalization Commission and a $216 M budget for 2015". Goobjoog. 18 November 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Somalia's regional states submit Upper House nominations". Somali Review. 10 October 2016. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2023.
  9. ^ Mohamed Haji Mukhtar (2011). Historical Dictionary of Somalia. Lanham, MD and Oxford: Scarecrow Press. p. 129.
  10. ^ Mukhtar, 2011, p.48
  11. ^ Keating, Joshua (20 July 2018). "When is a nation not a nation? Somaliland's dream of independence". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 January 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ "Somaliland: Where sovereignty means something". Retrieved 2021-05-31.