The Somaliland National Army (SLNA) was formally established on 2nd of February 1994 but its origins lie in the Somali National Movement (SNM) and other clan militias which fought against and for the Somali regime. Following the cessation of hostilities in 1996, the Army absorbed most of the clan militias in Somaliland and took control of all major military weapons. As part of a process of demobilization and reintegration, and pending the introduction of regular salaries, the government granted a temporary concession of fertile farmland at Tog Wajaale to military families to allow them to support themselves. The successful combining of former adversaries in one military force has been a major factor in Somaliland’s stability and security.

The organisation and operations of the Army are a product of its iterative growth from militias, the internal nature of its tasks and the operational contexts of eastern and western Somaliland. It's organisation and responsibilities are codified in law but its forces protect the territory and people of Somaliland, particularly from territorial claims by Somalia and Puntland State of Somalia. They also support and in places assume the role of the Police, particularly in the disruption and cessation of clan and community conflict. Training for recruits,non-commissioned officers and officers is carried out at Dararweyne, while selected officers attend specialist courses and staff college abroad.

Army Force Structure

The SLNA commanders:

  • Colonel Abdi Samad Haji Abdillahi (02/02/1994 – 02/12/2003)
  • Colonel Nuh Ismail Tani (02/12/2003 – 11/12/2011)
  • Major General Mohamed Hasan Abdullahi (11/12/2011 – 11/02/2012)
  • Major General Ismail Mohamed Osman (11/02/2012 – 15/08/2016)
  • Major General Nuh Ismail Tani (15/08/2016 - Present)