Fire destroys central market in Somaliland's capital

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Monday, April 4, 2022

Map showing location of Hargeisa within Somaliland on the Gulf of Aden
Image: Siirski.

On Friday, a fire broke out in the Waheen Market in the capital of Somaliland, Hargeisa. 28 people have been injured, but no deaths were reported.

The fire began at around 20:00 EAT (1700 UTC). Firefighters had difficulty accessing the site, with firefighters bringing the situation under control by early yesterday. The cause is not yet known. President of Somaliland Muse Bihi Abdi has visited the market, pledging USD1 million in aid. He estimated that fire-related damages would run into millions of dollars.

Waheen Market has over 2,000 stores and makes up 40-50% of the Hargeisa economy, according to Hargeisa chamber of commerce chairman Jamal Aideed. The city of 1.2 million people was preparing for extra activity as Friday was the first day of Ramadan.

The President of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, telephoned Abdi to offer sympathy. Prime Ministers Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia and Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom have also expressed their support.

Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991 and operates as an autonomous state, though it has not yet achieved international recognition.


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