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Title: Burao  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Somaliland, Abdi Jama, Burao University, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud, Burao District
Collection: Cities in Somaliland, Populated Places in Togdheer
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Shopping mall in downtown Burao
Shopping mall in downtown Burao
Burao is located in Somalia
Location in Somalia
Country  Somalia
Regional State  Somaliland
Region Togdheer
District Burao
 • Mayor Mohamud Ahmed Hassan
Elevation 1,037 m (3,402 ft)
 • Total 120,400[1]
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)
Climate BWh

Burao (var. Bur'o[2]) (Somali: Burco, Arabic: برعو‎) is a city in the northwestern Burao District of Somaliland, an unrecognized self-declared republic internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia, and serves as the capital of Togdheer province.[3]


  • History 1
  • Demographics 2
  • Municipality and services 3
  • Geography 4
  • Climate 5
  • Wildlife 6
  • Transportation 7
  • Notable residents 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10


Burao is one of a series of ancient settlements in northern Somalia. Burial sites near the town feature a number of old stelae.[4]

Burao was the site of the unilateral and internationally unrecognized declaration of an independent Somaliland on May 18, 1991.[5]

Like many other cities in Somaliland, Burao has been rebuilt with limited outside aid since the outbreak of the civil war in the early 1990s. The town has grown considerably on account of investment by the Somaliland diaspora and people from rural areas moving to the city.


Burao's population has greatly increased over the years. Today, the city has a total population of 288,211 residents.[6]

As of November 1994, the main residents of Burao are the Habar Yoonis and the Habar Jeclo, subdivisions of the larger Isaaq Somali clan.[2]

Municipality and services

A fabric and carpet boutique in Burao's old section.

The city enjoys full-time electricity and a reliable water supply from groundwater. In addition, Burao's central location has contributed to its economic revival. Goods travelling to the south, central and eastern parts of Somalia all depart from the city's outskirts. Rural merchants also sell their produce on a daily basis, which attracts business.

In 2007, Burao's city authority (in conjunction with development organizations and local traders) opened the Burco Meat and Produce complex. One year in the making, the market has two main halls and can accommodate more than 2000 merchants.[7]

The Burao Municipality is currently led by Mayor Mohamud Ahmed Hassan.[7]


Weather in Burao, much like other inland towns in northern Somalia, is warm and dry year-round. The average daytime temperatures during the summer months of June and August can rise to 31 °C (95 °F), with a low of 20 °C (77 °F) at night. The weather is cooler the rest of the year, averaging 27 °C (80 °F) during the day and 13 °C (57 °F) at nighttime. The city's limited rainfall of 222 mm usually comes with two peaks during April–May and October–November.

The Togdheer River runs through the town. It is often dry but subject to flooding. The river divides the city in half, and can be crossed via a newly built bridge in the city center.

Burao's landscape is semi-desert and fairly flat.


Climate data for Burao
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 26.5
Average low °C (°F) 12.7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 2
Source #1: Weatherbase [8]
Source #2: Climate Data.ORG [9]


Due to the fertility and greenery of the region, wild animals come to the area either to breed or to graze on the grassland savannah. Prominent animals found locally include the kudu, wild boars, zebras, the Somali Wild Ass, warthogs, antelopes, the Somali sheep, wild goats, camels, and many different types of birds. Due south of Burao is a grassland savannah, which attracts many types of fauna to the region, including lions and leopards.


A residential area in Burao.

Burao has a working bus system. Air transportation needs are served by the Burao Airport, which offers flights via Daallo Airlines to Hargeisa and other cities in Somalia, as well as international locations such as Addis Ababa and San'a. As of 2012, the airport's facilities are undergoing major renovations, supervised by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

In addition, an all-weather road connects Burao to the port of Berbera through the escarpment town of Sheekh. In September 2013, the Somali federal government signed an official cooperation agreement with its Chinese counterpart in Mogadishu as part of a five-year national recovery plan in Somalia. The pact will see the Chinese authorities reconstruct several major infrastructural landmarks in the Somali capital and elsewhere, as well as the road linking Burao with Galkayo.[10]

Notable residents

See also


  1. ^ Somalia City & Town Population. Retrieved on 2,011-12-15.
  2. ^ a b UNDP Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia (1994-11-15). "Report on Mission to Haud Area, Region 5". Retrieved 2012-04-23. [Habar Jeclo's] only major 'urban' centre is Bur'o, a town they share roughly equally with the Habar Yonis. 
  3. ^ Somaliland’s Quest for International Recognition and the HBM-SSC Factor
  4. ^ "National Museums". Somali Heritage and Archaeology. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Somaliland History". World66. Internet Brands. Retrieved 2007-07-17. In 1991, after the collapse of the government in Somalia, the territory asserted its independence as the Republic of Somaliland, at a meeting of clan elders in the town of Burao. 
  6. ^ "Regions, districts, and their populations: Somalia 2005 (draft)" (PDF). UNDP. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  7. ^ a b A New Market Complex for Burco, Togdheer
  8. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Burao, Somalia". Weatherbase. 2011. Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Climate: Burao, Somalia". 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Somalia: Gov't, China Officially Sign Cooperation Agreement". Dalsan Radio. 9 September 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
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