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Korean War
Second Indochina War


Indonesian War
Great Australian War

Mandeb War

September 29, 1970


April 16, 1971


Somaliland, Oman, Mandeb Strait


Treaty of Salalah (status quo ante bellum)


Flag of Somaliland Somaliland

Flag of Oman Oman


Flag of Somaliland Abdirahman Tuur

Flag of Oman Said bin Taimur
(deposed 4/9/1971)

Flag of Oman Qaboos bin Said


* 71,000

* 100,000

Casualties and Losses

Somaliland - 3,400

Oman - 2,450

The Mandeb War, also known as the War of the Mandeb Strait, or Mandeb Strait Conflict, was an armed conflict fought between the Republic of Somaliland and Sultanate of Oman from September 1970 to April 1971 over rights to the use of the Strait of Mandeb. Tensions between the opposing nations had been building over the previous eight years, since Somaliland took possession of France's Afar Territory (French Somaliland) and achieved a maritime border with Oman across the narrow Strait of Mandeb. Near the center of the strait lay the disputed Perim Island, which both nations claimed, despite the island's closer proximity to the Omani coastline. Somaliland desired the island because of its strategic location near the center of the strait and mouth of the Red Sea, as well as it's excellent natural harbor, which could provide it with a port to attract ships traveling the Arabian and Red Seas.

These conflicting interests erupted into full-blown war in late September 1970 when Omani forces occupied Perim and came into unexpected contact with Somaliland Army troops landing at the southern harbor, sending the island into a deadlock for the rest of the war. The remainder of the fighting came with an Omani occupation of the Seba Islands off Somaliland's eastern coast and a brief Somaliland occupation of the Ras Menheli Peninsula on Oman's southwestern coast. Oman's paranoid Sultan, Said bin Taimur, was desposed by his son Qaboos bin Said on April 9, 1971, with Qaboos' goal being that of ending isolation from nations outside the Middle East and beginning major modernization and development throughout Oman. As a result, Qaboos invited Somaliland's President Abdirahman Tuur to peace talks in the Omani capital of Salalah, with Britain's PM Edward Heath serving as a mediator between the two. On April 15, the Treaty of Salalah was signed by Tuur and Qaboos, and once it went into effect a day later, the war finally ended.

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