Hargeisa, Hargeysa, or Harghessa (all: härgāˈsä) [key], town (1984 est. pop. 70,000), N Somalia. It is a commercial center and watering place for nomadic stock herders. The town is a transportation hub and has an international airport. The town was taken in 1870 by Egyptian forces, who withdrew in 1884 to fight the Mahdi in Sudan. The British later took control and, in 1941, made Hargeisa the capital of British Somaliland. The city is the capital of the rebels who declared northern Somalia independent as the "Somaliland Republic."