Somaliland sets to celebrate her 28th independence anniversary in grand style
Somaliland, a de facto state located in East Africa is preparing to celebrate her independence anniversary after breaking away from Somalia on the 18th of May 1991, which led to civil war that saw the uproot of Siad Barre rulership in Somalia. So this means that the celebration of her 28th independence anniversary will take place on Saturday, the 18th of May.
Report gathered by our correspondent in Hargeisa shows that even though the country is still struggling to gain her recognition among the international community, it has proven to the world to be the only country in the Horn of Africa that has been able to sustain peace, security and democratic transition for over two decades. However, her recognised failed neighbour, Somalia is still faced with civil wars, terrorism, corruption, insecurity and political unrest.
This year’s celebration is expected to be bigger than the previous ones as international delegates from Kenya, Uganda and some parts of gulf world have already landed in the capital city, Hargeisa to grace the occasion.
‘The message we are taking back is first to ensure that our president, Yoweri Museveni, recognises Somaliland. Once he does that, then our country would have to recognise Somaliland, and since we are a member of the African Union, it will be easy at that level to lobby for recognition of Somaliland,’ said Violet Akurut, Uganda MP.
According to Somaliland Policy Adviser Muhamed Mohamoud Atan, it is obvious that the fear of the African Union and the United Nations is that they believe that granting Somaliland recognition as an independent state would lead to uproar from other unrecognised nations across the globe. However, he further claimed that Somaliland’s case is unique because it is the only unrecognised country in the world that had already got her independence from Britain in 1960 – the same time most African and Asian countries got their independence from their colonial masters.
‘In the first place in 1960, Somaliland united with Somalia and then that unity has failed and Somaliland people decided to withdraw that unity from Somalia. They are talking about Pandora’s Box; if for example they recognise Somaliland, they think other African regions will also ask for independence. But that’s not true; Somaliland has been an independent country before they joined Somalia,’ said Mr. Atan.
A member of the Nigerian Community in Somaliland, Ubaji Isiaka Abubakar, said: ‘Somaliland’s case is not in any way different from the Gambia in West Africa. The Gambia, a former British colony, formed Senegambia with the Senegal, a former French colony, but later broke away due to imbalance, unfair distribution of wealth, and poor governance. This led to the collapse of Senegambia confederation managed majorly by the Senegalese. Gambia has 1.8 million populace with very little resources, yet it is recognised by international communities. Somaliland, on the other hand, with its 3.8 million population is still lobbying and struggling to get international recognition; you will agree with me that this is highly unfair.'
‘It is high time the international community recognised this most peaceful democratic nation known as Somaliland as it has shown the world (for more two decades) that it’s capable of managing its own affairs without the support and interference of Somalia,’ added Abubakar.