By: Guleid Ahmed Jama
Somalilandsun – On 26th June 1960, blue light flag with a five edged white star was raised in Hargeisa. It was the first time flag was flying on independent Somali soil since European partition of Africa. Within five days Hargeisa united with Mogadishu. 55 years later, tonight Hargeisa and Mogadishu are welcoming 26th June differently. The blue light flag is no longer in Hargeisa. The exact spot the British flag was lowered and “the blue flag” replaced is now a mosque.
History will tell what happened in the last 55 years. At the night of 26th June 1960, the men and women who were celebrating and hoping unity of all Somalis in the Horn never expected this moment. What went wrong is a long story with diverse and contradictory versions.
The ecstasy of independence and euphoria of instituting state intended to pioneer unity of Somalis are now regret to the people in Hargeisa, and hope for the citizens in Mogadishu who lack functioning government and would like to enjoy 26th June if peace would permit. The status of the two is clearly different. Their interpretation of history is also opposing.
I am one of the citizens of Somaliland who are in a dilemma. Shall I congratulate the rest of my fellow citizens on the 55th anniversary of 26th June? Or shall I ignore it? The answer depends on what you imagine when you hear the date.
Nevertheless, I wish for all Somalilanders to exercise their fundamental freedoms and rights equally. The essence of having state is the promotion, respect and realization of human rights irrespective of the colour of the flag, nature of government, border lines and political orientations.
The author Guleid Ahmed Jama is a practising lawyer and head of the Somaliland Human Rights Centre. more of his writings are available at http://www.guleidjama.blogspot.com/