By: Latifa Yusuf Masai
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Somalilanders at home and in the Diaspora held colourful functions in commemoration of their country’s 55th anniversary of Independence.
Nationwide festivities were launched by President Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo in Hargeisa where citizens were entertained by the police and army bands as well as local artists from the ministry of information and culture.
On the 26th June 1960 Great Britain granted independence to its former protectorate British Somaliland after centuries of rule but the sovereignty lasted for five days only, that is until 1st July 1960, when the new Republic of Somaliland joined in a voluntary union with former Italian Somalia to form the now defunct Republic of Somalia.
During festivities at the Somaliland presidency in Hargeisa officiated by President Silanyo elderly citizens at hand during the granting of independence among them the then district commissioner of Hargeisa Osman Ahmed Hasan ‘Indole’, elders Haji Abdikarim Hussein ‘Abdi Warabe’ then a chief, Mahmud Aden Deri and Sahardid Raage among others reminisced to participants events leading and during the 1960 day of independence and the subsequent but now regretted union with Italian Somalia.
Though the day coincided with Friday a non-working day in the country not to mention when most are observing the fast during the holy month of Ramadan hundreds of citizens managed to join government officials as well as traditional, political and religious leaders in combating the 55th Anniversary of independence from British rule.
According to Wikipedia British Somaliland was a British protectorate in the allegedly present-day northwestern Somalia. For much of its existence, the territory was bordered by Italian Somaliland-Somalia, French Somaliland-Djibouti and Ethiopia.
From 1940 to 1941, it was occupied by the Italians and was part of Italian East Africa. On 1 July 1960, the British Somaliland protectorate united as scheduled with the Trust Territory of Somaliland (the former Italian Somaliland) to form the Somali Republic (Somalia). The government of Somaliland, a self-declared sovereign state that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia, regards itself as the successor state to British Somaliland
Watch the 55th Independence Day commemorations