By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – While foreigners are known to particpat6e in celebrations commemorating Somaliland’s Independence Day in their countries, KESOLAND added new flamboyance to activities in Hargeisa.
As various entities made preparations to start the usual independent day march On the early morning of 18th 2014 participants ranging from members of the armed forces to school children were surprised and elated to see a group of foreigners adorned in Kenyan and Somaliland flag colours join their ranks.
These were a few members of the Kenyans in Somaliland Association-KESOLAND who were out to show solidarity with the Somalilanders during the auspicious day of commemorating 23 years of independence.
KESOLAND is an organization established in Somaliland by Kenyans living and Working in the country for their own welfare and to promote relations between the two countries. Membership is open to both native Kenyans as well as Kenyan Somalilanders.
According to the organizing secretary of KESOLAND Ms Pauli8ne Wairimu the objective of their participation in the March and subsequent festivities was to show solidarity with the people and government of Somaliland as well as to help their countrymen back home identify the difference between Somaliland and Somalia.
Informing that their objectives are also being helped fulfill by a TV crew led Alex Chamwada from Citizen a popular Kenyan TV Chanel Ms Wairimu who thanked the Executive Director of SONDSAF for Facilitating their presence said that the participation of KESOLAND in all future National activities in the country shall be continuous.
Later in the evening KESOLAND members held a party at the Mansoor hotel where various dignitaries from the government and group members gave speeches relevant to the anniversary and the Horn Africa’s relationships with Kenya which is set to open direct diplomatic channels anon.
Writing for odweynnews.com reporter Yusuf Wais says that though Somaliland and Kenya enjoyed a long relationship from 19th and mid 20st Century when both countries were British protectorates, the relationship were lost when Somaliland got its independence from Britain in 26, 1960 and soon after united with Somalia.
“During those times Kenya and Somaliland employees working under the British rule exchanged visits and sometimes the employees were permanently assigned to work in Somaliland British Protectorate or in Kenya” says journalist Wais adding that late Egal and Jomo Kenyatta worked in concert to gain their countries, Somaliland and Kenya, independence from Britain
“Kenya is not only an important ally but a tremendous laboratory for Somaliland” said the Somaliland representative to Kenya Dr Mahmud Abulahi Jama ‘Sifir during an interview with Somalilandsun as he stressed that “Somaliland does not have conflict with any country thus welcome positive diplomatic and economic relations from all”
Informing that the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta is very sympathetic to the Somaliland’s quest for international recognition as a sovereign nation said that the good standing of the country with the Nairobi authorities is as a result of centuries old relationships established during colonial eras.
Said he, “Kenya is home to a third generations of Somalilanders who are considered nationals thus integrated in all aspects of life both in the private and public sectors”
Similarly Somaliland has become second home to a large number of Kenyan expatriates and commercial concerns that have continuously provide essential services and goods since the country reclaimed its self-rule two decades ago.
As early as early 1800’s Somalilanders are known to have had relations mostly commercial with Kenya and as Britain entrenched itself in both countries where it established protectorates a large number of landers migrated to Kenya as members of the British civil service or King African Rifle-KAR Army regiment that saw service in the first and second world wars in the early 1900’s in later years the
Dr Sifir attributes these relations to the ease in which his diplomatic duties in Nairobi are received despite the country not being recognized internationally as independent.
On the issue of the expected opening of a Kenyan diplomatic mission in Hargeisa the ambassador said that the permanent secretary in the Kenyan ministry of foreign affairs informed him-Dr Sifir- that plans following the recent inspection mission by a team from the Kenyan government official exchange between Nairobi and Hargeisa is imminent.