Over half a century ago, on 26th June 1960, the hard-fought struggle for the self-determination of the Somaliland people was finally realised as the country won its independence from the British Empire, making Somaliland one of the oldest sovereign nations on the African continent, and the 12th country to receive their independence. The achievement was recognised by 36 other countries, including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
The theme of the celebrations this year will be ‘Placing Somaliland in Historical Context’.
While Somaliland has come to the world’s attention for its recent resurgence as a democratic and peaceful country, following our struggle to reclaim our independence and the war and atrocity that accompanied it, less is known about the deeper roots of the Somaliland story, one that stretches back to the height of African liberation.
Recognising this history, reckoning with the mistakes of Somali union that followed, and understanding its lessons for Somaliland’s current path of independent self-governance, not only illuminates the moral, legal and political foundations of Somaliland’s claims for recognition, but also demonstrates the unfinished business that is Somaliland’s struggle for liberation, one that will only culminate with Somaliland’s recognised status as an equal actor among the community of nations.