Somaliland: Interior Announces 18 May Commemoration Will not be Forwarded

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His Excellency the Minister for Interior of the Republic of Somaliland, Mohamed Kahin Ahmed, announced today that the yearly 18 May commemoration will not be forwarded as has been bandied around for some days now.

The Minister’s announcement brings to end speculation which promoted that the government planned to bring the festivities some 12 days or so ahead of its day.

Speaking to the media said, the Minister said, “we have considered the possibility but we found that bringing the usual 18 May anniversary observation forward to more than 12 days was infeasible”.

The Minister recalled that the day was commemorated a day earlier last year attracting ridicule from critics.

“Ramadan,” he said “will begin on 6 May – twelve days before the 18th. That is a long way off. Consequently, we decided that the parades and related festivities will happen on the 18th even though it is Ramadan – the Muslim holy month of fasting”.

Minister Kahin called on all regional and districts officials to regulate traffic on that day and impress on the over-zealous younger generations raucously observing the day by driving around in overcrowded vehicles honking, to respect the fasting public.

Other members of the preparatory committee he heads include:

        1. The Minister of Information
        2. The Minister for Public Works
        3. The Minister of defense
        4. Vice Minister for Health
        5. Director General of the Presidency, and
        6. Mayor of Hargeisa

The Republic of Somaliland, even though it is yet to be officially recognized by the international community, has functioned as a de facto government since 18 May 1991. The proclamation to reclaim the independence it lost to a union with Italian Somalia, came after 30+ years of political strife, persecution, regional domination and pilferage of the former British Protectorate’s resources to build a domineering, shamelessly dominating South (Somalia). The idea of the Union was borne out of a planned unification of what was then called the ‘Five Somalias’ which the five-pronged white star at the center of the blue flag represented.

Somalilanders attempted to wrench back their internationally recognized but short (five days) sovereignty in 1961 in an unsuccessful military coup. A referendum which followed was not confined but intentionally included the more populous South. The outcome was as planned: Former Protectorate regions largely voted ‘Naye’ to the union, where Italian South roared ‘Yes’ – even though the destiny to be decided was not theirs.

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