No Anniversary of the Restoration of Somaliland statehood had ever been commemorated as the 32nd had been in 2023. Kenya has come up with one of the most lively, most eye-riveting occasion marking the day. Ambassador Mohamed Ahmed Mohamoud ‘Bravani’ spoke of what the day stood for, how it came to be and why it was not reversible – as below.
Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies, and gentlemen,
It gives me great honor to welcome you all to this historic event on 18 May to commemorate the 32nd anniversary of when the Republic of Somaliland re-asserted its
sovereignty, democracy, and statehood.
On this occasion, I would like to extend my profound gratitude, and appreciation to the dignitaries, members of the diplomatic community, international organizations, the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya, all friends of Somaliland, professors, academicians, scholars, intellectuals, universities students, and all 47 counties who attended this historic event on 18 May. Thank you all for joining us on this momentous occasion.
I am also very glad, and thankful to the Somaliland-Kenyan communities’ dedication to supporting their country and working with our Mission here in Kenya. The Somaliland–Kenyan community has undeniably and vitally contributed to this historic celebration tonight.
There are many of you who have traveled from far regions outside of Nairobi to participate in the 18 May celebrations and this greatly demonstrates your patriotism, love, and commitment to our beloved country, Somaliland. For this, I wholeheartedly congratulate you and wish you the best.
In addition to this, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our brothers and sisters of the Somali community living in Nairobi and all Somalis who have honored on 18 May celebrations with us.
Tonight, we are celebrating our achievements of regaining and re-establishing our country, the Republic of Somaliland. No nation comes to exist without bitter struggle, sacrifice, solidarity, and national commitment to its people. We pray to those who passed away during the bitter struggle against the dictatorship regime for the restoration of Somaliland’s sovereignty and the democratic aspirations of our people.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Somaliland took its independence from Great Britain on 26 June 1960 and voluntarily joined Italian Somalia in July 1960 but that voluntary union did not succeed and it is for this reason that the people of Somaliland decided to withdraw from the failed union with Somalia.
On the other hand, Somaliland and Somalia were two equal independent countries in 1960 and Somaliland was the first country that took its independence and opted to seek the greater Somali nation-state.
Furthermore, the people of Somaliland were many years central and leading campaigners in the Somali irredentism ideology of forming one state for all Somali-speaking communities in the Horn. However, these aspirations entirely failed as the immediate consequences of Somaliland and Somalia’s voluntary union in 1960 did not pursue the rest of the Somalis in the Horn of Africa to join the unification of Somali-speaking society to make a nation-state.
In critically examining the repercussions of this union it is clear that any attempt of reviving and rekindling Somali irredentism ideology is neither rational nor consistent with peace and political stability in the region of Horn of Africa.
When the people of Somaliland declared regaining their sovereignty and statehood, it was a
unanimous decision that all Somaliland traditional elders and politicians endorsed on 18 May 1991. It was an inclusive and democratic decision for the people of Somaliland to take their country back which resulted in the Republic of Somaliland becoming one of the leading democratic, and peaceful nations around the globe.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Somaliland’s declaration on the restoration of sovereignty on 18 May 1991 coincided with two main historical evolutions: first, the ending of the bipolar Cold War and hostilities between the West and East. Second, many dictatorial regimes collapsed in Africa.
These events have led to a number of African nations being reborn as democratic states,
Somaliland is among these countries that restored its democratic system amid that the region in the Horn of Africa is very volatile and susceptible to many challenges.
Nevertheless, Somaliland reclaiming its territory and country back is not a new trajectory in the African political history of post-colonial state formation. Many countries on this continent, and around the world, have formed and dissolved unions.
Therefore, the Somaliland case to regain its sovereignty continues to be both legally and morally justified. And I truly believe that we will witness and celebrate Somaliland achieving international recognition in the near future the same way we are celebrating tonight on 18 May.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Republic of Somaliland reclaiming its statehood was a turning point to maintain regional peace, and stability, and to create a leading nation of democracy and a free economy. The realization of the people’s dream of building a free nation and upholding peace, democracy, and economic development is within the very foundation of the country we all love.
Because of this, Somaliland has long deserved seats in global forums like the African Union and the United Nations. This is simply because the world has much to learn from Somaliland. As our country celebrates its 32nd year of anniversary and democratic existence, Somaliland’s membership in these intergovernmental organizations should not be further delayed, deceived, or distorted.
The Republic of Somaliland’s to attain membership in the African and the United Nations cannot be delayed, deceived, and distorted, the people of Somaliland have all rights to regain their sovereignty and political independence. Somaliland has an inherited right to these bodies but it is a right that continues to be infringed and violated by the international community.
The perpetuation of Somaliland’s membership of the African Union is neither wise nor wisdom, and cannot contribute the continental and regional peace and development. However, Somaliland people will never give up accomplishing their rights, and aspirations to be a member of the African Union and other international forums.
The Republic of Somaliland has been at the forefront of the fight against terrorism, piracy, and other international crimes. The Republic of Somaliland is committed to promoting free trade, regional economic integration, and security cooperation. The international community must not forget that the Republic of Somaliland deserves to be rewarded for all it has offered to the world and continues to offer.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Although Somaliland inherited a very devastated country in 1991, we have come a long way since. We have upheld our democratic principles and have succeeded in maintaining social coexistence over the last three decades.
Furthermore, Somaliland continues to and pay more efforts to deepen peace and social harmony, and always the Republic of Somaliland is committed to peace and stability, and it has a mechanism and experiences to resolve any social and political grievances.
As a fellow East African nation, the Republic of Somaliland has a long relationship with the
Republic of Kenya in high regard. The two countries share a long history that has been further enriched by people-to-people relations, and common history of colonial legacy.
This historical relationship between Somaliland and Kenyan has anchored thousands of
Somalilanders to enjoy Kenya and become Kenyan nationals. Equally, there are thousands of Kenyans whom today work in Somaliland and enjoy the peace and stability of Somaliland.
In this regard, Somaliland is committed to maintaining and advancing its brotherly relationship with Kenya, by promoting free trade, people-to-people movements, and security cooperation.
Launching the long-awaited the Kenya Airways direct flights to Hargeysa will further promote, and facilitate trade, and investment, and in deepening this historical relationship between the Republic of Somaliland and the Republic of Kenya.