Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has congratulated Somalia “on the anniversary of the country’s national day”, but on the wrong date.
Bizarrely, it does not appear to be a slip-up.
Since 2007, the monarchy has sent his congratulations on 20 October, despite the fact that Somalia does not commemorate a national day then.
On 21 October 1969, Col Mohamed Siad Barre took power in a military coup.
Although the day was marked during President Barre’s regime, it has not been observed since he was deposed in 1991.
Somali independence day is marked on 1 July, the date in 1960 when British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland merged to form the Republic of Somalia.
In his message, King Salman “sent a cable of congratulations to President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of federal republic of Somalia on the anniversary of his country’s national day”, according to a report by the official Saudi Press Agency on 20 October.
The Saudi deputy prince and crown prince also sent similar messages.