By: Mohamed Duale
HARGEISA, SOMALILAND —People, cattle, camels, donkeys and even a lion dressed up in Somaliland’s red, and green flag colours for parades and celebrations Saturday marking 28 years since Somaliland’s self-declared independence from the Federal Republic of Somalia.
The Celebrations were held across the country to mark the 28th anniversary of the reclamation of independence in 1991. As usual, the main parade was in Hargeisa, as contingents from the Somaliland Defence Forces, Police Force, Custodial, Marine and other ancillary corps once again but on a great display.
A 28 years later, not a single country recognises Somaliland, but this territory of about 4 million people is arguably one of the more stable, democratic places in the Horn of Africa.
From the government agencies to social organisations, the business sector and all other sectors of Somaliland’s community were represented at the parade in Hargeisa attended by President Muse Bihi Abdi, government officials and opposition parties.
Meanwhile, Heavyweight Delegations from Uganda, Kenya, Egypt, Yemen and other countries in the region also participated in the celebrations of Somaliland’s independence day.
Led by the Uganda Parliamentary Committee Chairman on Foreign Affairs committee Hood Katuramu, the team from Kampala said it is time Uganda and the Africa Union recognized Somaliland as an independent state.
“If we are talking about pan Africanism, which Uganda prides itself to be a leader in this push, I think the time is ripe for us to recognize and start working with Somaliland,” Katuramu said when the Uganda delegation met a team of Somaliland at the parliament buildings in Hargeisa.
A member of the committee Akurut Violet Adome said Somaliland has met all requirements to be recognized as a state and wondered why a country already doing business with investors from other African nations, the middle east and Europe cannot be given international recognition.
“Somaliland has placed its case internationally and proved they deserve to be recognized. We will implore on our president Yoweri Museveni to move fast and recognize this nation,” said Adome.
Somaliland has demonstrated that rarest of things: self-generated post-conflict reconstruction resulting in peace, democracy and good governance without international intervention.
Since 2003, Somaliland has held a series of democratic elections resulting in orderly transfers of power, exhibiting a level of political maturity that has eluded many recognised states.
But as another anniversary passes, it seems Somaliland cannot rely on its 28-year track record to gain what it so sorely desires.
legislator Abdurahman Yusuf Artan explained his country’s struggle for international recognition.
“There’s a legitimate case for Somaliland to be recognized, a legitimate case to look at what has been done, a legitimate case about the yearnings of Somaliland people to be free and independent,” he said. “They have a right to do so and a right to be part of the international community.” legislator Abdurahman Yusuf Artan Said
‘In the first place in 1960, Somaliland united with Somalia and then that unity has failed and Somaliland people decided to withdraw that unity from Somalia. They are talking about Pandora’s Box; if for example, they recognise Somaliland, they think other African regions will also ask for independence. But that’s not true; Somaliland has been an independent country before they joined Somalia,’ said Mr. Artan. added
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