HARGEISA – Somalilanders around the world today are celebrating the 57th anniversary of Somaliland’s independence from the United Kingdom.
From 1884-1960, Somaliland was a British protectorate known as ‘British Somaliland’. On June 26th, 1960, after a long struggle, British Somaliland won independence and became the State of Somaliland. More than 35 countries across the globe recognized the State of Somaliland’s independence.
Five days later, on July 1st, 1960, the State of Somaliland united with Italian Somaliland (Somalia) to form the Somali Republic, expecting to share power with their southern brothers.
At the time, there was a growing desire to create a single Somali nation consisting of the five Somali homelands in the Horn of Africa – British Somaliland, Italian Somaliland, French Somaliland, Ogaden, and NFD.
British Somaliland (Somaliland) and Italian Somaliland (Somalia) were the only two territories that united to form the dream.
French Somaliland became what is now known as Djibouti in 1977, after winning independence from the French.
The Ogaden remained part of Ethiopia and now known today as the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia. The Northern Frontier District (NFD) remained part of Kenya and now makes up Kenya’s north-eastern regions.
Somaliland’s hastily rushed union with Somalia under the leadership of Prime Minister Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal, ended up a failed union that resulted in years of oppression and a deadly genocide in the late 1980’s. Read more about Somaliland’s restoration of independence here.