Somaliland: How 26 June Lost Its Place in History

A man with body paint in the colours of the national flag participates in a street parade to celebrate the 24th self-declared independence day for the breakaway Somaliland nation from Somalia in capital Hargeysa, May 18, 2015. REUTERS/Feisal Omar

As the Somali people everywhere reflect on the 56th anniversary of 26th June and 1st July, the days of independence and unification, I watched Somaliland opposition leader Faisal Ali Waraabe branding 26thJune as a worthless day and calling Somalilanders to mark 1st July, as a day of grief. Both these days were and still are the most significant days in the history of the Somali nation. They symbolized the epitome of the struggle of our fathers and forefathers for independence and their dreams and vision for a unified and proud Somali nation.

Faisal’s repugnant statement is therefore an insult not only to the history of the Somali people and to the memory of those who sacrificed everything precious they had including their blood for the independence of their country but also to the dreams of the Somali youth who drive their pride of the Somali people from the legacy of the independence days after everything else was destroyed.

Contrary to the morbid image that Faisal’s portrays about our national days, I would like to share the Somali youth of a piece I wrote in 1982 which highlights the celebratory spirit in which the Somali people as a whole used to mark the independence anniversary’s, particularly how I remember the festivities of 26th June during my childhood and how it lost its historical significance during the military regime.

By Bashir Goth

Independence Day Reminisced
My previous articles on the memory of independence days