18 May Somaliland: A Day to Remember

By Gulaid Mohamed Yassin (Dalha)

MAY 18TH was an important day in the history of Somaliland. Somaliland held its 24th Independence Day Celebrations on May 18th, 2015. This day,

May 18th, is particularly memorable because it was the day Somaliland broke away from the rest of Somalia after a bitter war in which many lives were lost.

Strikingly, the occasion started days before. But what made me amazed is the preparation made by the Somalilanders last night. All streets of Hargeisa were too busy, traffic jam was tremendously seen, and thousands of flags were sold by the sellers. It was really a profitable night for many business people. You could see the Raaxo Taxi, which are dramatically increasing in the capital city of Hargeisa, beautifully elaborated with the Somaliland flag. The terrace of the former presidents was also pictured plainly on the backwards and the forwards of their cars.

This year, the mood of the people was very good and spirits were high amid hopes of international recognition. Locals and foreigners, sporting, T-shirts with printed Somaliland flags and carrying flags in person or on their cars flocked to the

President’s Palace, where there was a parade by the military and police to mark the occasion in the capital city, Hargeisa. Celebrations to mark the occasion were also held in hotels, foreign embassies and other institutions.

In his annual Independence Day Speech, the current president M rSilanyo announced the release of certain prisoners to mark the occasion. The presidential palace was beautifully decorated for the occasion. On the contrary, the president emphasized his rebuttal of the International Community’s joint statements of the internal affairs.

Foreign guest and local government officials were entertained by traditional dancers at a banquet held at the State House in Hargeisa. Celebrations were held across Somaliland with the same enthusiasm as in the capital.

On this day, the faces of the people of Somaliland reflected their hopes in their hearts and minds that international recognition was not far off at least for this generation.