Somaliland: Highlights of President Siilaanyo’s 18 May Final Speech, Images and Videos of Celebration

His Excellency the PRESIDENT OF THE Republic of Somaliland, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud “Siilaanyo”, made his last and final speech as President, Wednesday, to mark the 25th anniversary of the re-birth of an independent Somaliland.

The President, in a speech many saw  as a valediction of a great leader crowning an  indelible mark on an important nation in the Horn of Africa with a track record that few achieved in similar circumstances.

The President’s was, also, a diplomatic indictment of a world that so inexplicably ignored Somaliland’s achievements of 25 years and the undeniable role it played on the stability of a largely volatile region. The speech, too, was an eloquent summation of this country’s case for sovereignty and an independence it hastily sacrificed for a larger one.

The speech touched many areas and delivered as many verdicts and country positions.

On Somalihood 

The president clearly and unequivocally ruled out another reunion with Somalia – now or ever. He said theirs of 1960 was part of a quest for a Greater Somalia.

The President said there was an undeniable difference between an ethnic Somalihood and a political Somalia. He said all Somalis shared a common language, a common heritage but were not to be mistaken as one nation. Djibouti Somalis, Haud and Reserve Area Somalis, and Somalis in the former NFD of Kenya went their separate ways despite being part of the Greater Somalia cause.

“We congratulate and bless the achievements of Djibouti, Kenya’s Northern Province, and Somalis in Eastern Ethiopia for the path they have chosen for their destinies”, he said.

On reunion with Somalia

“Healthy intellect tells you that if you cannot live together, coexist in peace and harmony – collaborate on things important and fundamental to you,” the President pointed out.

He said Somaliland had a right to restore its independence and that it would never, ever go back to an ill-fated reunion with  Somalia and a lamentable, catastrophic experience fraught with persecution and ill-boding for people of Somaliland origin and their country.

“Let us, instead, live as brothers and good neighbors,” he said.

The President clarified that Somaliland harbored no ill feelings for other Somalis and that it only went its separate way to avoid another nightmarish experiment.

On neighborly countries

Perhaps indirectly responding to questions raised and circulated on social media pages pertaining to the country’s ‘lopsided’ relations with its nearest neighbors of Ethiopia and Djibouti, the President wisely side-stepped direct references but, as wisely, delivered his position.

“Their enemies are ours, our enemies are theirs”, he said.

He, also said, that whatever development one madetowards the direct direction was a positive contribution, attainment of the other – this last read as a possible reference to anunofficially  aired opposition of Djibouti  to Berbera’s expected expansion.

On Berbera-DP World deal

The president revealed that he fought for the expansion of Berbera part as a minister under the Somali Democratic Republic military leader, Mohamed Siyad Barre, some 35 years ago.

“What was to be expected of as a President to the same port?” He rhetorically asked.

The President pointed out that the agreement with the United Arab Emirate’s DP World was a historic achievement for all of Somaliland. He said the project will not only generate more business and job opportunities but that it would open up far-reaching economic and political relations with landlocked nations of the region: Ethiopia, South Sudan, Chad, etc..

The project, he said, a paved road connecting the seaport with Togwajaale on the Ethiopian border with Somaliland.

The President’s speech came at a time that Somalia openly and brazenly comes out of the woods to, for instance, create satellite states loyal to its cause inside the ex-British Protectorate of Somaliland as more Envylands to confuse the issue of Somaliland’s too different, unmistakable case for restoration of an internationally recognized statehood.

To mark the nation’s position, Somalilanders everywhere came out in the greatest numbers to highlight their political stand and procet their steadfast resolution to attain it – come what may.

Several ministers, the head of the Somaliland mission in the UK and several supportive British MPs handed a letter from His Excellency the President of Somaliland to the Honorable Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, at Downing Street. This event coincided with Her Majesty the Queen’s address to the joint Houses of Commons and the Lords’.

The Day’s Image Highlights

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