Somaliland: The True Pan-Africanist


We apologize to the writer of and our readers for the delay in publishing this article which was submitted a couple of days ago.-Editor

By: Geleh Ali Gulaid

Somalilandsun – Somaliland is the only African country that believed and sacrificed for the noble Pan-Africanism philosophy that promulgated for betterment and the common-cause of people with an African heritage, an idea espoused by Sylvester Williams championed by W.E.B. Du Bois, advocated for by Nkrumah and still had many more distinguished proponents like Patrice Lumumba and Jomo Kenyatta.

Somali landers foresaw the Pan-Africanism’s unity as the panacea to perennial problems of post-colonial Africa.

Somaliland was the only African nation that genuinely forwent its independence for the greater idea of unity and brotherhood. Somaliland a young independent nation in 1960, was swept and enthralled by this euphoria for united African, and this was the prelude to which this young nation relinquished its independence for the greater Africa. Somaliland crossed its southern border to join with its neighbor to form the Somalia Republic.

The people of Somaliland can be considered the true Pan-Africanist because with them it started from the individual to national and then aspired to the regional level. Pan-Africanism was not foreign to Somaliland’s communal way of live, as it stood for an integrated, equitable and well governed system. No other nation in Africa had forgone its sovereignty to unite with another country as Somaliland did.

No other country surrendered its sovereignty unconditionally as Somaliland did the other notable mergers such as Eritrea and Ethiopia, Gambia and Senegal do not even remotely compare to Somaliland. Eritrea prior to being coerced by Ethiopia had a special provision since it had been UN trustee after the Italia was ousted and was being run by Britain. And the marriage of Senegal and the Gambia based on the treaty of Confederation was short lived as the relationship was negated after short seven years.

The people of Somaliland living up to tenets of Pan Africanism and as the torchbearers originated the idea of uniting all Somalis living under the 5 regions in the horn of Africa united under single polity. People of Somaliland were unreservedly dedicated to this cause and flamed the fire for the euphoric jubilations and the patriotic fervor that was topped off with apropos poetry and Songs, Unity songs like (Shantoo is Waheshadaey Wacnayda, Calan inay Wadagan Wanaag Sanaan lahaydaa) made the cause that more palatable. Somaliland populace wallowed in their absolute commitment for unity.

African dictators rendered Pan-Africanism as an unattainable lofty utopian idea. Pan- Africanism became an anathema to many African leaders that denied their citizens the democratic values of good governance, respect for human rights, accountability and transparency, and these leaders have pursued inimical action against it under the opacity of AU laws. These African leaders shunned Somaliland’s entreaties and never lauded it for its benevolence sacrifice.

The altruistic gesture of Somaliland endured and remained unfazed by the unfair actions of the South as the higher echelon of most government posts were unashamedly occupied by Southerners and highly qualified Somaliland officials were relegated. Paramount posts occupied by Somalis from the South were the chief of the arm forces, the interior and foreign ministers all these in addition to President and prime minister at helm of government.

Without actions and sacrifice nothing worthy is ever realized and because of his affinity to Pan-Africanism is why W.E.B. Du Bois returned to the land of his ancestors and gave up his American citizenships for a Ghanaian one, Similarly in the same manner Somaliland was the only African nation that genuinely forwent its independence for the greater good.

Somaliland’s pathos filled endeavors will remain as an elixir of the future fate of Pan-Africanism.

Geleh Ali Gulaid