Somalilanders Gearing up for 23rd anniversary of Statehood in Style


By: Osman A.M.


Somalilanders throughout the Republic are in final preparation to mark the 23rd anniversary since delinking themselves from oppressive regime of greater Somalia that they voluntarily joined 5 days upon securing their independence from British colonial masters. It is a day when they declared their sovereignty upon reaching resolutions amongst communities through their elders at Burao in 1991.

Regional and Districts leadership as well as the masses are at the forefront in organizing & steering for the D-day in a way never witnessed previously by ordering all business entities along main roads to install twinkling lights emitting the colors of the national flag at night with major towns competing to outdo one another.

Youthful leaders of regional assemblies are also ushering the day by advising people to wear attires made of national colors with garment boutiques selling such outfits for kids, women and men.

In the same vein, Government buildings like ministries in Hargeisa are contesting to outsmart one another by installing festival lighting system that goes on & off continuous making one to think that he/she is not in Hargeisa but a different part of the world. If you drive at night you would be forced to take a close look by staring or shooting pictures of lighting system decorated with air filled balloons adorned with colors of national flag visible at the perimeter enclosures of public buildings.

Ministries around Presidency are full of splendor with colors of the national flag attractively luring both young and adult in equal degree to an extent of thinking that you are marking the eve of Edd festivals. Youths & Sports, Livestock, Education and Interior ministries have undergone massive decorations so has Hargeisa water agency.

Likewise shopping malls around the city center have been bejeweled with clothes made out of flag’s color with tailoring business recording a booming business as a result of these preparations.

Parents have also incurred unwarranted expenses as children are demanding to wear these outfits for celebrating the event.

Nimo Mohamed, a mother of 4 complains of surplus expenses forcefully incurred by children after seeing other kids in the neighborhood attired with clothes made from garments of white, green & red colors meant for celebration on 18th May.

Similarly motor vehicles are flying national flag; a privilege reserved for Cabinet ministers and Judges in other jurisdictions, while others have stickers stenciled with “23rd anniversary of Somaliland’s sovereignty” in addition to playing patriotic music softly while driving slowly due to long traffic jam caused as a result of the preparations.

Whichever way one views these festivals, one issue stands out: Somalilanders are solemn about their autonomy and secession from the rest of Somalia with or without international recognition.

Security machinery have been beefed-up in the city with roadblocks manned by police officers stretched at designated points screening vehicles to thwart attempts by criminals who might take advantage of transgressing against the law.