Sixty years ago after 4days When Somaliland gained its independence from the United Kingdom on 26 June 1960; the front page of the Daily Herald Newspaper published a sad report, which, sixty years later and from the unification of Italian Somalis, clearly saw what happened
Somaliland was the country that refused to have its independence
Here Quoted Daily Herald Newspaper of London at that time published on the front page of the Newspaper:
The Rejected Freedom – Three days ago, it gained its independence; on Friday, it gives it up again.
Somaliland, a British colony for nearly 80 years, became independent last Sunday. And on Friday, after four days of freedom, this British outpost will surrender its sovereignty and merge with its sister, Somalia. It has decided not to remain in the Commonwealth.
Somaliland, eastern gateway to Dark Africa, was hardly worth a sniff in the world’s press until three days ago. Now it has become an area of historical significance. And the reason is that its merger with Somalia is unique, as Somalia itself is not yet free. Somalia, once known as Italian Somaliland, is still technically under UN trusteeship, and becomes formally free only in December.
The Italian Plot
In order to facilitate the domination and exploitation of Somaliland by Somalia, Italy engineered to give Somalia its freedom on 1st July instead of December 1960 as scheduled under the United Nations Trusteeship Agreement.
Unfortunately the British Government did not challenge the Italian Plot despite the naivety of Somaliland people and their leadership who were blindly and emotionally wanted to join Somalia without a realistic negotiation as advised by the British Government.
If the Italians did not engineer this trick or the British Government challenged it, as Somaliland people were still under her protection at the time, Somaliland would have been independent for at least six months before Somalia became independent in December 1960. Therefore, by implication Somaliland would not have been exploited and underdeveloped by Somalia but in vain!!
The Results of the Rejected Freedom
The so-called Somali Republic was formed on 1st July 1960 and was born with fundamental problems because of the one-sided unification, as Somalia swallowed and colonized Somaliland, and the legacy of two entirely different Colonial Administration systems and experience. Since 1960 the symptoms of the injustice and inequality of the one-sided unification were evident, among others, through the aborted military coupe in 1961, rejection of the Constitution 1961, popular demonstration “Bakeyle Qalad” in 1963, student demonstration in 1966 in which some students were shot dead and others were wounded, anti-union songs, poems and plays, the detention of UFU Group resulting in Dhagax Tuur of 20th February 1982 (Stone Throwing Demonstration) in which some students were killed and many others were wounded.
However, everything came to the surface after the 1977/78 war with Ethiopia when Siad Barre strategically settled a flood of Somali refugees from Ethiopia in Somaliland. These refugees were empowered at the expense of Somalilanders to take over Somaliland making Somaliland people second-class citizens in their homeland. Since 1982 Somaliland was under emergency measures and openly “occupied” by hostile and hated soldiers and militia. The 1960 one-sided unification took its real colour: not a fair and balanced unification but an occupation and colonization of Somaliland by Somalia.
Among others the results of the rejected freedom were: 31 years of bondage, humiliation, massacre of civilians and summary executions with a death toll of over 80,000, mass arrests, brutality, rape, unfair trails, harsh prison conditions, systematic patterns of torture and a Policy of Extermination and Genocide named Final Solution of particular “Groups” in Somaliland as explicitly stated in the Official Secret “MORGAN’s Death Letter” dated 17 Jan 1987.
The atrocities committed by Siad Barre are well documented and the carnage during those years (1981-1990) as Rt Hon Alun Michael former MP of Cardiff, Wales labeled it is known as the “Hidden War in Somaliland“.
Long Live and Victory for Somaliland!
Eid Ali Ahmed Chartered Fellow CIPD, MBA, PGCE