Reflecting on 33 Years of Resilience: The Somaliland Story

Three decades ago, on May 18, 1991, Somaliland declared independence, reclaiming its sovereignty after years of turmoil and oppression. Since then, this day has been a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made and the challenges overcome in pursuit of freedom and self-determination.

The road to independence was fraught with obstacles. From the colonial era under British protectorate administration to the tumultuous union with Italian Somalia in 1960, Somaliland faced numerous trials. However, the indomitable spirit of its people, fueled by the desire for autonomy and justice, prevailed.

The pivotal role played by the Somali National Movement (SNM) cannot be overstated. Formed in 1983, the SNM spearheaded the resistance against the oppressive regime of Siad Barre, culminating in the liberation of Somaliland in 1991. Their courage and sacrifice laid the groundwork for the nation’s rebirth.

The post-independence era saw Somaliland embark on a remarkable journey of nation-building. Through peace conferences held in cities like Berbera, Burao, Borama, Hargeisa, and Sheikh, the people of Somaliland demonstrated their commitment to reconciliation, unity, and democratic governance. These conferences were pivotal in shaping the nation’s political landscape and fostering a sense of collective purpose.

Each administration, led by presidents such as Abdirahman Ahmed Ali, Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal, Dahir Riyaale Kahin, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Siiraanyo, and Muse Bihi Abdi, has left its mark on Somaliland’s progress. From building national institutions to promoting socio-economic development, these leaders have worked tirelessly to fulfill the aspirations of their people.

Today, as we celebrate the 33rd anniversary of Somaliland, we pay tribute to the sacrifices of those who came before us. Their courage and resilience paved the way for the peaceful and prosperous Somaliland we cherish today.

Looking ahead, the challenges may be daunting, but so too is the potential for greatness. As Somaliland continues its journey, let us reaffirm our commitment to unity, peace, and progress. Together, we can overcome any obstacle and realize the full promise of our beloved nation.

On this auspicious occasion, let us honor the past, celebrate the present, and embrace the future with hope and determination. Happy 33rd anniversary, Somaliland! May the flame of freedom burn brightly for generations to come.

By Kayse faarax.