Somali Independence Day

Somali Independence Day

 MOGADISHU, Somalia July 1 (Garowe Online) - Some major 

towns in Somalia celebrated Somali Independence Day marking 
the 49th anniversary since the East African nation gained 
independence from European colonialism, Radio Garowe reports.

    Events featuring public 
    speeches, poetry and 
    dance were held in 
    different regions of the 
    country. But in many 
    major towns, there 
    were no celebrations at 

In Mogadishu, the national capital, an event marking Independence Day 
was attended by government officials.

Mogadishu Mayor Mohamed Osman "Dhagahtur" spoke briefly about 
the importance of Independence Day, followed by brief remarks from 
Somali police chief Gen. Abdi Qeybdiid who soon welcomed Yusuf 
Mohamed Siad "Indho Ade" to the microphone.

Attendees said Mr. Indho Ade, a notorious former warlord, was 
introduced by Gen. Qeybdiid as the "State Minister for Defense."

Indho Ade gave a long speech where he verbally attacked armed 
opposition groups Al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam, who are fighting to 
topple Somalia's interim government.

He accused the groups of links to Al Qaeda, while condemning Osama 
Bin Laden for "encouraging" Somali opposition factions to fight against 
the U.N.-recognized Somali government.

"Somalia needs peace and order and the government is ready, but there 
are groups who want to keep the country in war and this is 
unacceptable," said Indho Ade, who spent years fighting other warlords 
in major clan battles southern Somalia since the early 2000s.

Puntland celebrations

In Puntland, a peaceful region in northeastern Somalia, Vice President 
Gen. Abdisamad Ali Shire attended an event at the State House in 
Garowe, the capital of Puntland.

The event was attended by Puntland government officials, civil servants, 
women's and youth groups, traditional elders and community leaders.

Vice President Shire told the attendees that July 1 marks a historic 
moment when the first national flag of Somalia was raised in Hargeisa, 
the country's second-largest city which is now the capital of the 
separatist republic of Somaliland.

Dr. Abdirahman Mohamed "Farole," the president of Puntland who is 
currently in the U.S., spoke at the event via telephone and encouraged 
Somalis to proudly celebrate Independence Day.

Meanwhile, major towns in Somalia including Hargeisa, Baidoa and 
Kismayo did not celebrate Somali Independence Day for political 

Somaliland politicians are opposed to July 1, as that day marks the 
official merger of the British Protectorate of Somaliland in the north and 
the Italian colony to the south, forming the Somali Republic on July 1, 

Somaliland separatists say the Act of Union was a mistake and 
unilaterally declared independence on May 18, 1991, as Mogadishu 
descended into violence.

But in towns such as Baidoa and Kismayo, which are controlled by Al 
Shabaab, there were no celebrations as the Islamist hardliners do not 
recognize Independence Day altogether.