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Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Somaliland Independence 18th May 2011 (FRIDAY - 13/May/2011)

Somaliland communities in Europe are joining forces to, on 18th May 2011, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Somaliland’s independence.

Main objectives for the celebrations are:
To Celebrate and commemorate Somaliland’s 20th Anniversary since it withdrew from the union with Somalia after 30 years of oppression, indiscriminate killings and injustice.
To reflect on the achievements of Somaliland has booked over the past 20 years and to look forward to the future, which is to gain international recognition.

The Theme for this year’s anniversary is: Somaliland is the champion of democracy in the Horn of Africa (Birgitta Olsen, Swedish MP).
The 18th May event is expected to bring together all Somaliland communities and Diaspora organizations, their members including artistes, academics, politicians and also friends of Somaliland across Europe.
The celebration will be unique this year because 20 years is an important milestone.
There will be special programmes across Europe. These will include exciting activities for families, children and young people such as sport tournaments, entertainments and much more.

It will also be an opportunity to showcase 20 years of achievement and to present these achievements to the international community. Also it will be a golden opportunity to show the international community the benefits of supporting Somaliland in its journey to recognition.

Dr Charles Tannock British MEP said, “The people of Somaliland benefit from a relatively benign government and progressive institutions as well as having symbols of statehood such as a separate currency and flag. Perhaps it’s time we began to consider more seriously Somaliland’s quest for independence. An independent Somaliland, supported by the international community, could be a force for stability and progress in an otherwise hopeless region, and could be an ally in fighting the scourge of piracy off the Somali coast.”

Main events happening in Europe on this important day include:

Country Date and Time Contact

UK rallyLondon) 18th May 2011 (13:00-17:00) M.Meygag:004479510166810
Norway(Oslo) 20th May 2011 (18:00-23:00) Lilan: 0047 951 62 864
Germany (Bonn) 21th May 2011 (18:00-6:00am)Mohamed: 004915224495047
Germany(Frankfurt)14th May 2011(18:00-04:00 Osman:004961728556256
The Netherlands(Utr.)21th May2011(16:00-2400:Abdirahman:0031 642979369
Finland(Helsinki)21th May 2011 (16:00-22:30 Hassan Ali:00358445564652
Finland(Turku)21th May 2011 Eng.Ismail:00358443066733
Sweden(Uppsala)22nd May 2011 (16:00-1200) Zakariye: 004673553 9226
Sweden(Stockholm)20th May 2011 (16:00-10:00)Mohamoud:004673580 381
Sweden(Örebro) 21th May 2011 (16;00-12:00) Fuad: 0046 7621 08 502
Sweden(Jönköping)21th May 2011 (16;00-01:00)Wadaadyare: 0046700789340
France (Lyon) 21th May 2011 (19:00-12:00) Mowlid: 0033 6 61 64 39 46
UK London 21 May 2011 Marwo: 0044 79 46 05 7999
UK Manchester 28th May 2011 (21:00-03:00) A.Said: 00447534199530
Liverpool 21th may (18:00-03:00) Farah 00447538094976
UK Birmingham 14th May 2011 Nimco:447940014752

SSE hopes that the programmes and activities related to these events will be successful and wishes all Somalilanders everywhere a happy and prosperous 20th Anniversary of Somaliland independence.

Background Information about Somaliland

Somaliland gained its independence from Great Britain on 26th June 1960 and was immediately recognised by 35 countries including Ghana, Egypt, Libya and others. Five days later, on 1st July 1960, the newly born country voluntarily merged with the former Italian Trusteeship which gained its independence on 1st July 1960 from Italy. This merging was part of a bigger Pan-Somalism dream meant to unite all Somali inhabited regions in the Horn of Africa which included former French Somali Territory (currently Republic of Djibouti); Eastern Province of Ethiopia and the Northern Frontier District of Kenya. This irredentist movement never materialised politically because of the diversity and historical differences between the five different Somali inhabited regions. Instead, it has led to bloody conflicts particularly with neighbouring Ethiopia.

On 18th May 1991 Somaliland has re-claimed its sovereignty by leaving the Union of former Republic of Somalia and has since come a long way. It has since established effective and working institutions and despite being unrecognised by the international community and being surrounded by violence, terrorism and piracy, it has maintained peace and stability for nearly 20 years. Somaliland has built a modern state with two House Legislative and Executive bodies headed by an elected President. It has judiciary system. A national constitution was adopted after a referendum in 2001 which nearly 97% of the votes approved. In 2002 Somaliland held a nation-wide local councils election with the first democratic presidential election being held in 2003, followed by parliamentary election in 2005.

This track record of peaceful expression of people’s voices through ballot has continued with the latest presidential election held on 26th June 2010. The latest presidential election of Somaliland is a unique example and according to international observers, it met all international standards for a free and fair election.

With the president-elect sworn in on 27th July 2010, Somaliland has now entered a new era. Both the way in which the election was held and the transfer of power have been a new experience for the region of the Horn of Africa, which has seen much fighting and instability. Somaliland has built a cohesive society based on democratic values, peace, justice and the law and order. Undeniably, Somaliland has significantly contributed to the regional stability, and by being an example that democratisation is compatible with Islamic and African values and therefore good governance can be established without recourse to violence, Somaliland is indeed a shining example for many developing countries. The experience of Somaliland is one of the most successful experiments of democratisation processes implemented in developing countries. These are remarkable achievements that Somaliland people can be proud of.

However, these processes and achievements need to be nurtured and rewarded. Somaliland is seeking an international recognition which will not only benefit the people of Somaliland, but which will have far reaching, pacifying impact on the rest of the region.

Somaliland Society in Europe (SSE) hopes that the world will appreciate the achievements and commitment of Somaliland to peace, stability and democracy in the region in the last 20 years. Secondly, we hope that the international community including the African Union, European Union, United Nations, U.S, supports the sustainability of the democratic system established in Somaliland. Thirdly, we hope that the international community steps in to urgently recognise Somaliland as a sovereign state as Somaliland fulfils all the criteria of statehood legally and politically. SSE strongly believes that the recognition of Somaliland as a sovereign state is in the interest of the international community as a recognised Somaliland could play a significant and unique constructive role in the reconciliation of the faction in Somalia and it will contribute to the stability of the Horn of Africa region.

SSE also believes that Somaliland deserves rewarding for being an oasis of stability and peace in the region and this young and aspiring nation ought to be defended by all the peace loving people of the world.

SSE Executive Committee

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