Due to the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic that has swept across the world, the Republic of Somaliland opted for muted celebrations of the day the country broke away from Somalia and declared its independence.
The event was led by the president Muse Bihi Abdi who was flanked by speakers of the two houses of parliament, government officials, former presidents and vice-presidents, leaders from opposition political parties, distinguished dignitaries and fellow citizens of Somaliland.
“May 18, is also our reflection day, the day we evaluate our accomplishments and the tremendous challenges that our young nation is facing, and to plan for the future, to make it prosperous for every Somalilander.
It is also the day to celebrate our unity, and reinvigorate our common purpose,” President Muse Bihi said in his address during last year’s celebrations.
The mood is unmistakable. Almost everyone is talking about the next day. Many are speaking in awe of the stand from which the President will be acknowledging the passing hordes of marching men and women in uniform in the Presidential Palace where the occasion was held this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The podium from which, come 18 May, he was addressing the nation to reaffirm its unity, refresh their energy to insist on making the world realize that they are ready to go another 29 years if need be to reclaim the independence they lost to an ephemeral unity in 1960.
In his remarks, the President of the Republic of Somaliland H.E. Muse Bihi Abdi said, “We are marking 29 years of togetherness, solidarity, unity, cooperation and compromise. Unity has always been the primary tentative solution of Somaliland in difficult times.”
The President further went on and pointed out that he would ensure that the labor of the country’s past heroes does not go in vein. He then implored the international community to grant Somaliland its due recognition as the country has proven beyond doubt, for the past 29 years, that it is a sovereign state that has no interest in reuniting with the failed state Somalia
On the other hand, Somalilanders, abroad, are also expressing their pride in the homeland eloquently.
Somaliland now issues its own passport, has its own currency and a flag. It has managed to remain peaceful despite an on-going civil war in Somalia; Somaliland has held regular elections since 2003.