By Ahmed Yasin Mohamed Jama
Open letter to all Somalilanders who might have slight doubts the existence of the national day, the 18 May. This friendly Open letter is to educate those Somaliland members who have doubts about the existence of 18 May 1991 Independence Day and its remembrance.
It is truly appalling to hear more or less of our people who hopes to deny or put doubts the existence of the national day, it’s still worse when you see senior and educated people doubting or denying the national day of the nation.
Following the collapse of what was formerly called the Somali Republic in 1991, the people of Somaliland decided to retreat from their voluntary union and re-assert Somaliland’s sovereignty and independence.
Senior elders from all Somaliland clans held a series of grassroots consultations with their communities, which led to Somaliland’s declaration of independence on 18 May 1991. Since then, Somalilanders have worked hard to build peace in their state through a bottom-up process drawing on traditional conflict resolution methods after some 37 reconciliation conferences.
In May 1991 after the fall of the military dictator of Somalia, Siyad Barre, Somaliland people declared the independence of Somaliland.
In 1993 an executive presidency was set up with a bicameral legislature and Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal was elected president by a council of elders.
In 1997, at a Conference of Somaliland Communities in Hargeisa, a constitution was adopted to hold out for 3 years until a referendum could take place to get it into full effect.
The constitution was amended in 2000 and the referendum was delayed by one year till 2001. Meanwhile, the attempts to forge a national regime of Somalia and the constitution of the Transitional National Government of Somalia in May 2000 encouraged Somaliland to hold a referendum to prove to show Somaliland’s desire and destiny…
A referendum was held on 31 May 2001, which confirmed Somalilanders’ desire to affirm their independence, which led to the endorsement of a new organization.
International monitors have found out and seen all of Somaliland’s elections since 2003 and pronounced them free and fair. By all accounts, Somaliland has one of the best democratic records in the African Continent.
The referendum was declared on a draft constitution that affirmed Somaliland’s independence from Somalia as a separate nation. Two-thirds of eligible voters took part in the referendum and 97.1% of them voted in favor of the constitution. A team of ten international observers from the Initiative and Referendum Institute observed the referendum and the international observers reported that the referendum was open, fair, and peaceful and any fraud was rare and insignificant.
Therefore, after ten years of peace, stability, security, prosperity and major developments in the country, Somaliland held multiparty municipal elections in 2001; parliamentary elections were held in 2005; and presidential elections were held in 2003 and 2010, the most recent of which involved a peaceful transfer of power between political parties.
Lastly, polite notice to all those mindless individual doubters and deniers of the national day, should be aware or know that 65 percent of Somaliland people are the young and the tykes who were born after the collapse of the Somali republic who know nothing else, but Somaliland. Therefore, they cannot listen, entertain, or hear you utter disgrace of doubting this great nations’ independence day of 18 May.
We chose the path of independence 25 years ago and cannot turn back. To do so would be to erase the memory of our journey, all of our hard-won successes to date, and deny our political reality. On May 18 the people of Somaliland celebrated. We invite you to join the party next year
Ahmed Yasin Mohamed Jama