Sarah Kimani of the SABC was among a dozen or more top African journalists who attended the 28th commemoration of Somaliland’s restoration of independence in 1991.
Following intensive consultations among clans who had been on opposite sides of the 10-year long armed struggle which culminated in the ousting of a cruel military dictator and his equally heavy-handed regime, Somaliland decided to bury the hatchet and build a modern state based on the pre-colonial boundaries.
Somalia, however, conveniently clouding the issue that Somaliland was the first-born among 5 siblings planned to, together, form a Greater Somalia state, started to claim that Somaliland was part and parcel what never was – a state called ‘Somalia’ – a fallacy it stills to the world.
Somalia never materialized and the union Somaliland formed with Somalia was a non-starter right from the beginning. Somalia intentions were not concealed even to the overzealous ‘Landers who rushed their independence to Somalia when it all offered for their pain was an education Minister to the man who sacrificed the country’s independence to the union.
On Saturday, Somaliland, again, celebrated 28 years of success as a modern, ultra-democratic state that laments the dismal state of affairs in Somalia but has no intention of ever making the same mistake twice.