.....(Hal-ku-dhigyo Dhaxal-gal Noqday) = ..... President, C/raxmaan A. Cali: ''Jamhuuriyadda Somaliland dib ayay ula soo Noqotay Qaran-nimadeedii sidaa awgeed, waa dal xor ah oo gooni u taagan maanta (18/05/1991) laga bilaabo''...>>>>> President, Maxamad I.Cigaal:''Jiritaanka Jamhuuriyadda Somaliland'' Waa mid waafaqsan xeerasha u-degsan Caalamka! Sidaa darteed, waa Qaran xaq u leh in Aduunku aqoonsado''...>>>>> President, Daahir R. Kaahin: ''Jamhuuriyadda Somaliland waa dal diimuqraadi ah oo caalamka ka sugaya Ictiraafkiisa''...>>>>> President, Axmed M. Siilaanyo: ''Jamhuuriyadda Somaliland, Boqol sano haday ku qaadanayso helista Ictiraafkeedu way Sugaysaa! Mar dambena la midoobi mayso Somalia-Italia''.....[***** Ha Jirto J.Somaliland Oo Ha Joogto Waligeed *****].....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Is there a country called “Somalia”? A Widespread Misconception

The Somali inhabited areas at the horn of Africa was called ‘Somal’ and ‘Beri Somal’ by the Arab traders from Arabian Peninsula before the Europeans arrived. However, the Europeans divided area into three parts – British Somaliland, French Somaliland and Italian Somalia. The people of Somaliland (former British Somaliland) signed an agreement with British over its presence in Somaliland. The agreement renamed the territory ‘Somaliland British Protectorate’ similar status of the then South Yemen and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The agreement included that British should leave Somaliland anytime the people ask to leave, which led peaceful departure of Englishmen. The new country named State of Somaliland for four days, in which State of Somaliland signed MoU and agreements with other nations including Britain; these agreements are archived today at UN. State of Somaliland enjoyed similar status of that of State of Kuwait during such four days.

French Somali Coast was called today’s Djibouti, but after public uprising against General De Gaulle of France, the area was renamed as “Issa and Afar Territory”. The word Somali name was removed from the name, as the majority of the revolutionists were originated from Somaliland. This triggered the anger of the General De Gaulle, who ordered deportation of the Somalis with Somaliland origins. After independence in 1977, the “Issa and Afar Territory” became Republic of Djibouti.

About the Italian Somaliland, Italy colonized using the people as slaves where the Somalis were used as human bridge over the wet streets of Mogadishu. It was reported that Italian colonizers use to walk on top of the Somalis to reach their cars at their residential parking areas in Mogadishu. It was the ugliest form of slavery. Italy destroyed the Islamic culture of the society and even intermarried.

Italy remained until defeated during Second World War, the territory became under the administration of British . On Nov. 21, 1949 UN General Assembly passed a resolution placing Italian Somaliland under UN Trusteeship for ten years(Italy was designated the administering country.) in 1956, Italy formed local administration for the Italian Somaliland and a new name “Italian Somalia” was introduced.

Part of the new name “Somalia” is originated from Latin, which means the land of Somalis.

Somalia consists of “Somal” and “ia”. The definition of a noun suffix “ia” among other applications is a name of place or territory in this case: Somal +ia means somal territory.

In accordance with UN decisions, Italian Somaliland, renamed “Somalia”, was granted internal autonomy in 1956 and independence in 1960. Britain proclaimed the end of its protectorate in June, 1960, and on July 1 the legislatures of the two new states created the Somali Republic.

What happened was that on the morning 1st July 1960, the members of the Somaliland Legislative and those of the “Somalia” Legislative met in a joint session and the Constitution which was drafted in “Somalia” was accepted on the basis of an acclamation, with no discussion and later a Provisional President was elected.

It was common practice to have land or “ia” after the name Somali; the Somali politicians of 1960 decided to omit these two suffixes, and Somali Republic was overwhelmingly accepted. In Somali language Somali Republic means (Jamhuuriyada Somaliyeed) and (Jamhuuriyada Somaliya) as some practice nowadays.

After fall of the unity government, in which State of Somaliland and “Italian Somalia” united, during 1991, Somaliland claimed back its sovereignty with all legal grounds. The international law permits such reclaim as long as the agreed government varnished.

Late President of Somaliland and Former Prime Minister of State of Somaliland in 1960 and Former Prime Minister of Somali Republic until 1969 military coup, Mr. Mohamed Ibrahim Egal gave detailed explanation on video about the name “Somalia” and how the Somali Republic were hijacked by southern Somalis. Refer the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch v=3DuYaDhDR9I&feature=related

All these historical highlights ensure the political gap between the people of Somaliland and that of “Somalia”. Although the people of both countries share language and religion but that is not enough to unite people, as we see many countries who share religion and language. Now both retained names before 1st July 1960 Somaliland and Somalia.

By Abdulaziz Al-Mutairi (Email: az.almutairi@yahoo.com)

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