The subdivision of what was once called “the great Somalia” or SOOMAALI WEYN, which has now descended into small clan-based semiautonomous states, is mainly attributed to the loss of the memorial services that Somali people used to observe each year with the arrival of the Somali youth day. That day was the 15th May, which was on Wednesday.
The Somali Youth League was founded on May 15, 1943. Led by the fathers of Independence, it was Somalia’s most important nationalist organization, in their ongoing struggle for independence. The Somali Youth League (SYL) was the first political party of the Somali Republic.
This special day was not remembered as it used to be. Although small celebratory groups have been observed in some places, that doesn’t really show how such an important day should be commemorated.
Memories Of Independence
From what I can remember, for the past 16 years that I have been mature, Somali people across the country or elsewhere around the world used to share ideas and suggestions on how to make early preparations for the memorial services of the day which used to be held inside and outside the country.
That always started at least two or three months before the arrival of 15th May. It is the foundation day of Somali Youth council SYC in 1943, which later changed to Somali Youth League SYL. But no colourful events have been seen this year. No one can tell what has gone wrong, considering that there are millions of Somalis around the globe.
How It Used To Be
Think back in time and remember that in the capital Mogadishu, or the provincial capital of the semiautonomous state of Puntland, as elsewhere in the country, we used to host huge celebrations. They started a day before and continued through the night of the 15th May. Small luxury cars used to be seen travelling in the streets, covered with the flag of Somalia, in big cities and small villages across the country. Sadly, that didn’t happen even through Wednesday night of the 15th of May 2013.
More Weighty Matters At Hand?
Instead of that, leaders of the federal government of Somalia have been sharing discussions and consultations on how to react to the outcome of the Kismayo conference. That conference elected a regional state president which the federal government recognised as an illegal administration, which didn’t come with the consent of the people living in the southern Jubba regions. That is where former Islamist warlord Ahmed Mohamed Islan (Madoobe) has been elected as the Jubba Land state president on Wednesday.
The city of Garowe, which is the provincial capital of the semiautonomous Somali state of Puntland, was the same as any other big cities in Somalia, as no word of the 15th May day was even mentioned at the presidential palace or at any other governmental complex.
But, instead the president of Puntland Abdirahman Sheik Mohamed (Faroole) appeared in the news headlines around the country sending congratulations to the president elected of Jubba Land state Ahmed Madoobe, forgetting to say about the 15th of May.
“I am extremely happy to hear about the very positive news that has just emerged from the constitutional meeting which has been under way in Kismayo and elected Sheik Ahmed Madoobe as a president, we hope success for the president elected and his government.” These were the words of Puntland state president Abdirahman Faroole. at a press conference, while sitting at a small park in his presidential palace in Garowe, just a few minutes after the announcement of the election.
“The outcome of Kismayo meeting is a great failure to all who were against it – I urge the federal government to support the outcome of the months-long Kismayo conference, likewise I call IGAD and the rest of the international community to support it,” President Faroole told the media on Wednesday.
In reaction, prime minister of the federal government of Somalia, Abdi Farah Shirdoon, has appointed a 16-member facilitation committee, which he said will work on the process of reconciliation of the southern Jubba regions. In a press statement, the prime minister said the duties of the committee include to work on how to form a future regional state in the region. This means his government doesn’t accept the outcome of the Kismayo meeting which the prime minister himself previously described as an unconstitutional” which wasn”t compatible with the federal charter.
Just as with the president of Puntland, the prime minister of Somalia hasn’t mentioned anything about the 15th May in his statement which was broadcast in state media on Wednesday. All Somalis are asking themselves why the Prime Minister of the nation didn’t even say a single word on the fathers of independence.
“The 15th May was the sole day of our fathe4rs of independence in the whole year and I am really disappointed by the behaviour of our leaders who are messing around with something else and forgetting the importance of this day,” former table tennis national team member Abdirahman Ali Mire told the media.
“It is really a great misfortune that even never happened in the era of warlords, Somali government and other regional states will be accounted for the loss of 15th May celebrations this year,” Mire added.
Not Everyone Forgets
However, the capital Mogadishu has seen a small congregation organized by a group of young boys and girls called “SYL II.” It was held in an open area in the capital, attended by some low profile PMs, women and children. The President, the Prime Minister, the speaker of parliament and their ministers have not even taken part in the youth-organized congregation, because they failed to organize themselves.
That was the end of how the 15th of May passed, in 2013.
See more historical information at the Somali Youth League Facebook Page