Mogadishu, July 2, 2018 – Several world leaders Sunday congratulated Somalia as it marked 58 years of independence.
US President Donald Trump sent a message, stating: “On behalf of the United States of America, I wish you and the people of Somalia a joyous 58th anniversary of independence.”
“The United States looks forward to continuing its partnership with the people and government of Somalia to work toward a brighter future,” he added.
“Working together to build a stable, peaceful, prosperous Somalia is in the interest of both of our nations. You will continue to have our support on this path.”
President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo presided over the celebrations at the Conis Stadium in north Mogadishu.
The Somali National Army (SNA) mounted a guard of honour while a popular music group, the Waberi, provided the entertainment.
The former Italian colony attained its independence on July 1, 1960 and on the same day merged with the former British Somaliland Protectorate, which had obtained independence five days earlier on June 26.
The two regions formed the Somali Republic and adopted a multiparty democracy. However, a group of army officers staged a coup on October 21, 1969, abolishing the constitution that granted the young nation the holding of three general elections, two presidents and three prime ministers in just nine years.
President Farmajo congratulated the Somali people and urged all the citizens to uphold their glorious days like July 1.
“July 1 is a symbol of our independence and unity. It is the day our people removed the ruthless clutches of the colonialism and embarked on sovereignty,” said the president.
The president had on the eve of the celebrations urged the Somali people to unite to achieve the objectives of the rejection of colonialism.
A vicious war
“Under the current circumstance, if we are united, we shall be able to build a better future,” he said at the Ufficcio Governo building, the seat of Mogadishu Municipality.
Despite turning 58, the Horn of Africa state faces numerous problems, including a vicious war against the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab.
It was also in the throes of a separatism drive by Somaliland, an authority in the former British Somaliland Protectorate that unilaterally declared independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991.
An ongoing clash between Somaliland and Puntland, an authority in Northeastern Somalia, over the control of the disputed Sool and Sanaag regions in the northern part of the country is another thorn in the feet of the federal government of President Farmajo.