1 July 1960, the Independence Day

In 1941, during the Second World War, the Allied occupies the whole Italian Empire, and Somalia was placed under British Military occupation. In the Peace Treaty of February 10, 1947, Italy renounced all right and title to her territorial possessions in Africa. As the Four Powers failed to reach an agreement on the future of the Italian pre-war colonies, the matter was referred to the United Nations for a recommendation which the Four Powers agreed to accept as binding. In 1949, the General Assembly of the United Nations recommended that former Italian Somalia should become independent after a ten-years trusteeship under Italian Administration (General Assembly resolution 289 (IV) of November1949).

The ten-year period was due to expire on December 2, 1960, but the General Assembly, on the request of the Somali government supported by the Administering Authority (Italy), advanced the date of the independence to July, 1, 1960 (General Assembly resolution 1418 (X1V) of December 5, 1959)

The Independence proclaimed at Midnight

At midnight on the 30th of June 1960, the trusteeship agreement between Italy and the United Nations ceased to be in force, and the President of the Legislative Assembly, acting in his capacity as the Provisional President of the Republic, proclaimed the independence of the State of Somalia.

The Provisional Head of State, His Excellency Aden Abdulla, appeared on the balcony of the National Assembly Building where he was greeted by a very large crowd of happy and cheering Somalis.” When the hundreds of thousands of Somalis gathered in the Piazza della Solidarietà Africana saw the hoisting of the flag above the National Assembly building, 114 cannon salvoes, equal to the number of Sura in the Koran, saluted the event. (M. Pirone, 1961, p, 149) When calm returned, Aden Abdulla, started reading, standing on the floodlit balcony of the National Assembly Building, the proclamation announcing the birth of a free and independent Somalia. He said

Fellow Somalis

In this moment in which I am announcing to you, with the heart brimming with joy, the birth of the Somali Republic, allow me to congratulate you for the struggle we have jointly conducted to witness all united this historic moment.

The history of our young Nation abounds with sacrifice, expectations and hope; these facts are engraved in our hearts as one.

Today we are Somalis; today we are independent and sovereign. Today we finally have a State and a flag. It is a blessing from God; let us protect and preserve it.”

We call the world represented here today, to bear testimony our firm desire to establish friendly relations with all. People

To this world and to all its inhabitants with the first cry we say: Peace to all men of good faith. Peace and love to all.

Fellow Somalis

Wherever you may be rejoice with me and give all your energies, to the defence of the sacred values of democracy, respect, peace, and justice.

Our course of action in foreign policy is to reflect our domestic policy

Let us honor and respect our democratic institutions and model them on our relations with the rest of the world.

We sincerely say to the world who is now listening us that we are proud of our achievements and jealous of our newly acquired independence.

Fellow Somalis

On your behalf I thank the very kind guests who from far away countries came to rejoice and celebrate with us this happy anniversary which marks the African year of 1960, a starting point leading to a new era of peace and prosperity in Somalia, in Africa and the world. May Allah protect the Republic” (Corriera della Somalia July 1, 1960) Aden Abdulla invited then the crowd to turn their thought to millions of other African brethrens still languishing under the yoke of injustice and lack of understanding

It was the speech in which Aden Abdulla set out his vision for the nascent Somalia, a nation he hoped would be prosperous, tolerant and where corruption would find no home. His brief speech again and again interrupted by shouts of “Somalia Hanoolaato” marked a turning point.

M. Trunji

Email: trunji@yahoo.com

Categories: Opinion

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