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CELEBRATING THE 26TH OF JUNE: THE BIRTH OF THE SOMALILAND NATION

DECOLONISATION IN SOMALILAND: ‘PLACING SOMALILAND IN HISTORICAL CONTEXT’

The Somaliland Mission to the UK would like to invite you celebrate the 58th anniversary of Somaliland’s birth as an independent nation-state.

Over half a century ago, on 26 June 1960, the hard-fought struggle for the self-determination of the Somaliland people was finally realised, and Somaliland won its independence from the British Empire, making Somaliland one of the oldest sovereign nations on the African continent.

The theme of the celebrations this year will be ‘Placing Somaliland in Historical Context’. While Somaliland has come to the world’s attention for its recent resurgence as a democratic and peaceful country following the collapse of the Somali state and the war and atrocity that accompanied it, less is known about the deeper roots of the Somaliland story, one that stretches back to the height of African liberation.

Recognising this history, reckoning with the mistakes of Somali union that followed, and understanding its lessons for Somaliland’s current path of independent self-governance, not only illuminates the moral, legal and political foundations of Somaliland’s claims for recognition, but also demonstrates the unfinished business that is Somaliland’s struggle for liberation, one that will only culminate with Somaliland’s recognised status as an equal actor among the community of nations.

This event welcomes members of the academic community, diplomats, politicians, policy-makers, development practitioners, community works, and members of the Somaliland diaspora, to share in an evening of lectures, discussions and celebrations of this important day in Somaliland’s history.

The keynote speaker for the event will be Dr Ahmed I. Samatar, distinguished professor, writer, scholar and politician.

Ahmed I. Samatar, is a magna-cum-laude graduate of the University of Wisconsin (la Crosse) and with a Masters and a doctorate degree from Graduate school of International Studies, at Denver. The James Wallace Professor of International Studies at Macalester, he was dean of International Studies and Programming (1994-2006) and founding dean of the Institute for Global Citizenship, (2006-2011). Samatar has held deanship at Macalester for nearly 18 years. One time BBC broadcaster, Professor Samatar has lectured at many universities, colleges, and other institutions around the USA and the world. Professor Samatar’s expertise is in the areas of global political economy, political and social theory, and African development. He is the author/editor of five books and over forty academic articles, including The State in Africa: Reconsiderations, “The Porcupine Dilemma: Governance and Transition in Somalia (2007). He is the founding (2001) and continuing editor-in-chief of Bildhaan, the first international journal of Somali Studies, as well as editor of twenty-seven volumes of Macalester International, a publication of liberal arts education and internationalism. A Fulbright Fellow, he has been awarded grants by The Ford Foundation, The Mellon Foundation, The United States Institute for Peace, The Henrich Boll Foundation, and the Minneapolis and St. Paul Foundations. His research in progress is a commissioned article, ” Development, Democracy, and Leadership: The Somali experience, “for the 2015 African Studies Association, San Diego, California, USA. Prof. Samatar was a candidate for the Presidency of Somalia in 2012.