Somalia and the big dream Somalia and the big dream

Somalia and the big dream

Somalia and the big dream

Five days after Somaliland gained independence from Britain, it voluntarily merged with the State of Somalia into one state on July 1, 1960, temporarily ending the borders drawn by the British and Italians.

The region that currently includes Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea is called the Horn of Africa, also known as the Somali Peninsula, and is the fourth largest peninsula in the world.

The Somaliland region had been under British protection since 1884, and was administered from Aden and administratively subordinate to British India, while the Italians had imposed their control over the other part of Somalia in the 1880s. For a short period between 1940 and 1941, the Italians seized that territory from the British.

The colonial period ended and the Somali Republic was formed on July 1, 1960. The next development occurred in 1969 with the arrival of General Mohamed Siad Barre to power in a military coup.

Barre gathered all powers in his grip and wanted to build "socialism" and decided to expand his country by adopting the idea of ​​Greater Somalia and annexing the Ogaden region in Ethiopia, where residents of Somali origin live, and similar regions belonging to Djibouti and Kenya.

 The Ogaden War with Ethiopia broke out in July 1977 and ended the following year with the Somali army losing all the territory it had managed to control. This losing war had serious repercussions for the future of Siad Barre and the future of Somalia as a whole.

Internally, the policies of repression and tyranny practiced by the regime of General Mohamed Siad Barre led to the emergence of armed factions rebelling against the central authority by the mid-1980s in more than one region, especially in Somaliland (formerly British Somalia). These armed factions received support from Ethiopia.

The city of Hargeisa in Somaliland has been a major stronghold of the opposition Somali National Movement since 1988. Somali army forces led by Barre's son-in-law, General Mohamed Morgan, have violently bombarded the city, killing an estimated 50,000 people.

General Mohamed Siad Barre's project failed and a civil war broke out in Somalia in 1991, resulting in the overthrow of his regime and the disintegration of the Somali army, sending the country into complete chaos and successive waves of violence.

In that year, Somaliland declared its secession, and it remains so to this day, despite the fact that no country recognizes it, except for the memorandum of understanding signed with Ethiopia on January 1, 2024, which stipulated that Addis Ababa recognize the secession of the region in exchange for granting it the right to access the Red Sea through the port of Berbera.

Western media have described Somaliland as a "non-existent country", although it is an independent entity with an army and security forces, it is a state declared by only one party.

Somaliland insists on its independence, and its leaders demand international recognition, in contrast to the second entity, Puntland, which enjoys autonomy but does not formally seek secession.

Western media outlets believe that the internationally unrecognized state of Somaliland is more stable than its two neighbors, noting that it has managed to eliminate piracy off its shores and prevented the Al-Shabaab movement from spreading its influence within its borders.

In contrast, Somalia firmly rejects calls for secession and insists on restoring its territorial integrity and the return of the regions of Somaliland and Puntland to it.

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