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64 Years Strong: Somalia’s Journey to Independence and a Brighter Future



By: Libaan Hassan

As we mark the culmination of the “Independence Week” to celebrate our Independence Day on the 1st of July, popularly known as “Kowda Luulyo,” this historic day present us with yet another golden opportunity for all Somalis—whether living in the country or living abroad—to reflect on our incredible journey towards freedom and envision the future we aspire to build together.

Marking the Independence Day holds a special significance in our nation’s history. It was the moment 64 years ago when, with a strong demonstration of unity, we come together as a nation and asserted our right to self-determination; casting off the chains of colonialism and charting our course as a sovereign state. The Northern region—colonized by the British, and the Southern regions occupied by the Italians—-came together to celebrate a unity that defines our unwavering resilience and collective sacrifices, a legacy we proudly inherited from our freedom fighters and held in high regards by the generations that followed.

As a country, we have faced and overcame a myriad of formidable challenges over the years including political instability, economic hardship, and the threat of extremism. However, one of the most critical battles we fought in recent times is the fight against Al-Shabaab, whose presence has inflicted unprecedented suffering on our people and hindered our progress.

Through concerted efforts, our military forces, supported by self-driven and highly motivated local armed forces, have made significant strides in reclaiming a vast territory once held by the terror group. Their bravery and commitment have been instrumental in liberating these areas and restoring hope to our citizens.

Following 15 years of continued terror perpetrated by the Horn of Africa’s most vicious terror organization, mainly in Galmudug and Middle Shabelle regions, we owe a debt of gratitude, first to our President Dr Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who declared the war against the group— just less than three months after his historical re-election as the President following the elections held in May 2022.

We also have to thank our military forces and the clan militias who united in the fight against extremism.

Their sacrifices and perseverance have secured strategic victories and paved the way for peace and stability in these liberated regions. Together, they have demonstrated the power of unity and collaboration in overcoming shared challenges.

In addition to the military successes, Somalia has made significant strides in regional integration and international cooperation. Our progress towards joining the East African Community (EAC) signifies our commitment to fostering economic development and regional stability.

The recent lifting of the arms embargo and debt relief initiatives further prove our determination to build a secure and prosperous future for all Somalis.

Furthermore, the completion of the constitution represents a crucial step towards establishing a governance framework that upholds all citizens’ rights and aspirations.
Today, as we celebrate our hard-earned independence, let us renew our commitment to building a nation where justice, equality, and opportunity are aspirations and everyday realities for every Somali. Let us honour our past by embracing the present with determination and looking to the future with optimism.
On this Independence Week, let us renew our dedication to building a nation where every Somali can live with dignity and hope.

Let us harness the spirit of unity that brought us independence to tackle our shared challenges and seize the opportunities ahead. Together, we can forge a brighter future for Somalia—a future built on peace, progress, and the unbreakable spirit of its people.
As we celebrate “1-da Luulyo,” let us reflect on our past with pride, embrace the present with determination, and look to the future with optimism. Happy Independence week to all Somalis, at home and abroad!

Together, we can forge a brighter tomorrow—a Somalia built on peace, progress, and the unbreakable spirit of its people.

Libaan Ahmed Hassan is a businessman and a politician. He’s also served the Somali government in various roles. 


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