Somaliland’s day of action

The Somaliland community in the UK organised the biggest Somaliland demonstration in the UK on Thursday the 22nd of February 2007. The demonstration held at Whitehall, opposite No 10 Downing street, was organised in support of demonstrations held in all the major cities in Somaliland on January 16th 2007, where hundreds of thousands of Somalilanders gathered together in unity to show their support for the recognition of Somaliland.

The aim of the UK demonstration was to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements that Somaliland has made in the last 16 years, to support the recognition of Somaliland as a sovereign state and to show the love that Somalilanders in the UK have for their beloved country.

The demo started at 12 noon and no words can describe how happy I felt when I saw Somalilander after Somalilander leaving the Westminster Tube station and heading towards Whitehall to take part in the biggest Somaliland demonstration in the UK so far. As they came out of the station some were heading towards the wrong direction but their hearts and minds were fixed to the right cause and came prepared and determined for this big occasion.

With their placards and banners listing the successes of Somaliland, the thousands of Somailanders at the demo and the friends of Somaliland who have joined them spent the day peacefully celebrating the achievements of Somaliland oblivious to the drizzling rain that never ceased throughout the day. The flag of Somaliland was everywhere to see with its beautiful colours attracting the passing crowds; it was even decorated on the faces of many young Somalilanders.

At around 3:45 pm on the day, Alun Michael MP and Kerry McCarthy MP escorted nominated representatives from the UK Somaliland Network to 10 Downing Street to hand a petition signed from the thousands of Somalilanders at the demo in support of the case for the recognition of Somaliland.

Apart from London, the largest crowd who took part in the demo came from Bristol, however at the demonstration evaluation meeting held in West London on Saturday the 3rd of March 07, it was unanimously agreed that Cardiff Somaliland community was the liveliest of all UK regions including London as they lifted the spirit of the demo crowd with their well rehearsed songs.

All in all the success of the February Demonstration is a testimony to the dedication and the commitment of Somalilanders in the UK towards the cause of Somaliland. It is a reflection of the devotion and the willingness of Somalilanders in the diaspora to get involved in activities and events that further the interest of Somaliland. This was a demonstration that was well organised. The Network committee has been planning the event for 8 weeks and the working relations between all the committee members during this period was characterised by high commitment, respect to one another and sincerity for the cause of Somaliland.

The demonstration was spearheaded by a UK Somaliland Network lead by representative of the three Somalilandnational political in the UK. The other members of the network included Somaliland Society UK, Somaliland Focus UK. Democratic Network for Somaliland, SIRAG, NOMAD, HORIZON, Office of the mission of Somalilandin the UKand the Coordinator of the Somalilandcommunities in the Diaspora.

I congratulate all the Somalilanders and friends of Somaliland who took part in this outstanding demonstration or shall I say celebration of the achievement of Somaliland.

Mohamed Omer Maigag – Chair, SSUK & the demo Coordinator