Our VoiceNews & Politics

Somalis in Minnesota Celebrate 50 Years of Independence

Garat Ibrahim • Jul 06, 2010

Somalis in Minnesota marked the 50th anniversary of the Somali Independence Day on Thursday at Saint Cloud’s State University Hall. Hundreds of Somalis and their friends gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary. In 2007, Ghana became the first African country to celebrate fifty years of independence from European colonial rule .This year sees several African countries celebrating half centuries of independence - the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mali, Niger and a couple more.

Several parts of Somalia gained independence from different colonial powers on or around July 1, 1960: former Italian Somaliland gained independence from Italy and British Somaliland gained independence on the 26th of June from Great Britain. July 1 the Republic of Somali was formed when the North and the South merged as one nation.

The lead organizer of the anniversary event, Abdirahman, the present chairman of Somali Elders Council, was very happy to see that everything went as planned and he was delighted that so many came to celebrate.

In attendance were state and city officials, and people from different fabrics of the community who have provided for the Somali community in Central Minnesota, including the president of the University of Saint Cloud.

Two Somalis who are running for the school board in Saint Cloud gave brief comments about their candidacy and how important it is for the community to participate in the upcoming election.

Mohamed Yusuf, a program manager at Lutheran social services, says he remembers growing up in peaceful Somalia and that this day is very beautiful to him because it symbolizes celebrating independence from the colonialist powers.
Despite gaining Independence from the Italian and the British colonial powers fifty years ago, Somalia has only celebrated 30 years of freedom. For the last twenty years Somalia has been without a central government and over the years it’s been considered at the top of failed states in modern day history.

But many hope that things will change one day and they look forward celebrating a peaceful Somalia again.

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