Embassy of Somalia held a reception to commemorate the country’s 59th Independence and Unification Days. Members of the diplomatic corps, government officials, members of the Somali community in Kuwait and media personnel attended the event.

In his address to the gathering, the Somali Ambassador to Kuwait H.E. Abdullahi Mohammed Odowa revealed some historical background on the Somalia Independence Day celebrations. He said, “Every year, the people of Somalia hold a week-long Independence Day Festival, as three significant events took place in the last week of colonial rule in the Somali territories in the Horn of Africa.”

He elaborated by saying, “First, on 26 June 1960, former British Somaliland got its independence from Great Britain. Four days later, on 1 July 1960, the former Italian Somaliland got its independence from Italy. And, finally, again on 1 July 1960, the British and Italian Somali colonies united to form the Republic of Somalia.” “After 59 years of Independence, the Somali experience shows mixed results of success and challenges concerning state-building endeavors,” the Somali ambassador noted, “In the first nine years following independence, Somalia was one of the first countries in Africa to successfully establish a vibrant multi-party democracy and the rule of law. Unfortunately, the military coup in October 1969 and subsequent years of military rule and dictatorship resulted in a civil war and state collapse in the country. However, after years of national reconciliation efforts, and to address the grievances of different regions and districts across the country, the Somali people have opted to adopt a federal system of government, and as a result, the country was renamed as Federal Government of Somalia.”

Speaking about the advantages that his country and people present, Ambassador Odowa said, “Somalia is endowed with enormous economic potential of untapped natural resources and an essentially strategic geopolitical location on the Gulf of Aden, which includes one of the longest coastlines of mainland Africa, In addition, there is a large population of the Somali diaspora in almost all parts of the world, including North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Middle East and Africa. The future of Somalia is one full of hope and brightness.”

Expressing praise for his countrymen and their contributions to the development of Kuwait, their second-home, the ambassador said, “The Somali community in Kuwait is one of the oldest communities in the country with the first members of the community arriving here in the late 1940 and 1950.

However, the majority of Somali families and experts arrived here in the late 20th century. “Since then, the Somali community has been part of the magnificent transformation and development that has taken place in Kuwait under the leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.” “It is important to note that two brotherly communities of Kuwait and Somalia share many cultural and traditional norms in common, which is why Kuwait has become home far from home for many Somalis who are born and educated in Kuwait,” he stressed.

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