Somalia Independence Day is observed annually on June 26. During the 19th century, Britain established a protectorate over a large part of Somalia, and it became known as British Somaliland. In the 1920s, Italy took over the north-eastern sultanates of the country, forming Italian Somaliland. On June 26, 1960, British Somaliland gained independence and became the State of Somaliland. However, only five days later on July 1, the State of Somaliland merged with the Trust Territory of Somaliland to become the Somali Republic.
History of Somalia Independence Day
In 1884, the Berlin Conference took place as European powers began the “Scramble for Africa.” Following the conference, Britain established a protectorate over a large part of Somalia, known as British Somaliland. During the dawn of fascism in the 1920s, Italy took over the north-eastern sultanates of the country, forcing them within the boundaries of La Grande Somalia, which became known as Italian Somaliland. Except in the Benadir territory, Italy only exercised authority under the successive protection treaties and not by direct rule.
On August 3, 1940, Italian troops and colonial Somali units invaded British Somaliland and succeeded in capturing Berbera a few days later. In January 1941, British forces launched a campaign to retake British Somaliland, conquer Italian Somaliland, and liberate Italian-occupied Ethiopia. Following the Second World War, Britain held both British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland as protectorates. However, during the Potsdam Conference of 1945, the United Nations (U.N.) permitted Italy to establish a trusteeship of Italian Somaliland as the Trust Territory of Somaliland.
On June 26, 1960, British Somaliland gained independence and became the State of Somaliland. Five days later, it merged with the Trust Territory of Somaliland to become the Somali Republic. Thus, June 26 of every year is celebrated as Somalia Independence Day while July 1 marks Republic Day in Somalia.
Somalia Independence Day timeline
The Trust Territory of Somaliland is established after the Potsdam Conference.
British Somaliland declares independence and becomes the State of Somaliland, merging with former Italian Somaliland to become the Somali Republic.
Mohamed Siad Barre, also known as Maxamed Siyaad Barre, comes into power and begins his dictatorial rule over the country, which lasts for 22 years until he is overthrown in a bloody guerilla-led civil war.
With the fall of Barre, and a widespread state of lawlessness, a de facto government declares the sovereignty of a Republic of Somaliland in the North of the country.
Somalia Independence Day FAQs
What is Somalia's population?
Somalia has an estimated population of 15 million people.
What are the official languages of Somalia?
The official languages of Somalia are Arabic and Somali.
What is the capital of Somalia?
The capital of Somalia is Mogadishu.
How to Observe Somalia Independence Day
Learn more about Somalia
Somalia is a large nation with a history of civil hostilities that linger till today. Learn more about the African nation through some online research today.
Send good wishes
Share a post on social media wishing Somalis a happy Independence Day. This historical day marks a defining moment in the country's history and deserves to be well-celebrated.
Spread the word
The rest of the world should celebrate with Somalia. Use the hashtags #Somalia and #IndependenceDay to spread the word.
5 Key Facts About Somalia
Somalia is located in the Horn of Africa, sharing borders with Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Kenya.
Somalia is considered Africa's most culturally homogenous country.
About 85% of Somalis are ethnic Somalis who’ve historically lived in the north of the country.
Somalia operates as a federal parliamentary republic.
Somalia covers an area of about 246,201 square miles.
Why Somalia Independence Day is Important
It commemorates independence
Everyone is born with the right to freedom. Likewise, every nation should have the right to self-determination. Somalia Independence Day commemorates this right.
Colonialism was brought to an end
No one deserves to live in subjugation to others. Independence brought an end to colonial rule and some of its attendant problems in Somalia.
It promotes national pride
Celebrating independence promotes feelings of national pride and patriotism. Somalia Independence Day is no exception, as Somalis get the opportunity to celebrate their country.
Somalia Independence Day dates