Somaliland: The Colony That Rejected Freedom

‘Three days ago, it gained its independence; on Friday, it gives it up again’ Daily Herald Newspaper. June 29th, 1960.

Somaliland, a British colony for nearly 80 years, became independent last Sunday. And on Friday, after four days of freedom, this British outpost will surrender its sovereignty and merge with its sister, Somalia. It has decided not to remain in the Commonwealth. Somaliland, eastern gateway to Dark Africa, was hardly worth a sniff in the world’s press until three days ago. Now it has become an area of historical significance. And the reason is that its merger with Somalia is unique, as Somalia itself is not yet free. Somalia, known as Italian Somaliland, is still technically under UN trusteeship, and becomes formally free only in December.

Under this voluntary union of British Somaliland and Italian Somali Italian Somaliland independence day was scheduled in December 1960 but the Italian Government made an unexpected manoeuvre by declaring on 1st July 1960 Italian Somalia independence.