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May 18, 2017 – Somaliland Independence Day

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my best wishes to members of the Canadian Somaliland community on the occasion of Somaliland Independence Day.

Somaliland, located in the Horn of Africa, asserted its independence as the Republic of Somaliland on May 18, 1991.

Somaliland was a British protectorate from 1884 to June 26, 1960, when it first gained independence. On July 1, 1960, it joined the former Italian Somalia becoming the Somali Republic.  During its formative years, the union functioned well under democratic rule, with the last democratic election being held in 1969.  In the 1970s, the union began to falter following the takeover of the government by a dictatorship.  During the civil war of the 1980s, thousands were massacred, their lands and livelihoods pillaged beyond recognition.

In 1991, after the breakdown of the central government of the Somali Republic, the area formerly known as British Somaliland declared independence.

The Republic of Somaliland is an autonomous region that remains unrecognized by any country or international organization, although many foreign governments maintain informal ties with the state. Somaliland’s emerging democracy combines traditional and western systems of governance.

Our city flourishes because of the diversity of people who have chosen to make Toronto their home. Toronto’s diverse communities share and celebrate their cultures and traditions with residents in every corner of our city.

As a city proud of its multiculturalism, each and every community plays a part in enhancing Toronto’s social and cultural landscape.