independence day

Somalia’s youth: A generation spent dreaming of unity

By Mohamed Sheikh Nor

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Posted on July 3, 2021 09:23

198142525_132286728985191_1599795025346257237_n (1) © Youth at Somalia’s 61st Independence Day 28 June – 1 July 2021. Photo by: Mohamed Sheikh Nor
Youth at Somalia’s 61st Independence Day 28 June – 1 July 2021. Photo by: Mohamed Sheikh Nor

This year, Somalia’s 61st independence day was celebrated over six days. First to commemorate its independence in the northern region from Britain on 26 June, and then again on 1 July to mark the reunification of the Somali republic. The younger generation – people under 30 – make up about 70% of the population today, and they have only ever known a country marked by its scars from war. Do they see a future for Somali?  

This year’s independence celebration was nearly marred by the continued delay of the national elections. But with a new timetable in place, there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

No matter who wins the vote, though, there are major challenges like taking on the Al-Shaabab Islamist rebels, providing security so that millions of refugees and internally displaced people can return home and supporting the economy to create jobs and deliver on development.

Back on track?

Somalia is once again stabilising and Mogadishu is experiencing relative calm after a turbulent start in first four months of 2021. The delayed national elections put the country on edge, and there was fear of a return to civil war.

In Mogadishu, the six-day festivities saw the city turned into a sea of blue, as Somali youth in their thousands were draped in the national flag. The national colours surrounded the Tomb

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