Journey to Somaliland’s Independence – Part One Archive

Source: The New York Times
On October 18, 1949, The New York Times reported a significant milestone in the journey towards Somaliland’s independence. The United Nations Political and Security Subcommittee endorsed a United States proposal advocating for the freedom of Italian Somaliland by 1959. This proposal aimed to grant liberty to the former Italian colony, stipulating a ten-year timeline for achieving self-governance. The vote was a decisive 15 to 3, with the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and Poland opposing the motion due to their concerns about the region’s stability and strategic interests. At the same time, France, India, and Pakistan abstained.
Dr. Philip C. Jessup, the United States representative, played a cruwas crucial role in recommending the United States proposal. He emphasized the necessity of setting a definitive timeline for independence, countering opposition led by the Soviet and Polish representatives. Despite the heated debates, the endorsement marked a crucial step towards Somaliland’s self-determination.

Source: The New York Times
Three years later, on February 9, 1952, The New York Times reported another pivotal development. A #UN. mission to Italian Somaliland underscored the urgent need for establishing democratic institutions as a foundation for self-governance. With these reforms, the mission highlighted that Somaliland would only be ready for its planned independence in 1960.
The report highlighted significant challenges, including the need for a representative territorial council and inadequate legislative powers. The mission members called for comprehensive political and economic reforms to ensure a successful transition to independence. This included a robust plan for economic development to support the 1.2 million inhabitants of Somaliland.

3. FREEDOM DATES URGED – December 6, 1957
Source: The New York Times
On December 6, 1957, The New York Times covered the U.N. General Assembly’s Trusteeship Committee’s call for setting clear goals for trust territories’ independence. The resolution, adopted despite British opposition, urged administering powers to announce timelines for when these territories could expect independence.
The resolution aimed to provide a framework for increasing degrees of self-government, emphasizing the need for economic development measures in Somaliland under the Italian administration. The vote on this resolution was 44 to 15, with 12 abstentions, reflecting a robust international push towards decolonization.

4. Somali Delegation in London – May 1, 1960
Source: The New York Times
As the target date for independence approached, The New York Times reported on May 1, 1960, that a Somali delegation had arrived in London for crucial talks led by Mohammed Ibrahim Egal, British Somaliland’s Minister of Local Government, the six-man delegation engaged in discussions with Colonial Secretary Iain Macleod to finalize the terms of independence.
These negotiations were critical in ensuring a smooth transition to self-rule, aligning the Somali people’s aspirations with the #British government’s administrative processes. The talks highlighted the determination and preparedness of Somaliland’s leaders to achieve full sovereignty.

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