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Welsh Somalilanders mark 33rd National Day with Cardiff celebrations

19 May 2024 3 minute read
The Welsh Somaliland community has commemorated the National Day of the Republic of Somaliland this weekend

The Welsh Somaliland community has commemorated the 33rd National Day of the Republic of Somaliland with a series of events in Cardiff this weekend.

Wales is home to one of the largest and most established Somaliland communities in the UK, with a history dating back to the 1800s.

This weekend’s celebrations commenced on Saturday (18 May) with the ceremonial raising of the Somaliland flag at Cardiff Castle on the corner bastion.

Cardiff Castle illuminated in the colours of the flag of Somaliland

Subsequently, the community convened for a Family Fun Day and Celebration at the Grange Pavilion  for an afternoon of guest speakers and local leaders sharing messages of solidarity and praise for Somaliland’s achievements as a beacon of peace.

National colours

This was followed by the illumination of the castle walls in green, white and red, the national colours of the Republic of Somaliland.

The Wales Millennium Centre also joined the celebrations by lighting its inscription lights in the colours of the Somaliland flag.

National Day celebrations in Hargeisa

In Somaliland the capital city, Hargeisa was at the center of festivities, with the streets adorned with the Somaliland flag’s red, white, and green, and public squares filled with music, traditional dances, and speeches.

President Muse Bihi Abdi addressed the nation, emphasising the progress made over the past three decades and the aspirations for future development.

“Today, we celebrate not just our independence but our unwavering spirit and collective achievements. Despite the challenges, we have shown the world that Somaliland is a beacon of peace and democracy in the Horn of Africa,”  he said.

Memorandum of Understanding

Somaliland recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ethiopia, which has intensified calls for the United Kingdom and other countries to follow suit and formally recognise the nation.

Mr. Ali Abdi BEM, Executive Member of the 18 May Preparation Committee with the Wales Somaliland Community, said: “Wales has for a long time welcomed Somalilanders, and we have contributed much to the landscape.

“This year’s celebrations have raised the bar with such remarkable events and displays, which send a strong message to Somaliland that Wales recognises how far they’ve come and supports their pursuit of recognition.”

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