June 26 – Anniversary of British Somaliland's Independence

Posted on June 26, 2017

There was a British Somaliland and an Italian Somaliland, two neighboring colonies in Africa.

But then there was a World War, and Britain and Italy were enemies. In 1940, Italy invaded British Somaliland. But the Brits not only retook their "own" territory, but all of Italian Somaliland came under British military rule. After the war ended, with Britain and the Allies having defeated fascist Italy and the Axis powers, Britain continued to rule until 1949, when Italian Somaliland became a United Nations trusteeship called the Trust Territory of Somaliland - and guess what? The Trust Territory was back under Italian administration again.

You make ask, what about the Somali people themselves? What were their wishes in all of this?

Like other peoples in the world, Somalians wanted to make their own decisions, rule themselves, enjoy independence. An agreement was reached for independence in a step-by-step process:

On this date in 1960, British Somaliland gained independence from the U.K. It was named the State of Somaliland.

Five days after that, the State of Somaliland united with the Trust Territory of Somaliland. Together, the two formed the brand-new Somali Republic. 

Only five days! Is that the shortest period of time that an independent nation with a particular name and particular borders has lasted?

Not even close! Check out this Wikipedia list of short-lived nations. The shortest life of a nation on this list is just six hours.

What makes Somalia special?


Somalia is the world leader in exporting sheep and goats. It also leads the world in number of domesticated camels. 

(By the way, the U.S.A. leads the world in the number of domesticated dogs AND in the number of domesticated cats.)

Somalia, which lies on the part of Africa called the Horn of Africa, was known to Ancient Egyptians as the Land of Punt, and Put is even mentioned in the Bible.

The ancients valued Somalia for its aromatic trees, which produce frankincense and myrrh. Ancient Romans even called this land Cape Aromatica!

These are grains of frankincense and myrrh gum, NOT
pieces of granola!

The thing that makes landscapes look beautiful to us, often, is water...

But, even though Somalia has the longest coastline in Africa, drinkable water is in seriously short supply there. The current drought is making conditions in the war-torn, famine-prone country even worse.

There was worry that the camels of Somalia couldn't
survive the drought. And if CAMELS cannot survive...

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