Somalilanders in Edmonton hope to celebrate a big anniversary in a big way once COVID-19 restrictions have lifted.
Somaliland, a self-declared state on the Horn of Africa, declared independence from Somalia on May 18, 1991, 30 years ago. While considered part of Somali by most of the international community, the region has its own money, elections and judiciary.
Immigrants to Edmonton from the region typically celebrate Somaliland Independence with lavish parties, but have been stymied the last two years because of the pandemic.
Abdullahi Mohamed, a community event organizer, DJ and soccer coach known as Captain Abdul, said the community plans to celebrate the milestone on Aug. 28. Mohamed was born in the Somaliland capital of Hargeisa but has been an Edmonton resident for decades.
“This one was a big one,” he said of the anniversary. He said organizers are going ahead with a celebration this year and are hoping to have an even larger event next year.
“The country’s doing really well,” he added, noting municipal and parliamentary elections were recently held.
The plan is to hold the event at St. John’s Cultural Centre, 10611 110 Ave.