Somali Youth League


Somali Youth League

The Somali Youth League (SYL) was the first political party of Somalia. It played a key role in Somalia's road to independence during the 50's and 60's.

During the Second World War, Britain occupied the Italian Somaliland and administered the territory from 1941 to 1950. It was during this period (1943) that the Somali Youth League (SYL), was formed. SYL succeeded in uniting all Somali clans under its flag and led the country to independence. Faced with growing Italian political pressure, inimical to continued British tenure and to Somali aspirations for independence, the Somalis and the British came to see each other as allies. The situation prompted British colonial officials to encourage the Somalis to organize politically; the result was the first modern Somali political party, the Somali Youth Club (SYC), established in Mogadishu in 1943.

To empower the new party, the British allowed the better educated police and civil servants to join it. In 1947, it renamed itself the Somali Youth League (SYL) and began to open offices not only in the two British-run Somalilands but also in the Ogaden and in the Northern Frontier District. The SYL's stated objectives were to unify all Somali territories, including the NFD and the Ogaden; to create opportunities for universal modern education; to develop the Somali language by a standard national orthography; to safeguard Somali interests; and to oppose the restoration of Italian rule. SYL policy banned clannishness so that the thirteen founding members, although representing four of Somalia's six major clans, refused to disclose their clan affiliations. Although the SYL enjoyed considerable popular support from northerners, the principal parties in British Somaliland were the Somali National League (SNL), mainly associated with the Isaaq clan-family, and the United Somali Party (USP), which had the support of the Dir (Gadabuursi and Issa) and Darod (Dulbahante and Warsangali) clan-families.

In 1945, the Potsdam conference was held, where it was decided not to return Italian Somaliland to Italy.Federal Research Division, "Somalia: A Country Study", (Kessinger Publishing, LLC: 2004), p.38] The United Nations opted instead in November 1949 to grant Italy trusteeship of Italian Somaliland, but only under close supervision and on the condition -- first proposed by the Somali Youth League (SYL) and other nascent Somali political organizations, such as Hizbia Digil Mirifle Somali (HDMS) (which later became Hizbia Dastur Mustaqbal Somali HDMS) and the Somali National League (SNL), that were then agitating for independence -- that Somalia achieve independence within ten years.Aristide R. Zolberg et al., "Escape from Violence: Conflict and the Refugee Crisis in the Developing World", (Oxford University Press: 1992), p.106] [Henry Louis Gates, "Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience", (Oxford University Press: 1999), p.1749]

British Somaliland remained a protectorate of Britain until June 26 1960, when it became independent. The former Italian Somaliland followed suit five days later. [Encyclopaedia Britannica, "The New Encyclopaedia Britannica", (Encyclopaedia Britannica: 2002), p.835] On July 1, 1960, the two territories united to form the Somali Republic, albeit within boundaries drawn up by Italy and Britain. [ [http://www.worldsat.ca/image_gallery/ngs/ngs_somalia.html The beginning of the Somali nation after independence] ] [ [http://www.buluugleey.com/warkiidanbe/Governance.htm The dawn of the Somali nation-state in 1960] ] [ [http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htwin/articles/20060809.aspx The making of a Somalia state] ] A government was formed by Abdullahi Issa with Aden Abdullah Osman Daar as President, [ [http://www.mudulood.com/PageAadan%20Cabdulle%20Cusman.html Aden Abdullah Osman the founding father] ] [ [http://www.mudulood.com/OpinionPage546.htm The founding father of Somalia] ] [ [http://www.markacadeey.com/june/aden_cadde_20070609_1.htm A tribute to the Somalia founding father, its president in 1960s] ] and Abdirashid Ali Shermarke as Prime Minister, later to become President (from 1967-1969). On July 20, 1961 and through a popular referendum, the Somali people ratified a new constitution, which was first drafted in 1960. [Greystone Press Staff, "The Illustrated Library of The World and Its Peoples: Africa, North and East", (Greystone Press: 1967), p.338]

In the first national elections after independence, held on 30 March 1964, the SYL won an absolute majority of 69 of the 123 parliamentary seats. The remaining seats were divided among 11 parties. Five years from then, in general elections held in March 1969, the ruling SYL, led by Mohammed Ibrahim Egal, was returned to power, but in the same year a military coup took place, putting Siad Barre in power and in October 1969, the Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC) prohibited all political parties.

Political leaders

Presidents
*Aden Abdullah Osman Daar: January 07, 1960 – June 10, 1967 (first President of Somalia)
*Abdirashid Ali Shermarke: June 10, 1967 – October 15, 1969

Prime Ministers
*Abdullahi Isse Mohammed: June 11, 1949 - July 12, 1960 (first Prime Minister of Somalia)
*Abdirashid Ali Shermarke: July 12, 1960 - June 14, 1964
*Abdirizak Haji Hussein: June 14, 1964 - July 15, 1967 (acting to September 27 1964)
*Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal: July 15, 1967 - November 1, 1969

Others
*Haji Dirie Hirsi
*Mohamed Ossoble Adde

Notes

References

*Said S. Samatar (ed.) A Country Study: Somalia, Library of Congress Call Number DT401.5 .S68, 1993 [http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/sotoc.html] / [http://www.country-data.com/frd/cs/sotoc.html#so0023]
*On the founders of SYL (in Somali) [http://www.mudulood.com/PageMudSYL.html]
*SYL Election results: [http://africanelections.tripod.com/so.html] Mohamed Jama

ee also

*History of Somalia


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