Somalia is today marking the 78th anniversary of the formation of Somali Youth League (SYL), a movement which led the country against the colonization.
Founded on 15 May 1943, the SYL became an instrumental organization in Somalia’s push for independence.
In a statement, Somali prime minister Mohamed Hussein Roble has extended congratulatory message on the anniversary of the founding of SYL, to Somali people.
“78 years ago, 13 young Somalis founded the SYL, which played a key role in the struggle to fight for the independence of our country,” the PM said.
Roble expressed his government’s commitment to give priority to youth in developing and strengthening their participation in all walks of life, especially politics and leadership.
“I urge young Somalis, both boys and girls, to play their part, unite and work together to take part in the process to rebuild the nation,” he said.
Being the first Somali owned political party in the horn of Africa nation, it played a key role in the nation’s road to independence during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.
At its foundation in 1943, the party had thirteen founding members with one of its first leaders being Abdulkhadir Sheikh Sakhawudeen. During its early struggle, SYL supported Greater Somalia.
After the country attained its independence from Italy (southern part) and Britain (northern part), SYL took part in the country’s first election held on 30th March 1964, securing majority of the parliamentary seats (69 of the 123 seats).
The next election, which took place in march 1969, the party again succeeded to take control of the power.
But months after the assassination of the then president Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, the military led by leaders of Supreme Revolutionary Council took over the power through bloodless coup.
The military disbanded the parliament and arrested dozens of the party leaders, marking the end of the movement politically.
SYL is annually commemorated in the country with the celebrations being organized throughout the country to honour the members of the movement and their key role in the nation’s path to independence.
More than 70 percent of Somalia’s population is under 30; as a result of the country’s conflict, Somalia’s youth face severe challenges including unemployment and a lack of education.