Somalia’s federal president leads celebrations to commemorate Somali Youth Day

15 May 2017

Somalia’s federal president leads celebrations to commemorate Somali Youth Day

Young Somalis across the country turned out in large numbers today to mark Somali Youth Day, an annual event that signifies the beginning of the struggle for independence by a group of young Somalis, who agitated for self-rule under the banner of the Somali Youth League (SYL).

Founded seventy-four years ago on 15 May 1943, the SYL became an instrumental organization in Somalia’s push for independence.

Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmaajo’ led hundreds of youths in a march through the streets of the capital Mogadishu to the SYL monument, where he laid a wreath in honour of the thirteen founding members of the Somali Youth League.

“We need to learn from them because they shunned clannism and religious extremism and displayed patriotism,” President ‘Farmajo’ said as he paid tribute to the founding members of the SYL.

He urged the youth to emulate their example.

“Their sacrifices united the Somali people, created the country’s flag (symbol of unity), and led to the recognition of Somalia by the international community,” the President noted.

Main activities to mark the day were held at the National Stadium in Banadir, also in the capital, where various youth groups participated.

“The reason we remember the 13 youths who formed the SYL is because they sacrificed their lives for this country. As youths, we need to be prepared to pay the same price for the next generation to enjoy peace and prosperity,” said Abdikaafi Mohamud Makaraan, the Chairperson of Banadir Youth Association.

Sumaya Abulkadir Jimale, a member of the Dhaqan (Traditional) Band, took great delight in the celebrations.

“I came to celebrate SYL Day because Somalia is an independent state as a result of the struggle and patriotism of the Somali Youth League,” she said.

“I would like to appeal to all Somali youths, including those who have lost hope, to regain confidence in their country and collectively build Somalia,” added another youth, Baashi Mohamed Jama.

Celebrations to mark the day were also held in other state capitals.