Mo Farah’s stunning victory in the European Championship 10,000 metres, his good-humoured sportsmanship and his loyalty to his friend Chris Thompson, should serve to remind us of just what a wonderful contribution refugees have made to this country. Mo came here in 1993 as a nine-year-old refugee from the war-torn hell-hole that was (and is) Mogadishu. Evidently he loves his adopted country, but that doesn’t mean he’s forgotten his roots. On Tuesday night, someone in the Barcelona crowd threw him a Somaliland flag. Somaliland broke away from Somalia in 1991 and is under threat from the fundamentalist thugs of the Islamic Courts Union.
According to the Graun, Mo would seem to be sympathetic to Somaliland and commented, “It’s part of Somalia now trying to be recognised as a republic. They’ve just got a new government. I was chucked the flag and I thought: ‘Yeah, OK.'”
regionally known as
جمهورية أرض الصومال
Jumhūrīyat Arḍ aṣ-Ṣūmāl
Republic of Somaliland
|Motto: لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله (Arabic)
Lā ilāhā illā-llāhu; muhammadun rasūlu-llāhi (transliteration)
“There is no god but God; Muhammad is the Messenger of God”And also:”Justice, Peace, Freedom, Democracy and Success for All”
|Anthem: Sama ku waar|
9°33′N 44°03′E / 9.55°N 44.05°E / 9.55; 44.05
|Official language(s)||Somali, Arabic, English|
|Government||Constitutional presidential republic|
|–||President||Ahmed M. Mahamoud Silanyo|
|Independence||from the United Kingdom & Somalia|
|–||Independence||26 June 1960|
|–||Union with Italian Somaliland as Somalia||1 July 1960|
|–||Withdrawal from Somalia||18 May 1991|
68,000 sq mi
|Currency||Somaliland shilling1 (
|Time zone||EAT (UTC+3)|
|–||Summer (DST)||not observed (UTC+3)|
|Date formats||d/m/yy (AD)|
|Drives on the||right|
|1. Currency only valid for regional purposes.
Rankings may not be available because of its unrecognised de facto state.
Mo may well be asking himself why this outpost of democracy and peace in the region remains unrecognised by the international community, including Britain. You can find out more and join the campaign for recognition of Somaliland here.