Somalia’s breakaway Somaliland declared that it has canceled this year’s celebrations of the day the region declared independence from the rest of Somalia, Somaliland Information Minister said.
According to Osman Abdullahi Sahardid, Somaliland authorities decided to cancel all planned activities of 18th May Day due to the severe drought affecting and risking the lives of millions of people in the country.
“We have planned to combine our efforts and resources for the assistance of the drought victims.” He said.
He called Somaliland Diaspora community in overseas to also follow the same and make fundraising events to help contribute to the ongoing drought aid activities instead of celebration gatherings.
Earlier Somali update Online reporter said there were calls from local elders and politicians demanding the cancellation of the 18th May event which the leaders in Somaliland to highlight their political achievements and woo international recognition for the unrecognized region.
Somaliland declared to have broken away from the rest of Somalia in 1992 following the collapse of Somali military rule in Mogadishu, but have not yet received international recognition.
According to the United Nations, the current drought has affected about 6.2 million Somalis across the country representing more than half of the population in need for urgent food aid. Somaliland and Puntland are among the severely drought-hit regions in the country.
In late April, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordination Office (OCHA) warned that the humanitarian situation in Somalia could deteriorate as the possibility of famine persists.
In another worrying news, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday the projected number of children in the country who are or will be acutely malnourished has shot up by 50 per cent since the beginning of the year to 1.4 million, including over 275,000 who have or will suffer life-threatening severe acute malnutrition in 2017.
Severely malnourished children are nine times more likely to die of killer diseases like cholera / acute watery diarrhea and measles, which are spreading. During the 2011 famine in Somalia that killed an estimated 260,000 – over half of them young children – the main causes of death among children were diarrhea and measles.
Source: Somali update