SPECIAL PROGRAM: SYL (Somali Youth League) Seattle, Washington SomTV

Posted on 13th May 2014 in Programs


SYL1 7


During the Second World War, Britain occupied Italian Somaliland and militarily administered the territory from 1941 to 1950. Faced with growing Italian political pressure inimical to continued British tenure and Somali aspirations for independence, the Somalis and the British came to see each other as allies. The first modern Somali political party, the Somali Youth Club (SYC), was subsequently established in Mogadishu in 1943.[2]

At its foundation, the party had 13 members: four Darod, three Reer Xamar, three Rahanweyn and one Isaaq. The group’s founding members were significantly influenced by the earlier religious rebellion at the turn of the century of Mohammed Abdullah Hassan (the “Mad Mullah”), including the SYC’s first leader, Yasin Haji Osman Sharmarke.[2] To empower the new party, the better educated police and civil servants were permitted to join it. By 1948, following an official visit to the territory by the Four Power Commission, the SYC was a well-structured political unit,[2] had renamed itself the Somali Youth League (SYL) and began to open offices not only in Italian and British Somaliland, but also in the Ogaden and in the Northern Frontier District (NFD). 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 five 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, and the United Somali Party (USP), which had the support of the Dir (Gadabuursi and Issa) and Darod (Dulbahante and Warsangali) clans. In 1945, the Potsdam conference was held, where it was decided not to return Italian Somaliland to Italy.[3] 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 SYL and other nascent Somali political organizations that were then agitating for independence, such as the Marehan Union Party, Hizbia Digil Mirifle Somali (HDMS) (which later became Hizbia Dastur Mustaqbal Somali) and the SNL—that Somalia achieve independence within ten years.[4][5]

British Somaliland remained a protectorate of Britain until June 26, 1960, when it became independent. The former Italian Somaliland followed suit five days later.[6] On July 1, 1960, the two territories united to form the Somali Republic, albeit within boundaries drawn up by Italy and Britain.[7][8][9] A government was formed by Haji Bashir Ismail Yusuf as the first President of the independent Somali National Assembly, with Aden Abdullah Osman Daar as the first President of the Somali Republic,[10][11][12] 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.[13]

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 returned to power. However, in the same year, then President of Somalia Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke was assassinated. A military coup quickly ensued, with Siad Barre now assuming leadership. Barre’s Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC) subsequently renamed the country the Somali Democratic Republic,[14][15] arrested members of the former government, banned political parties,[16] dissolved the parliament and the Supreme Court, and suspended the constitution

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somali_Youth_League

Founders and leaders[edit]
The following is a list of the SYL’s 13 original founder members, including its first leader Yasin Haji Osman Sharmarke:

Yasin Haji Osman Sharmarke
Mohamed Hirsi Nur (Seyedin)
Haji Mahamed Hussein Mahad
Osman Geedi Rage
Dhere Haji Dhere
Dahir Haji Osman (Dhegaweyne)
Abdulqadir Sakhawadin
Ali Hasan Maslah
Mohamed Ali Nur
Mohamed Farah Hilowle
H. Mohamed Abdullahi Hayesi
Hudow Malin Abdullahi Salah
Mohamed Osman Barbe Bardhere

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