British Somalia and French Somalia

British Somalia and French Somalia

British Somalia (Somaliland). – The territory of Somaliland remained under British military administration until 1948, when it returned to the control of the Colonial Office. In February 1955 the wooded area (haùd in Somali) next to the border (about 25,000 km 2) which had passed under the direct government of British authority since 1941 as a consequence of the 1940-45 war was returned to Ethiopia. On that occasion, moreover, the area corresponding to the border section between the intersection of 8 ° lat. N with the 47th and 48th long. E, which had previously been formally recognized as part of ex-Italian Somalia by the Italian-English agreement of 1931.

According to maternitytips, the decisions for the preparation of the ex-Italian Somalia to independence within a short time induced the British government to accelerate the measures for the gradual emancipation of the territory under its mandate towards forms of autonomous political life.

In 1947 the Protectorate Advisory Council was formed to assist the governor in matters of local administration. Local Government Councils were established in the municipal administrations of Hargesia and Berbera in 1953, followed by others. Under the new administrative order of 1955 (Somaliland [Constitution] Order-in-Council), a 14-member Legislative Council and an Executive Council were established in 1957, chaired by the governor and composed of administrative officials. Having decided on the wider participation of the residents in the government, the majority (12) of the members of the Legislative Council (now raised to 29 seats, the most held by government officials) of non-governmental membership were elected by direct and general votes, reserved for males, in the cities and by “acclamation” out. Following the proposals of a committee for the constitution (1959), with new elections, reserved for all the males of the territory (February 1960), the Legislative Council was constituted with 33 elected members and 3 by right; the Executive Council, moreover, was composed of seven ministers, three of law and 4 Somalis (two of the Somaliland National League and two of the United Somali Party, v. beyond), appointed by the governor, who presided over it.

In consideration of the more demanding tasks that Somalis would have faced with the broadest and most responsible participation in the European political order of their territory, the British side had also taken steps to increase their chances of school education. The intervention in the political activity of opinion, on the other hand, had been developing with the formation of political parties, of which the most vigorous in terms of number of adherents and promptness of action was the Somaliland National League, with aims and methods very close to those of the Somali Youth League of Somalia. The party was formed in 1951 and the majority of its members belonged to the Somali Isp̀q branch, to which were added, in a smaller number, Dārṅd and Dir. This party received the majority of the votes in the elections of February 1960 and therefore that of the seats on the Legislative Council. At a distance came the other two parties, United Somali Party and National United Front.

As established with the London agreement of May 1960 between the British government and representatives of the Somaliland Protectorate, its independence was proclaimed on June 26, 1960. It is estimated that Somaliland had around 650,000 residents in 1960. The economic conditions of the territory have not undergone substantial changes compared to the past.

French Somalia (Br. Côte Française des Somalis). – As in the past, the life of this territory, which counts 67,300 residents (estimate 1959), is practically added to the only urban center, eminently commercial, of Djibouti (31,300 residents).

In 1945 the “Conseil représentatif de la Côte Française des Somalis et dépendances” was established, divided into two equivalent parts, one comprising representatives of Europeans (French) and the other of Somalis, Dancali and Arabs, partly elected by ethnic groups interested, in part by governorial appointment; in all 20 members, which have become 25 since 1950, twelve metropolitan and thirteen local. all elected. From this council a representative was appointed to the Council of the French Republic and one to the Assembly of the French Union. Metropolitan and indigenous people then elected a deputy for the French National Assembly. In 1957, following the emanation in France of the “loi-cadre” which granted autonomy of internal government, a Territorial Assembly was created, elected today by universal suffrage (32 members), which replaced the Lonseil représentatif; a Conseil de Gouvernement was established for executive functions, made up of ministers (one of which is European), chaired by the governor of the territory. This is divided into four administrative districts (since 1949). The territory is represented today by a deputy and a senator in the metropolitan assemblies.

A notable political party is the Union Républicaine, now called the Union démocratique des Somalis, in favor of the principles of union of all Somalis in a single independent state. The Somalis of the interior, however, are indifferent to that irredentism, made moreover very problematic for the territory due to the presence, in significant numbers of the Dancals. traditional enemies of the Somalis, and by the opposition of the French authorities themselves.

Having approved the new French constitution (28 September 1958), the Côte F. des Somalia decided (11 December 1958) to keep its status as an overseas territory.

French Somalia

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