More than two decades after reclaiming its sovereignty and independence, Somaliland continues to march forward.
The memories of the disastrous "union" with Somalia fade with each passing year and so they should, for they brought forth nothing but neglect, prosecution and finally destruction.
A new generation of Somalilanders have come of age, free, confident, proud and raring to take the reins of leadership in their country.
Somaliland has finally began to realise its potential. The nation is democratic with national institutions, a flourishing economy and basic services are being delivered. We have come a long way, but there is still so much more to achieve.
With the winning formula of dialogue, discussion and consensus (without external influence or intrusion) still working, we have given terrorism and piracy short shrift.
We have secured our own borders and resolve any internal problems with the unique Somaliland formula, inclusion, tolerance and above adherence to the tenets of democracy.
With each passing year the fulfillment of Somalilanders' aspirations continue unabated.
But, with all these remarkable achievements, we must not become complacent. The people of Somaliland must remain vigilant and united against the forces of individualistic ambitions.
There are among us those who enjoy the fruits of Somaliland’s peace, democracy and progress, yet yearn for the defunct "union."
But, they should know that in the land of freedom and democracy, the majority is always right.The wishes of the minority shall be acknowledged and respected, but as long as the majority of Somalilanders, irrespective of community, social and economic ties wish to be an independent and sovereign nation; by the beneficence and mercy of Allahu Suxbaana Wa Tacaala, this shall be.
There is strength in unity and for over two decades we have remained strong. We must not weaken when the ultimate goal is close at hand.
The monumental mistake of 1960 has been corrected, at a terrible price and shall never be repeated. But, we must not settle for a compromise. We must fulfill our destiny as an independent and sovereign state.
After 22 years of progress and development, the child has become an adult ready to take control of his/her own destiny; unafraid, ambitious and above all, a free Somalilander.
By Ahmed Kheyre