Journal Article

Imperial Policies and Nationalism in The Decolonization of Somaliland, 1954–1960

Jama Mohamed

in The English Historical Review

Volume 117, issue 474, pages 1177-1203
Published in print November 2002 | ISSN: 0013-8266
Published online November 2002 | e-ISSN: 1477-4534 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehr/117.474.1177
Imperial Policies and Nationalism in The Decolonization of Somaliland, 1954–1960

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The 1897 Anglo‐Ethiopian Treaty and the 1954 Anglo‐Ethiopian Agreement (under which one third of Somaliland – the Haud – was ceded to Ethiopia) were central to the partition and colonization of the Somaliland; they were also crucial to the decolonization of the country. When the 1954 agreement was announced, Somali nationalism became increasing militant: the Somali people organized protests in all the colonial territories; sent delegations to the United Kingdom and the United States to appeal the loss of territories; and threatened to use violence to recover the territories. Cabinet policy was to maintain Somaliland as a protectorate for the foreseeable future for geo‐political reasons: Somaliland was viewed as an important strategic asset in the containment of communism and Egyptian influence. Between 1954 and 1957, the Cabinet sought to manage Somali nationalism in two ways: first, by undertaking various diplomatic initiatives to return the lost territories; and second, by attempting to create ‘greater Somalia’ under the control of a consortium of international powers. When these efforts failed, the Cabinet decided in 1957 to grant Somaliland independence to coincide with the independence of Italian Somalia in 1 July 1960: between 1958 and 1960, Cabinet policy prepared Somaliland for independence and union with Somalia.

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Subjects: British History ; World History ; European History ; International History

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