Republican Union (French Somaliland)

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Republican Union (French: Union républicaine) was a political party in French Somaliland.

History[edit]

The Republic Union was founded by Mahamoud Harbi Farah, a member of the French National Assembly. The party contested the 1957 territorial assembly election, winning 61% of the vote and all 30 seats in the assembly. After the election Harbi became vice-president of the governing council of the territory. At the time, the party was allied to the African Democratic Rally.[1] The party advocated the unification of all Somali-speaking areas into one state.[2]

Harbi and the Republican Union supported full independence in the 1958 referendum. After the referendum had been held (resulting in a defeat for the pro-independentists), pro-French leader Hassan Gouled called for fresh elections to the territorial assembly. Harbi's government was deposed in a no confidence vote and the assembly was dissolved by the French governor Meker.[2][3][4]

The Republican Union mobilized protests against the dissolution of the territorial assembly. The protests turned violent; riots erupted and several persons died. The party was illegalized, and the party leaders were jailed.[2] Harbi also disappeared from the local political scene,[5] having been exiled to Cairo by the French authorities in 1958.[6] He died in a plane crash two years later under mysterious circumstances.[6][7]

In December 1958, five imprisoned Republican Union leaders were released. The party continued to operate illegally. It had good contacts with the Greater Somalia League.[2]

In 1963, former followers of Harbi founded the Front de Libération de la Côte des Somalis.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Laudouze, André. Djibouti, nation carrefour. Méridiens. Paris: Karthala, 1982. p. 41
  2. ^ a b c d http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=6869920
  3. ^ http://www.uguta.org/100_accueil/2006/06-16/avril06.htm
  4. ^ Laudouze, André. Djibouti, nation carrefour. Méridiens. Paris: Karthala, 1982. p. 44
  5. ^ Jacques Foccart et Ali Aref
  6. ^ a b United States Joint Publications Research Service, Translations on Sub-Saharan Africa, Issues 464-492, (1966), p.24.
  7. ^ Barrington, Lowell, After Independence: Making and Protecting the Nation in Postcolonial and Postcommunist States, (University of Michigan Press: 2006), p.115
  8. ^ Laudouze, André. Djibouti, nation carrefour. Méridiens. Paris: Karthala, 1982. p. 47