Somalia president back home after a 4-day visit to Uganda
In the northern regions, a former British protectorate got its independence in 1960 but six days later joined the southern Italian protectorate to form the republic of Somalia.
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somalia marks the 61st anniversary of its independence with celebrations held on Friday night at the state palace in Mogadishu, the country's capital under tight security.
Top outgoing leaders, including President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, House speaker Mohamed Mursal, PM Mohamed Hussein Roble, lawmakers, ministers, military, and security chiefs have attended the event to mark the independence of the northern regions from Britain on June 26, 1960.
The independence anniversary celebrations began at midnight at 12:00 A.M. local time with the hoisting of the national flag in parts of the country and in the capital, Mogadishu.
After the flag was raised, celebratory gunshots broke out in Mogadishu and other main cities, including Jowhar, some 90Km north of the capital, where at least two soldiers died in the gunfire, according to the security officials.
PM Roble has sent congratulations to the Northern Regions of Somalia on 26th June, the sixty-one Independence Anniversary, and hopes Somalia in general peace and prosperity in the coming years.
The country will continue the celebrations until the 1st July when the southern regions had gained their independence from Italy on 1st July 1960 and the greater Somalia was born.
The unity broke down in 1991, one year after the civil war flared up and the north made self-proclaimed independence from the rest of the country.
Uganda is the first country sent troops to Somalia in 2007 and has the largest number of soldiers in AU mission battling Al-Shabaab.