History of Somaliland Diaspora abroad
A nation’s Diaspora is a national of that country emigrated to overseas for diversified purposes and permanently resident in a foreign country. Such emigrants are sometimes citizenship owners in the respective host countries or are asylum seekers looking after better life. In many ways, migrants and Diaspora are seen as possible agents of development and change who not only remit money to their countries of origin but also transfer ideas of political, social and cultural aspects. Through experience, the significant roles of different Diasporas have been noted in reconstructing of their native countries.
Somaliland Diaspora is roughly estimated over 600,000 populations mainly living in the Western Europe, North America, Middle East, Africa and Australia. The history of Somaliland Diaspora is mainly marked by three important causes starting from the colonial era and end and early nineteenth and twenty centuries respectively. The first Somalilanders who went to Europe were the seamen working on ships and they particularly entered and settled UK in early nineteenth century and at that same time there were people who were travelling to the Arabian Gulf countries and other Arab and African countries for religious studies, other education and business purposes. The first emigrant Somalilanders settled UK in 1880s and ever linked to their hometowns as their descendents currently resident in the major UK port cities, London, Cardiff and Liverpool. The second group has been among the labor force in 1970-80s attracted by the Gulf Oil Exploration mostly through Yemen. Within the same decades 1970s-1980s, many Somalilanders including students, diplomats and politicians emigrated from the political marginalization of the collapsed Regime Siyad Barre and were hosted by foreign countries mostly in Europe, America and some Arabian countries.
The third and the majority of Somalilanders emigrated to abroad within 1980-91 following the massive destruction and devastation of SIyad Barre Regime when Hargeisa and the major cities and towns of Somaliland were bombed and ruined to the ground and SNM; and the independence regaining movement SNM started the fight inside the country. Somailand Diaspora was not only the founders of SNM in April 1981 in East London but also the backbone of the movement in terms of financial resources and politics.
The emigration still continued mostly through the sponsorships of their relatives abroad and in clandestine channels within the last couple decades even after regaining Somaliland independence, the peace and the government order established but on the contrary the Diaspora return, remittance and engagement greatly contributed to reconstruction, rebuilding economic, political and social improvements.