Michael Maryano studied enough to qualify for leadership in Aden and the U.K, and nearly 40 years on, he led the agreeable, commonplace life of politics. He justified his election by the extraordinary diplomatic ability he displayed during his mission to London. The ostensible object of this mission was to arrange an amicably certain diplomatic, despite difficulties being created by his opponent parties (SNL and USP) in the country. In the deliberations and discussions of the Somaliland’s independence with the British authority, he played a leading role and defended the interest of his country, with a dexterity, which excited the admiration of his colleagues i.e. Sultan Rashid Sultan Abdullah, and Dube Ali Yare who were the first Somali Landers who accepted the offer of Somaliland’s independence.
Michael Maryano was a man of exceptional intelligence and energy. In addition to his regular functions, his country and his party with much work of a confidential, delicate nature including a mission to London and the subsequent negotiations for the Somaliland independence entrusted him. Michael and his fellow men found impossible to maintain a policy of total ostentation from the affairs of the country.
The party he created NUF, which had objected independence to be forced upon it, were still strong and made overtones for union with the other parties. The determination of Michael Maryano and his team was that, the other parties (SNL and USP) should not close the road of the independence but NUF did not succeed in making themselves masters. One of the main objectives of NUF also was, with a mandate to recover the lost territory of the HOUD and reserved area. The distinction, incidentally, between the HOUD, which was a pastoral area south of the British Somaliland boundary with Ethiopia, and the Reserved Area to the North of Jigjiga. It was required by the British Military Administration after the liberation of Ethiopia to confront the Vichy French government in Djibouti.
It concerned Britain’s withdrawal from the Houd and Reserved Area in 1954, leaving 65,000 square kilometres of pastureland under the sovereignty and jurisdiction of Abyssinia. It was considered by Protectorate Somalis as a betrayal of earlier Anglo-Somali agreements, and acknowledged as such by most of the British officials serving in the protectorate at the time.
He sought to remedy the mistakes, which had been made by the other parties, and in 1958, he submitted a plan of federation between the Somaliland and Somali south. He believed that federation would afford the best solution of most of the difficulties within the country. He used his influence to prevent the acceptance of the union with the other Somalis for at least six to eighteen months but that proposal was lost and his view did not meet with the approval of the other parties-SNL and USP. He believed that Somaliland was not mature enough for unification educationally, economically, socially and politically. Somaliland could not, it was thought, manage their own affairs after only a decade of experience. Conventional wisdom spoke of thirty years, at least, before Somaliland could be ready for self-government, given its relative ‘underdevelopment’ compared with other British dependencies of the time. Disastrously, the new federal constitution was weighed heavily in favour of the south of Somalia. However, no one forecast disaster at the time, although like everything else, the constitution was in a desperate expedient. His effort was to promote good government in Somalia receiving unexpected help in consequence of the extraordinary delusion among the people.
In 1950s, A special Branch file on Michael Maryano, for example, carried the stigma of communism for which there was not an iota of evidence, and in 1953 a British administrative officer reviewing the contents of the file, was enraged by this unjustified slur. He asked Michael to witness the file’s destruction in brazier.
Michael Miryano was one of the greatest politicians in Somali history.
The party held at 10 Downing Street in London when the British Government officially set up a date for Somaliland’s independence. Michael, Dubbe and the sultans were among the crowd
Written by Qoorcadde and Caynawi Osman
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