“This confuses parents whose children fill out the census because they might think that Somali and Somalilander are interchangeable” said Adan Ali, a community worker in West London.
The British Government recognises Somalia as one country with Mogadishu as its capital city. Somalis who identify themselves as Somalilanders claim to belong to Somaliland, a “self-proclaimed republic.”
“Subnational identities such as Somaliland, Puntland, Jubaland, Hirshabelle, Galmudug, and South West State do not constitute citizenship. It like asking a person who identifies his/her country of origin as China whether he/she is a Chinese or Hongkonger” said Faysal Yusuf, a business adviser in London.
“The Census has a built-in predictive software. If you type ‘Somal‘ it gives you two options: “Somali or Somalilander. It’s very confusing” said a person who filled out the census form online.
This article first appeared in the © Puntland Post, 2021 and is republished with permission