Republican Union (French Somaliland)

Republican Union (French Somaliland)

Republican Union ( _fr. Union republicaine) was a political party in French Somaliland. It founded by Mahamoud Harbi Farah, a member of the French National Assembly. The party contested the 1957 territorial assembly election. The party won 61% of the votes in the territory. The party obtained 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. [Laudouze, André. "Djibouti, nation carrefour. Méridiens". Paris: Karthala, 1982. p. 41] The party advocated the unification of all Somali-speaking areas into one state.]

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-Frenh 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. [] [Laudouze, André. "Djibouti, nation carrefour. Méridiens". Paris: Karthala, 1982. p. 44]

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. The leadership of the party was jailed. Harbi himself went into exile in Cairo.

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.

In 1963, former followers of Harbi founded the "Front de Libération de la Côte des Somalis‎". [Laudouze, André. "Djibouti, nation carrefour. Méridiens". Paris: Karthala, 1982. p. 47]


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