Somalia marks National Youth Day with calls to

reject extremism
15 May 2016 - Somalia marked its National Youth Day on
Sunday with renewed calls to youth to reject extremism.
In Baidoa, the Interim South West Administration (ISWA)
President Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan cautioned youths
against religious fundamentalism and radical ideologies.
“ May 15 is a significant date in Somalia’s history. It shows
youth are capable of initiating positive change. I appeal to
all Somali youth, especially those in Southwest State, to
embrace state development and reject radical ideologies.
Your community and your country depend on you,” he
stated in his address.
Somali National Youth Day is commemorated every year
on 15 May in remembrance of the youths who founded the
Somali Youth League in 1943 to campaign for the
country’s independence.
ISWA Minister of Youth and Sports Abdullahi Abdi Omar
Fanah announced plans to offer vocational training
courses to at least 300 young people in Baidoa and
establish adult learning centers for older Somalis.
The Head of the UNSOM Office in Baidoa Vikram Parekh
emphasized the importance of youth participation in the
country’s political process. He noted that 2016 presents a
unique opportunity for Somali youths to actively
participate in the election of a new federal parliament and
also contribute their views on the new National
Development Plan.
“Youth need to be engaged in the political processes and
in all aspects of reconstruction of Somalia," he said.
Youth Day celebrations were also held in Kismaayo, where
youths held a procession through the town. The march
was followed by a number of sporting activities that
included women’s basketball, cycling and soccer.

The Jubbaland Second Deputy President Abdulkadir Haji
Mohamud Luga-Dhere presided over the celebrations. He
reaffirmed his government’s commitment to support the
youth. “We are ready to help the youth by providing them
with good education and job opportunities. We are calling
upon them to support the peace and stability that
currently exist in Jubbaland,’’ he said.
A youth leader named Sahra Arte made a passionate plea
to young people to desist from engaging in illegal
activities. “I am calling upon the youths to rebuild the
country and stop the fighting. We also appeal to the UN
and other international organizations to help stop young
Somalis from taking the treacherous journeys in the sea,
by finding them jobs,” pleaded Sahra.
Somalis who are under the age of 35 make up an
estimated 70-percent of the country’s population. But
recent statistics indicate that the country’s high rate of
unemployment is driving many of them to migrate illegally
to foreign countries or turn towards radical politics and
organizations.
END