Hargeisa, Jun 29, 2009 (Somalilandcurrent) — World refugee day took place in Somaliland on June 20th at the Ethiopian refugee center. The celebration proceedings were opened by Somaliland Vice Minister of Resettlement, Mr Abdilhamid Garad who said, “I am happy to be with you on this occasion, this is not the first time I participate in these festivities, I have taken part in your celebrations on two previous occasions and I am hoping it will be as interesting and wonderful as the last.”
Ministers, officials from UNHCR and other international NGOs as well as ordinary citizens enjoyed songs, dances and cuisines by Ethiopia’s various ethnic groups who reside in Somaliland.
The head of UNHCR, Mr Abdoulaye Barry, gave a long speech in which he talked among other things about what the UNHCR does to help the refugees. He also revealed that the UNHCR has appealed to other countries to accept the refugees in Somalialnd in their own countries.
Certificates were awarded to number of winners from competitions in tennis and basketball games.
A Large number of refugees from Ethiopia live in Somaliland mainly from the Oromo ethnic group. Many of these groups bring with them rich art from Ethiopia’s diverse culture including hand-crafted, handwoven baskets with vibrant colors of rust, hunter green, cobalt blue, and golden yellow. The Harari women are among the best known for their common-looking grass baskets.