Somalia marked the 57 years of independence and the birth of the Republic of Somalia after former British Somaliland Protectorate and the Southern Somalia under Italian rule merged on July 1, 1960.

The celebrations began on Friday night with a ceremony at the headquarters of the municipal council in the capital Mogadishu.

Somali President Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed Farmajo, Prime Minister Hasan Ali Khayre, Deputy Prime Minister, Parliament leadership, government officials, diplomats and members of the civil society have participated the colorful event.

During the event, Somali President, Prime Minister and notable Somali figures addressed the crowd about country’s course for independence.

The Mayor of Mogadishu, Thabit Abdi Mohamed highlighted on Somalia’s challenges, mainly insecurity and noted the current administration has placed much stress to fight extremist groups.

Second Deputy Parliament Speaker, Mahad Awad said that Somali people have paramount responsibility to protect their country from any harms that could effect the stability and must push back against al-Shabaab group.

In the end, Somali President Farmajo congratulated the Somali people for the independence day and revealed that his government will rename government buildings in memory of the notable heroes and people who fought for the country.

The Somali flag, with its distinctive five-point white star on a blue background, was raised at midnight to mark the occasion.