Maxamuud Xarbi (Mahmoud Harbi) was a prominent Pan-Somalist who actively campaigned to see the five territories of Somalia united. He often locked heads with the French authorities in what was then known as French Somaliland after he accused them of vote rigging a referendum in 1958 for French Somaliland to join the Somali Republic. Refusing to recognise the results; he was exiled to Egypt where he continued his Pan-Somali campaign.
He was killed in a plane accident — though foul play by the French gov has been alleged — in October 1960. See below a speech he delivered on 26 May, 1960:
“Peace be with you, Somali brethren, people of my race, wherever you are. I would like you to listen to me today because I have been away on a mission to serve our common cause — the unity and the solidarity of our people — and I should like tell you something about my tour. As you all know, I was in Mogadishu for a year and I have met with brotherly hospitality and found the people of good heart. However, our struggle needs not only fighting inside the homeland, but it must be waged outside also. I have travelled abroad to spread the news about the situation in our homeland and how imperialism partitioned us and made it known in African and European countries, and I thank God that today our cause is better understood.
Many people do not believe that the Somali people will attain freedom, become independent and have their own flag. Many others do not believe that the Somalis will be united, but in my opinion there is no force to stop a sun that has already risen.
Today, we have a flag of our own, raised like any other country. Today we are a people who have our own state and cannot be called French slaves or British slaves or Italian slaves or the slaves of other people. Today we are a Somali people and have a Somali state.
I also think that others are aware that Somali unity and independence have become a fact, that there is no doubt in the unity of our homeland though it has been partitioned. I have no doubt about this, nor did I have any in the past, nor will I have any in the future. However, before I talk to you about my tour, I would like to tell any Somali who had any doubt about this to dispel it; the two main parts of Somaliland have have become united, but the road ahead is still long and difficult. I would like to address the the Somali people and in particular .those in Djibouti, and say: Ponder on what will happen tomorrow in Loyada. We have been overtaken by other Somalis and we have not contributed anything to the Somali cause.
What are we waiting for? Furthermore, while the situation was thus, two governments have concluded an agreement on our homeland, and soon you will find in Djibouti men who have been brought over to control it. Youth of Djibouti, what will you do about this? I will not broadcast from here the other things you have done, for I know them all I know that many camels have fallen over but that is not enough. I would like to tell you that France does not give freedom to peoples easily. De Gaulle has said: “Djibouti will remain French.” But we say: Djibouti is a Somali territory!”