May her soul rest in peace. Haawo Taako
was killed in the morning of January 11, 1948 on the opposite
side of the road where the theater is now, which was where the headquarters of the SYL were locate. The date is very important. It was the turn of the SYL to march on the streets of Mogadishu and show the Four Power Commission their numbers and what they wanted for Somalia. But the Italians in Mogadishu had paid some pro-Italians to disrupt the march (see the British Enquiry).
Early that morning, the provocateurs attacked the headquarters of the SYL with bows and arrows. At the time, Haawo Taako was closing the gate and calling the SYL members outside the gate to get inside because they could not see the attackers who were coming down the hill. As she turned around to get inside with the group and close the gate, an arrow hit Haawo Taako in the chest.
Loud voices of “yaa Soomali ehey” filled the skies. Thousands of SYL members who were based at the Madaxtooyada Hills for the parade roared through the streets of Mogadishu. The provocateurs were chased up the hill and dispersed. Then the British Military Administration intervened and arrested them. They were known.
At the end of the day, 52 Italians and 17 Somalis were killed. Both the Italians and Somalis died of gun shots. The SYL members did not have guns. Most likely, there were some armed people in the fracas, posing as ordinary people who attacked Italian houses and who killed the Italians on purpose. Something similar happened in Eritrea, where 12 Italians were killed.
These riots were the basis for denying the Somali people the right to immediate independence in 1949. The Italians got what they wanted – trusteeship over Southern Somalia for ten years. The Somali people lost the chance to be independent which is what the Ethiopia wanted. Haawo Taako and seventeen other SYL members were killed for a stupid reason. The only people arrested were the pro-Italian leaders.
We certainly have to commemorate the great Somali women who sacrificed heir lives for this country. Among hem Haawo Taako, Saado Ali, Halimo Godane and many others.