Somalilandsun – On the occasion of the May 27th and May 29th, I would like to extend warmest greetings to the living mujaheddin and to those who passed in the 1980s during the brutal war against the Somalia regime of tyrant Siad Barre, May Allah be pleased with them ‘.
This year marks the 27th anniversary of the start of our war of liberation. In paying homage to all those who are no longer with us. The brave men and women who fought and gave their lives. We would like to offer our prayers and heartfelt thanks.
In keeping with that theme, the following is a brief history of the life and career of Abdirahman Ahmed Ali, the first President of Somaliland.
Abdirahman Ahmed Ali was born in 1928 in Burro. He attended elementary school in Berbera in 1939. His education was interrupted by the Italian invasion of Somaliland during the second world war.
However he was able to continue his elementary school in Hargeisa in 1942 and two years later transferred to Sheikh.
His trek for further education took him to Khartoum in 1947 to attend Hantoob Secondary, where he finished first in academics, excelled in athletics and subsequently returned to Somaliland upon his graduation in 1951.
Abdirahman Ahmed Ali “Tuur” began his career as a civil servant in Las Anod, but was shortly thereafter transferred back to Hargeisa in 1952.
Abdirahman “Tuur” spent the next few years studying in England, at Devon University were he earned a diploma in public administration. In 1956, he returned to Somaliland was working as assistant district commissioner upon Somaliland’s independence from the United Kingdom and was appointed as Governor of Togdheer region upon the declaration of the ill-fated union with Italian Somaliland in 1960.
After a short period as Governor of Togdher region, Abdirahman Ahmed Ali “Tuur” was transferred to Somali Republic’s Ministry of Interior in Mogadishu as departmental director.
After the 1969 revolution staged by the Somali Republic armed forces which brought to power the despotic Siyad Barre regime, Abdirahman Ahmed Ali “Tuur” joined the diplomatic service was appointed first as Ambassador to Sudan, and then subsequently to Ethiopia.
In his role as the Somali Democratic Republic’s Ambassador, Abdirahman “Tuur” played a key role in Ethiopia’s transformation from a monarchy to a representative administration,
Recalled back to Mogadishu, Abdirahman Ahmed Ali “Tuur”‘s last two diplomatic postings were to the former East Germany and the United Arab Emirates. It was whilst in Abu Dhabi that Ambassador “Tuur” resigned from the Somali diplomatic service and relocated to London in order to join the nascent Somali National Movement(SNM) and take his place among the leadership of the organization
A bright, loyal and extremely effective leader, Abdirahman Ahmed Ali “Tuur” rose to summit of the Somali National Movement (SNM), becoming its chairman and after the reclamation of independence in 1991, became the country’s first president.
Unfortunately, Abdirahman Ahmed Ali “Tuur” few years in office as Somaliland president was a difficult period and his administration was faced with a myriad of problems, from armed community militias to the setting up of state institutions after more than thirty years of neglect and apathy during the ill-fated union with Somalia.
Unable to make any headway in the stagnant political scene and cope with the dire economic situation in a devastated country with millions of displaced and desperate people, Abdirahman Ahmed Ali “Tuur” was succeeded as Somaliland president by Mohamed Ibrahim Egal (AHUN) at an all nation conference in Borama.
After a brief ill advised dalliance with the warlords in Mogadishu, Abdirahman Ahmed Ali “Tuur” retired to London, United Kingdom as a respected elder statesman and counsel to the nation’s administrations.
Married to Kinsi Ibrahim Osman “Basbas”, Abdirahman “Tuur” spent his remaining years working and travelling between Somaliland and the United Kingdom.
Abdirahman Ahmed Ali “Tuur” died on November 8, 2003 and was given a state funeral in Hargeisa, Somaliland.
This has been a brief synopsis of the life and times of our First President of Somaliland, may Allah reward him in Jannatul Fardowsa.
The late President, was a man of integrity, intelligence and loyalty. His dedication to Somaliland ‘s cause and to its people knew no bounds. His words inspired us at our darkest hour and his leadership and wisdom is one of the reasons why we are here today.
While the current political waters in Somaliland may not be ship shape, we must remember where we came from and how far we have come. Today’s tedious doldrums will be part of history. Allah has never steered us wrong and whether you are port side or starboard on this ship called Somaliland, you will do well to remember ‘we either sink or swim together’.
Alaa Mahad Leh
Long Live Somaliland
Hassan Mohamed Abokor