SOMALIA: Former Somalia president dies 87 [Brief History]
RBC Radio reporters
Mr. Yusuf aged 87 had died from complications due to pneumonia.
His close aide Abdirashid Sed told RBC Radio that the former leader has been receiving treatment for several weeks at Zayed Military Hospital in Abu Dhabi where he died in the dawn of Friday around 4.00 a.m.
The incumbent president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed announced three days of national mourning as the flag was put down on Friday. The interim Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali also named ministerial level committee for the funeral.
Mr. Yusuf’s body is expected to be flown to Mogadishu for a state funeral on Saturday, the prime minister said.
Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed was born on December 15, 1934 in small village near Garowe known as “Birta Dheer” in Puntand according to his new book. He joined the national military during the 1950s while the country was under colonial system, and was promoted to the post of commander in 1960.
In 1978, together with a group of renegade officials from the national army, participated in a failed attempt to overthrow former Somali dictator, Mohamed Siyad Barre and led to flee from the country. Later they formed a guerilla movement called SSDF (Somali Salvation Democratic Front) and fought against Barre’s regime under the backing from Ethiopia.
On July 23, 1998, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed was elected the first President of Puntland in a consultation meeting in Garowe and served until 2004.
On October 10, 2004 he was elected as president of the transitional federal government of Somalia during a parliament session in Nairobi.
On September 18, 2006 Ahmed escaped a suicide car bomber which smashed his vehicle shortly afterwards when he left from the parliament session in Baidoa, the former base of the government. He blamed the assassination was planned by Al-Qaeda.
On December 29, 2008, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed announced before a united parliament in Baidoa his resignation as President of Somalia. Abdirashid Sed, who was close to President Ahmed, said that Ahmed resigned “because he does not want to be seen as an obstacle to peace in Somalia”.
On January the former president resided in San’a, the capital of Yemen after he was granted a political asylum by his fellow Ali Abdallah Saleh, the ousted Yemeni president. But due to weather problems and his bad health he was transferred to Abdu Dhabi in early morning of Friday 23 March he has died in the hospital following a state of coma which he had fallen into the previous few days, president Yusuf’s former head of guards Abdullahi Dhere confirmed.
The late president left four children, two sons and two daughters and six grandchildren.