Hassan Abshir Farah

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Hassan Abshir Farah
حسن ابشير فرح
Member of the Federal Parliament of Somalia
Incumbent
Assumed office
20 August 2012
Prime Minister of Somalia
In office
November 12, 2001 – December 8, 2003
Preceded by Osman Jama Ali
Succeeded by Muhammad Abdi Yusuf
Personal details
Born June 20, 1945 (1945-06-20)
Italian Somaliland
Political party Independent
Residence Mogadishu
Alma mater Egyptian Military Academy
Somali National University
Occupation Politician
Religion Islam
Website www.hassanabshir.net

Hassan Abshir Farah (Somali: Xasan Abshir Faarax, Arabic: حسن ابشير فرح‎) (born 1945) is a veteran Somali politician. He previously served as Mayor of Mogadishu and Interior Minister of Puntland. From November 12, 2001 to December 8, 2003, he was also Prime Minister of Somalia.[1] Farah is an MP in the Federal Parliament of Somalia.

Biography[edit]

Farah was born in 1945 in the former Italian Somaliland. He hails from the Ciise Maxahamud subclan of the Majeerteen Darod.[2] Between 1961 to 1965, he attended secondary school in Mogadishu, the nation's capital. He spent the next two years at the Egyptian Military Academy in Cairo, Egypt. Between 1980 and 1986, Hassan also studied at the Somali National University, where he obtained a degree in Law.[3]

Political career[edit]

Mayor of Mogadishu[edit]

Farah's political career began in 1969, when he was a junior member of the military junta that took control of Somalia in 1969 under Siad Barre. His first official role was working as vice district commissioner of Mogadishu. In the 1970s, Hassan was appointed mayor of Mogadishu. During this period, he worked with the National Security Service to have many opponents to the government arrested.[4] He also served as governor of Shabeellaha Dhexe and Bakool, and as the Somali ambassador to Japan and Germany. While governor, he opposed the rising force of the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF), which resisted Siad Barre's rule.

Interior Minister of Puntland[edit]

In December 1999, acting as the Interior Minister of the autonomous northeastern Puntland region and serving under then-President of Puntland, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, Farah ordered the eviction of three NGO workers, citing "unsatisfactory services" as reasons for their dismissal: Eddie Johns of United Nations Development Programme UNDP) and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Remmelt Hummeyn of UNDP and Said Al-Naimari of UNICEF.[5]

Prime Minister of the Transitional National Government (TNG)[edit]

Farah was Prime Minister in the Transitional National Government (TNG) of Somalia from 12 November 2001 until December 8, 2003, when then President Abdiqassim Salad Hassan held a session of parliament, which cast a vote of no confidence with regard to the Prime Minister and the Parliamentary Speaker at the time, Abdallah Derow Isaak.[6]

During Farah's first month in office, which was a few months after the September 11 attacks in 2001, he said the United States would be welcome to deploy troops to Somalia for the first time since the withdrawal of US forces from the UN missions of the 1990s, and to help monitor terrorist activities in the country.[7] He was referring to Al-Itihaad Al-Islamiya (AIAI), which the US did name as a terrorist organization.[8] On December 15, 2001, he stated there were no members of Al-Qaeda in Somalia, though a rival warlord claimed there were 50 armed fighters of the terrorist organization who had entered the country.[9] In any regard, the United States did not deploy any troops to Somalia at the time.

He was the primary representative of the TNG at the October 2002 Somali Reconciliation Conference held in Eldoret, Kenya. However, those efforts failed to produce a lasting settlement, since the TNG was heavily contested by the rival Somalia Reconciliation and Restoration Council (SRRC). The Somali National Reconciliation Conference meetings of July 2003 finally settled problems between the TNG and the SRRC, but by then the TNG had lost most of its momentum and funding.[10] The three-year mandate for the TNG officially ended in August 2003, but the organization continued to carry on between the formal date and the creation of the successor TNG of 2004. President Abdiqassim Salad removed the Prime Minister and the Parliamentary Speaker in August 2003; the no-confidence vote of the Parliament in December 2003 was undertaken to formalize the decision. Writing from Nairobi, Hassan Abshir and Abdallah Derow Isaak both said any attempts to extend the terms of the TNG were "unconstitutional."[11]

Also during his tenure in the TNG, he was reported to have assisted shipping weapons from the TNG to the Puntland faction led by Abdullahi Yusuf fighting against Jama Ali Jama, who had been elected to the office of President. Abdullahi Yusuf succeeded in his bid to forcefully retake the Presidency of Puntland and eventually became (through Parliamentary elections) President of the TFG.[12]

Transitional Federal Government (TFG)[edit]

In 2004, Hassan Abshir Farah became the Fisheries Minister of the new Transitional Federal Government (TFG), which replaced the TNG. He is mostly active in the National Peace Process in the country. In late 2006, he secured a $55 million pirate-fighting contract with New York-based Top Cat Marine Security.[13]

On August 1, 2006, Farah resigned along with seven other ministers, in protest at Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Ghedi's postponement of talks with the Islamic Courts Union (ICU). He said "We had no option but to resign because we believe if the talks are postponed again it will affect the reconciliation efforts".[14]

Puntland Presidential elections[edit]

In 2008, Farah launched a campaign to run for President of the autonomous Puntland state in the northeastern region's 2008 elections.[15] Abdirahman Mohamud Farole was eventually elected to office in January of the following year.

Federal Parliament[edit]

Following the establishment of the Federal Government of Somalia in August 2012, Farah began serving as a legislator in the new Federal Parliament.[16]

Preceded by
Osman Jama Ali
Prime Minister of the
Republic of Somalia

November 12, 2001–December 8, 2003
Succeeded by
Muhammad Abdi Yusuf

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Somalia - Worldstatesmen.com
  2. ^ Xiirey, Cabdi Caydid (2001). Qaran qabiil ma ku dhismaa?: shirkii nabadaynta ee Carta-Jabuuti. p. 128. Retrieved 10 June 2014. 
  3. ^ Curriculum Vitae of Hassan Abshir Farah
  4. ^ "Hassan Abshir: Master of Political Treachery". Garowe Online. 2005-12-31. Retrieved 2007-02-02. 
  5. ^ "HORN OF AFRICA: IRIN News Briefs [19991210]". IRIN. 1999-12-10. Retrieved 2007-02-03. 
  6. ^ "HORN OF AFRICA IRIN-HOA Weekly Round-up 153". IRIN. 2003-08-15. Retrieved 2007-02-23. 
  7. ^ "Somalia welcomes US troops". BBC. 2001-11-27. Retrieved 2007-02-03. 
  8. ^ "Terrorism in Somalia". BBC. 2002-11-30. Retrieved 2007-02-03. 
  9. ^ "Inside Africa". CNN. 2001-12-15. Retrieved 2007-02-03. 
  10. ^ "Weekly Sitrep no. 20 (Covering from 05th to 11th July, 2003)] NOVIB SOMALIA Somali National Reconciliation Conference". 2003-07-11. Retrieved 2007-02-03. 
  11. ^ "SOMALIA: TNG hangs in the balance as mandate ends". IRIN. 2003-08-13. Retrieved 2007-02-03. 
  12. ^ "Puntland on the Verge of Civil War". Somaliland Times. Retrieved 2007-02-03. 
  13. ^ "Somalian TFG Cabinet minister Hassan Abshir insists Top Cat Marine Security, with which his government signed a two-year $55 million deal, is not only real, but also that TC is ready for combat". 2006-02-08. Retrieved 2007-02-02. 
  14. ^ Eight more ministers resign from Somali government, Reuters, 1 August 2006.
  15. ^ "Former Somali Prime Minister to run for Puntland president". Garowe Online. 4 November 2008. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  16. ^ "Office of the Somali Parliament". Office of the Somali Parliament. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 

External links[edit]