Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi

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Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi
عبد الرحمن محمد عبد الله
Speaker of the House of Representatives of Somaliland
Assumed office
29 September 2005
Personal details
Born (1955-04-24) 24 April 1955 (age 62)
Hargeisa, British Somaliland
Political party Wadani
Alma mater SIDAM, American University

Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi (Somali: Cabdiraxmaan Maxamed Cabdillaahi Cirro, Arabic: عبد الرحمن محمد عبد الله‎‎) (born 24 April 1955), also known as Irro, is a Somali politician. He is the Speaker of the House of Representatives (lower chamber) of Somaliland's first elected parliament.[1][2][3] He was elected to the position in November 2005.[4] Abdullahi also previously co-founded the For Justice and Development (UCID) party.[5] He is likewise the founder and Chairman of the Wadani party.

Personal life[edit]

Abdirahman was born in 1955 in Hargeisa Hospital in Hargeisa, British Somaliland. He hails from the Garxijis, Habar Yoonis subclan of the Isaaq.[6]

Nicknamed "Irro", his father was a senior police officer, Mohamed Abdillahi Egal (Irro Weyne, "the grey-haired"). Irro senior served as a major influence on his son, instilling discipline.

Abdullahi studied at elementary and intermediate schools in the northwestern towns of Hargeisa, Berbera and Burao, as his father was successively transferred. He attended the Sheikh Secondary School, an elite local institution for students who received high scores from the elementary schools. Abdullahi later graduated from the school, gaining the highest possible grade (kaalinta koowaad) during the final exam. He also spent part of his childhood in Oodweyne and Buuhoodle.

Abdullahi subsequently joined SIDAM, where he majored in Accounting. He then earned a master's degree in business administration (MBA) from the American University.


Early career[edit]

Professionally, Abdullahi worked at the Settlement Development Agency (Dan-wadaagaha) in different parts of Somalia. From 1981, he took on a position in the foreign service of the Somali Democratic Republic. Abdullahi also served in the Somali Embassy as the first consular in Moscow, which covered the entire Soviet Union. In 1991, he was re-appointed as Somalia's acting Ambassador to the Soviet Union. In this capacity, Abdullahi assisted the many Somali expatriates who had left Somalia following outbreak of the civil war. He later relocated to Finland in 1996 to join his family, who had moved there a few years prior.[7]

UCID Party[edit]

In 2004, Abdullahi jointly formed the For Justice and Development (UCID) political party with Faysal Ali Warabe, a political association aimed at assisting in the reconstruction process in the Somaliland region. Without much preparation in terms of funds, Faysal and Abdullahi finally returned to Somaliland and shared the same house for some years. The UCID political party was the first opposition party formally formed in Somaliland after the ruling UDUB party, while other politicians generally focused their opposition against the region's incumbent Egal administration (AHN). UCID also supported the referendum which put the foundation for the multi-party system, a process which many politicians have opposed and saw favouring Egal (AHN).[8]

Speaker of the House of Representatives[edit]

Abdullahi with journalist Abdirahman Yabarow.

In 2005, Abdullahi ran for the parliamentary election in Sahil region. He won with almost one-fourth (25%) of his party's votes. This victory together with the backing of UCID party and specially his friend Faysal Ali Warabe and other party comrades, he pursued to the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. This was difficult to even think about such position as UCID had only 17% of the House seats but the power calculation and the grit for his ambition has helped his determination. The calculated power ended to the fact that UDUB and Kulmiye could never share the leadership of the House and none-could get majority except UCID's support. Strategically, the chairmanship (Shir-guddoonka) of the House which was seen as indivisible and thus spurring win-lose perceived outcome was broadened to accommodate the other party. On this basis, UCID approached UDUB and asked to share the chairmanship (Shir-guddoonka), being confident in getting the only needed 8 votes from opposition parties, UDUB offered the second vice-chairman of the House but UCID immediately approached Kulmiye who was desperate to get opposition House to pressure UDUB party through the majority House of Representatives. Finally, Kulmiye agreed to take the first and second vice-chairman positions. Against the full opposition of the ruling government, with its political, economic and clan-manipulation power, Abdullahi was elected as the Speaker of Somaliland's House of Representatives.

2005 Somaliland parliamentary election[edit]

Somaliland held elections to an 82-member House of Representatives on 29 September 2005.[9] It was the first multi-party parliamentary election conducted in Somaliland since 1991, when the civil war began.


  1. ^ Anderson, Mark (2 February 2012). "Somaliland says new laws show intent to fight piracy". Reuters Africa. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Somalia: Parliament Votes to Attend Conference in London". AllAfrica. 2 May 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "SOMALIA: Who’s who in Somaliland politics". IRIN Africa. UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 16 September 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  4. ^ The Europa World Year Book 2007. Taylor & Francis Group. 2007. p. 4060. ISBN 9781857434149. 
  5. ^ Abdurahman Mohamed Ahmed. "Political system and parties in Somaliland". the African Star. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  6. ^ Cusmaan, Cabdalla Xaaji. "SNM Iyo Shirki Burco (1991)". TNN. Retrieved 10 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "Irro's Biography". Qarannews. 20 February 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "Who is Mr. Abdirahman Irro By Dr. Abdiwahab A. Iidaan". Qarannews. 20 February 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "House of Representatives History". Republic of Somaliland. 28 March 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 

External links[edit]