Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud

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Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud
احمد محمد محمود
Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo - Chatham House 2010.jpg
President of Somaliland
Assumed office
27 July 2010
Vice President Abdirahman Saylici
Preceded by Dahir Riyale Kahin
Personal details
Born 1936 (age 79–80)
Burao, British Somaliland
Political party Peace, Unity, and Development Party
Spouse(s) Amina Weris Sheikh-Mohamed Jirde
Alma mater University of Manchester
Religion Islam

Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud "Silanyo" (Somali: Axmed Maxamed Maxamuud Siilaanyo, Arabic: احمد محمد محمود سيلانيو‎‎) (born 1936) is a Somali politician who has been President of Somaliland since 2010. He is a longtime member of government, having served as Minister of Commerce of Somalia, among other Cabinet positions. During the 1980s, he also acted as Chairman of the Somali National Movement.[1]

Standing as an opposition candidate, he was elected as President of Somaliland—a self-declared republic that is internationally recognised as an autonomous region of Somalia—in Somaliland's 2010 presidential election.[2]

Background[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud

Mohamoud was born in 1936 in the northwestern town of Burco, situated in the former British Somaliland protectorate.[1] Nicknamed "Silanyo", he hails from the Habar Jeclo sub-clan of the Isaaq.[3] Ahmed M. Mohamoud Silanyo is the third child of four. His father was a merchant marine, so the family lived a half-nomadic, half-settled lifestyle. He was the only child in the family to attend a formal education, fostered by an uncle who was a strong influence on his early life. His brothers followed their father’s footsteps as merchant marines. He is Muslim.[4]

He met his wife, Amina-Weris Sh. Mohamed, in the late 1960s. Like him, she completed her education as a registered nurse and midwife in England. She is one of the pioneers of the Somali’s educated women. They married in Mogadishu in 1968. She has been a strong partner, by his side throughout the long and turbulent times of his political career.[5] They have five children (Lul, Hodan, Kulmiye, Ali-Salan, and Rashid) and four grandchildren (Idil, Ahmed-Zaki, Safia, and Riyad.)

Education[edit]

Between 1946 and 1957, Mohamoud studied at schools in Sheekh and Amud, where he completed his secondary levels.[1]

Upon graduation, he moved to England to pursue higher studies. From 1958 to 1960, Mohamoud enrolled in the London University and obtained an advanced General Certificate of Education (GCE). He then studied at the University of Manchester, where he earned both a Bachelor's Degree (1960–63) and a Master's Degree (1960–63) in Economics.[1]

  • 1946-1957 Primary and Secondary Education: Sheikh Elementary School, Sheikh Intermediate School, and Amoud Secondary School, Republic of Somaliland
  • 1958-1960 Secondary Education: General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced Level, London, England
  • 1960-1963: Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, graduated with Honors, University of Manchester, Manchester, England
  • 1963-1965: Master’s Degree in Economics, University of Manchester, Manchester, England [6]

Political career[edit]

General[edit]

In a professional capacity, between 1965 and 1969, Mohamoud served as an official at the Ministry of Planning and Coordination in Mogadishu during Somalia's early civilian administration. He was also the national Minister of Planning and Coordination (1969–1973), Minister of Commerce (1973–1978 and 1980–1982), and the Chairman of the National Economic Board (1978–1980) in the succeeding socialist government.[1][7]

Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud "Silanyo"

From 1982 to 1990, Mohamoud was the Chairman of the Somali National Movement (SNM), serving as the rebel group's longest-serving chairman.[4] In March 1991, he proposed a power-sharing framework between the SNM and the Mogadishu-based United Somali Congress (USC) under a new transitional national government.[8]

Between 1993 to 1997, Mohamoud was a member of the House of Representatives of Somaliland. He also worked as the Somaliland region's Minister of Finance from 1997 to 1999, in which position he initiated a program of fiscal reform. Between 1999 and 2000, Mohamoud served as Somaliland's Minister of Planning and Coordination, a position from which he resigned in 2001.[1][9]

Prominent Seminars, Symposia, Conferences[edit]

During his years of public service, Mohamoud participated in a broad array of forums relating to a variety of developmental aspects of the world. Notably, utilizing training programs under the auspices of the United Nations (United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the Economic Commission of Africa (ECA)), as well as benefiting from a Leadership Grant organized by the African-American Institute that related to developmental fields including visits to various regional state and federal governmental bodies throughout the United States.[9]

International Conferences Attended[edit]

  • United Nations’ Organization of African Union (OAU)
  • The Arab League
  • Islamic and Non-Aligned Movement Conferences

Leader of Somalia Delegation[edit]

  • UN Special Sessions, New York, NY, USA
  • OAU, Arab League, European Economic Commission (EEC), and the ministerial meetings of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).
  • The 1976 Non-Aligned Conference, Lima, Peru
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Nairobi, Kenya, 1977 [9]

Roles during the Somaliland Nationhood Government[edit]

1982-1984: Chairman of Somali National Movement (SNM), UK Branch[edit]

During the earlier years of the SNM, Mohamoud established offices and organized SNM committees throughout Europe, North America, and the Arab world to raise international awareness of the liberation movement and the brutality of Somalia’s Siyad Barre regime against its own people through presentations to international human rights groups, the press media, various European government bodies, including the British Parliament and the European Inter-Parliamentary Union, and relevant organizations in the Arab and Islamic world.

To further accomplish this, Mohamoud embarked on a program of recruitment of important personalities and groups in southern Somalia to join the SNM movement—a 1982 through 1991 Somali liberation faction founded and led predominantly by Isaaq members to protect the national interests of the Somalilanders against the oppressive Siyad Barre regime. Having successfully toppled the Siyad Barre regime in 1991, the SNM had been pivotal in reconstituting the Republic of Somaliland that on July 1, 1960 united with Somalia. Presently, Somaliland is a sovereign democratic country, but is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.[9]

1984-1990: Chairman of Somali National Movement (SNM)[edit]

During the following years Mohamoud would become the SNM's longest-serving Chairman, in command throughout the most tumultuous, expansive, and decisive period of the liberation movement. In 1984, the SNM was in its infancy, having been established only two years earlier. The struggle was nebulous. This period was being steered through its most trying times. Its most momentous events occurred on October 1984 with the first major, simultaneous and coordinated invasion of the SNM troops into the mountainous regions of Somaliland and its major expansion of SNM fronts in the southern and northwest regions (Awdal).

With tensions rising, an agreement between the Siyad Barre regime of Somalia and Mengistu Haile Miriam of Ethiopia to end the support of the respective rebellions against their regimes had for all intent and purposes entailed the dismemberment the SNM. Having lost its Ethiopian sanctuary, as a consequence of this agreement, in May 1988 the SNM waged a historically daring invasion on Togdheer and Northwest regions of Somaliland. With this secretly and meticulously planned attack—a shocking surprise to both Siyad Barre and Mingeste Haile Miriam regimes — SNM fighters easily took Burao (Burco) and Hargeisa (Hargeysa) cities. Although the SNM was finally pushed out of the two cities, the lightning attack proved to be the deathblow of the Siyad Barre regime. The end result being the peaceful transfer of power, in a spirit of unity, at the 1990 SNM Congress — a lasting peace that survives today.[9]

1990-1996: Re-establishing Somaliland’s Sovereignty[edit]

While attending the Congress of Somaliland (Burao, May 1991), Mohamoud acted as a key player in re-establishing Somaliland’s sovereignty as an independent state. In 1992 he would initiate and then organized, the famous Forum for Peace that generated a cease-fire agreement between the warring parties in the so-called Xarbal Aqnaam War in the port city Berbera and its environs. From 1993 through 1996, he would act as a Member of Somaliland House of Representatives. During this time in 1996, he initiated a reconciliation movement that brought about an end to the internal conflict at Beer — 18 miles southeast of Burao (Togdheer Region), where a formal agreement of cessation of hostilities and an exchange of prisoners would be finalized.[9][10]

1997-1999: Minister of Finance[edit]

In 1997, Mohamoud would change roles, becoming the Minister of Finance for Somaliland devising and implementing a viable solution to stem out the runaway inflation threatening the economy of Somaliland. Further, shifting focus to the military, he sought to resolve the vexing problem of rationed supplies to the armed forces and begun to initiate a program for fiscal reform.[9][10]

1999-2000: Minister of Planning and Coordination[edit]

Changing roles once more, Mohamoud began to act as the Minister of Planning and Coordination for Somaliland, working to establish mechanisms for the coordination of aid programs between the government and foreign-aid donors. He would initiate the formulation of a three-year development plan, organized a first of its kind and well-attended international conference on aid for Somaliland held in Hargeisa, attended and addressed the Somalia Aid Coordination Body (SACB) in Nairobi, Kenya — as the first-ever Somaliland Government Minister to do so, and lead a Somaliland government delegation that met with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) representatives in Nairobi, Kenya.[9][10]

2000-2002: Mediator & other Various Roles[edit]

During the period of working with Somaliland’s 2nd president, President Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal, Mohamoud played important and decisive roles as a mediator in preventing crisis with respect to incidents relating to the relationship between Djibouti and Somaliland, Somaliland and Ethiopia, SNM veterans and the Egal administration, and between the Somaliland House of Representatives and the Egal government. He would spend a period overseas, delivering speeches and addressing communities of the Somaliland diaspora in Europe and the United States raising awareness on the achievements and developments of the county. Upon his return to Somaliland he immediately mounted a campaign toward the resolution of a looming national crisis between the Egal administration and its political opponents, one which came close to starting afresh a new round of internal conflict.[9]

2002-2010: Founder and Chairman of the Kulmiye Party and its Presidential Candidate[edit]

The youngest political organization in the country, the Kulmiye Party was established in early 2002 with a focus on conveying the campaign’s platform to the countryside and rural regions. Notably, Mohamoud pursued a no smear campaign policy toward other political parties, thus conducting a peaceful election, while applauding public education on the merits of the multi-party system and the democratic process. However, Mr. Mohamoud lost the election by a mere 80 votes to President Dahir Rayaale Kahin.

Despite this setback, Mohamoud would be a supporting for the women’s voices in Somaliland, as the Kulmiye Party was the only party to appoint a woman as Vice-Chair. During the next elections, Mohamoud was rewarded by garnering the largest national votes, only less than the total votes the incumbent party obtained during the previous presidential election. Through his stewardship, the Kulmiye Party has grown to be the largest party in Somaliland. Despite the ruling party’s continuous hold of power after its term expired, and its unwillingness to hold free and fair elections, Mohamoud continued to pursue political change through the democratic process by working closely with traditional elders and the international community, whose interest is peace and stability in the Horn of Africa. Thus, when he ran as the Kulmiye Party candidate for president he was able to defeat incumbent President Dahir Rayaale Kahin of the United Peoples' Democratic Party (UDUB) in the 2010 presidential election.[9]

2010-Present: Fourth President of the Republic of Somaliland[edit]

Mr. Mohamed’s term ends with the presidential election of March 27, 2017.[11]

President of Somaliland[edit]

Mohamoud meeting with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister Henry Bellingham in London (2011).

Election[edit]

In 2010, Mohamoud ran for office in the Somaliland presidential election. As the head of the Kulmiye (Solidarity) party, he won 49.59% of all votes cast, making him the fourth President of Somaliland. The ruling UDUB party of incumbent President Dahir Riyale Kahin managed a total of 33.23% of the votes. Faysal Ali Warabe's For Justice and Development party finished third with 17.18% of votes.[11]

Somaliland-Somalia Talks[edit]

On 28 June 2012, Mohamoud signed a cooperation deal in Dubai with Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, President of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government. Referred to as the Dubai Charter, the agreement calls for greater coordination between Somalia's various political units and is part of broader international reconciliation efforts among all Somali parties. The Presidents of the autonomous Puntland and Galmudug regions as well as the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs also attended the signing.[12]

On 13 April 2013, political talks between the Somalia's Government in Mogadishu, now led by the Federal Government, and the Government of the Republic of Somaliland in Hargeisa resumed. Organized by the government of Turkey in Ankara, the meeting ended with a signed agreement between the new Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Mohamoud agreeing to allocate fairly to the Somaliland region its portion of the development aid earmarked for Somalia as a whole and to cooperate on security.[13]

Renewable energy technologies[edit]

In June 2014, the Somaliland regional government and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) inaugurated a new wind energy project at an event at the Hargeisa International Airport. Somaliland President Mohamoud officiated the hand over ceremony, which was also attended by the region's Ministers of Civil Aviation, Planning, Environment, Interior, Water and Information, as well as USAID's Acting Somalia Office Director Hodan Hassan and civil society and private sector representatives. The new wind power facility is under the authority of the Somaliland Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, which will manage it through a public-private partnership and oversee its daily operations. The initiative is part of the larger Partnership for Economic Growth, a bilateral program that has invested over $14 million in the Somaliland region's energy, livestock and agriculture sectors as well as in private sector development. In particular, the partnership aims to establish local renewable energy technologies. It has in the process seen Somaliland officials work closely with USAID representatives to draft laws and regulations to promote a competitive business environment, and thereby optimize the value of energy services for clients. To this end, the new wind energy facility is expected to offer a more cost effective alternative to diesel fuel. It is also slated to provide power to both the Hargeisa airport and the surrounding communities.[14]

Berbera Airport[edit]

In March 2015, Mohamoud officially inaugurated a new airport terminal and perimeter fence at the Berbera Airport. The launch ceremony was attended by officials from Djibouti, Ethiopia and Yemen. The new facilities were built by the Tekleberhan Ambaye Construction Plc (TACON), which had been contracted for the project in 2012 by the Somaliland region's Ministry of Civil Aviation. TACON previously constructed various buildings in Ethiopia, including the Oromia region president's office, the Yayu fertilizer factory, Jimma University, Mekelle University and Gambella Region Technical and Vocational Training College. A joint venture with the Afro-Sino Contracting & Investment Company, the Berbera Airport project's design was conceived by the International Consultants Technocrats and Marco Construction firms. It cost 83 million birr in total, 3 million birr of which was earmarked for TACON. The terminal was built on a 3,200 sq. m plot of land and has various facilities, including public address and communication equipment, baggage transfer and checkpoints, security checks, a water tanker, 200 kg capacity scales, and an asphalt road leading toward the runway. Additionally, the airport fence is 12 kilometers in length.[15]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Somaliland Election Results Released: Siilaanyo Is New President". Bridge Business Magazine. 3 August 2010. 
  2. ^ "Opposition leader elected Somaliland president". Google News. AFP. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  3. ^ Lewis, I.M. (1994). Blood and Bone: The Call of Kinship in Somali Society. Red Sea Press. pp. 211–212. ISBN 0932415938. 
  4. ^ a b Legum, Colin (1989). Africa Contemporary Record: Annual Survey and Documents, Volume 20. Africa Research Limited. p. B-394. 
  5. ^ "H.E. Amina-Weris Sheikh Mohamed First Lady, Republic of Somaliland Remarks to Girl Summit 2014". Nafis Network. June 2016. Retrieved 2016-09-09. 
  6. ^ Nololeed, Taariikh (January 2003). "Ahmed Silanyo: CV". Kumilye Party. Archived from the original on 2007-07-26. Retrieved 2016-09-09. 
  7. ^ International Academy at Santa Barbara (1981). "Somalia". Current World Leaders. 24 (1-6): 152. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  8. ^ Silanyo, Ahmed M. "A Proposal to the Somali National Movement: On a Framework for a Transitional Government in Somalia" (PDF). Wardheernews. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Nololeed, Taariikh (January 2003). "Ahmed Silanyo: CV". Kumilye Party. Archived from the original on 2007-07-26. Retrieved 2007-05-07. 
  10. ^ a b c Duale, M (May 2006). "History Somaliland President Ahmed M Silanyo". Somaliland Nation News. Retrieved 2016-09-09. 
  11. ^ a b "Somaliland Detailed Election Results". African Elections Database. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  12. ^ "Mogadishu, Somaliland sign cooperation deal: report". AFP. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  13. ^ "Somalia: President Hassan and President Silanyo meet in Turkey". Garowe Online. 13 April 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "SOMALIA: U.S donates Wind Energy Project to power Hargeisa International Airport". Raxanreeb. 7 June 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  15. ^ "Ethiopia's TACON Completes Somaliland's New Airport Terminal and Fence With 80 Million Br". Addis Fortune. 4 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Dahir Riyale Kahin
President of Somaliland
2010–present
Incumbent