Ali Said Abdella
|Ali Said Abdella|
|1st Minister of Internal Affairs of Eritrea1|
|Succeeded by||Mahmoud Ahmed Sherifo|
|2nd Minister of Trade and Industry of Eritrea|
|Preceded by||Ogbe Abraha|
|Succeeded by||Haile Woldense|
|5th Minister of Foreign Affairs of Eritrea|
|Preceded by||Haile Woldense|
|Succeeded by||Mohamed Omer|
Bardooli, Northern Red Sea Region
|Died||August 28, 2005
Asmara, Central Region
|1Ministry renamed Ministry of Local Government.|
Ali Said was the son of a local sheik. He was of Afar ethnic origin. As a young man, he joined the Eritrean Liberation Front, a rebel group which was fighting for Eritrean independence from Ethiopia. He received medical and military training in Syria in 1965, after which he was known to lead a commando operation for hijacking and consequently burning the Ethiopian aeroplane in Karachi,Pakistan in 1969. Soon he returned to Eritrea where he was an active fighter. By the 1970s he had switched to Eritrea's other rebel group, the Eritrean People's Liberation Front and, in 1977, he became a member of the politburo of that organization. He was the commander of Nacfa front when the city was liberated in 1977.
When Eritrea gained independence in the early 1990s, first from 1990-93 before Eritrean referendum was conducted, Ali Said served as a chief of military operations.Later in the new government, he became the first Minister of Internal Affairs. He was then appointed as Minister of Trade and Industry in February 1997. In October 2000, Ali Said was moved from his position as Minister of Trade and Industry to that of Minister of Foreign Affairs, switching jobs with Haile Woldense. He was considered to be a hardliner in Eritrea's continuing struggles with Ethiopia over the border, and was known as a proponent of stronger relations for Eritrea with Middle Eastern nations. He was a fluent Arabic speaker, and most of his overseas trips were to Middle Eastern countries. He also made an official visit to Russia in April 2005.
Ali Said was married and had four children.
- Ed Harris, "Eritrean foreign minister and ex-rebel dies", Reuters, August 28, 2005.
- "Eritrea: FM died of heart attack, autopsy", Eritrea Daily, August 28, 2005.
- "President quietly shuffles cabinet", Indian Ocean Newsletter, 29 March 1997 (Horn of Africa Monthly Review, 21 February–28 April 1997).
- "Eritrea to hold elections", BBC News, October 3, 2000.
- "Prepackaged War", Kommersant, April 15, 2005.