Dahir Riyale Kahin

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Dahir Riyale Kahin
ضاهر ريالي كاهن
Dahir Riyale Kahin.jpg
3rd President of Somaliland
In office
3 May 2002 – 27 July 2010
Vice President Ahmed Yusuf Yasin
Preceded by Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal
Succeeded by Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud
4th Vice President of Somaliland
In office
16 May 1997 – 3 May 2002
President Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal
Preceded by Abdirahman Aw Ali Farah
Succeeded by Ahmed Yusuf Yasin
Personal details
Born (1952-03-12) 12 March 1952 (age 66)
Qun-ujeed, British Somaliland
Political party United Peoples' Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Huda Barkhad

Dahir Rayale Kahin (Somali: Dahir Rayale Kahin, Arabic: ضاهر ريالي كاهن‎) (born 12 March 1952) is a Somali politician who was President of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia, from 2002 to 2010. He previously served as a senior officer in the National Security Service of Somalia, and he was Vice President of Somaliland from 1997 to 2002.

Personal life[edit]

Kahin was born in the town of Quljeed, situated in the northwestern Awdal region of British Somaliland. He was educated in Amoud, and was later trained in Mogadishu.


Early career[edit]

Kahin's previous posts included a diplomatic position at the Somali Embassy in Djibouti.

In the last years of the Siad Barre government, during the 1980s, Kahin was the highest-ranking National Security Service (NSS) officer in Berbera.[1]

From 1997 to 2002, Kahin served as the Vice President of Somaliland, an autonomous region in Somalia.[2][3]

President of Somaliland[edit]

On 3 May 2002, Kahin became the third President of Somaliland, after the death of the autonomous region's President Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal. Kahin later won the elections on 14 April 2003, representing the Ururka Dimuqraadiga Umada Bahawday (UDUB), or United Democratic People's Party. He was sworn into office on 16 May.

In 2008, Kahin established by decree new regions and districts, which drew criticism.[4] Regions and districts in Somaliland are not just an instrument for the organisation of local government, they are also used as electoral districts. Kahin's move was considered by several to have motives rooted in electoral and clan-politics. Moreover, as these new regions and districts were never geographically delimitated, they argued that he saddled the region with a legacy that hampers the efficient organisation of local government to this day.[5]

Throughout his tenure as President of Somaliland, Kahim sought to maintain peace and tranquility in the region. His administration contributed to various state-building and institutional development initiatives. In terms of democratization, his government also successfully organized local council elections, parliamentary elections, and two presidential elections. Additionally, Kahin is noted for having peacefully transferred power to his successor in office, President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud.


  1. ^ Human Rights Watch (Organization), Chris Albin-Lackey, Hostages to peace: threats to human rights and democracy in Somaliland, (Human Rights Watch: 2009), p.13.
  2. ^ The Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic Archived March 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.: "The Somali Republic shall have the following boundaries. (a) North; Gulf of Aden. (b) North West; Djibouti. (c) West; Ethiopia. (d) South south-west; Kenya. (e) East; Indian Ocean."
  3. ^ CIA - The World Factbook - Somalia
  4. ^ Somaliland President Creates New Regions and Districts, Hiiraan Online, March 24, 2008. Accessed on 5 February 2015.
  5. ^ See: Somaliland Local Government Re‐organisation through Presidential Decrees in an Election Year, by Ibrahim Hashi Jama, Somalilandlaw.com, 7 April 2008. Accessed on 5 February 2015.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Abdirahman Aw Ali Farah
Vice President of Somaliland
Succeeded by
Ahmed Yusuf Yasin
Preceded by
Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal
President of Somaliland
Succeeded by
Ahmed Mahamoud Silanyo