A NEW podcast from the Welsh Political Icons series celebrates the life of Barry-born Welsh-Somalilander diplomat Abdulrahim Abby Farah, who led the United Nations mission to South Africa to end the country’s apartheid regime.

Abdulrahim Abby Farah was born in Barry in 1919, living on Thompson Street and attending Gladstone Primary and Barry County Grammar School before becoming an ambassador for the newly independent Somalia and then their representative at the United Nations, later becoming the under-secretary-general.

He spent many decades building international support against the apartheid South African regime which gave fewer rights to the country’s black population and led the UN mission to oversee the end of apartheid in 1990.


Plaid Cymru’s Barry town center councilor Ian Johnson said: “Abdulrahim Abby Farah is a fascinating figure who should be better known in the town he was raised.

“He is interesting, not just for his own story, but also that of his family, his father coming from Somaliland to south Wales and playing an important role in Barry civic life at Thompson Street’s Colonial Club and setting up a multi-racial local youth club.

“It is a reminder of the international nature of Barry Docks and the Welsh-Somali community which has such strong links.

“With ongoing discussions about how we can recognize and celebrate everybody’s contribution to our community, I hope that this podcast raises the profile of a remarkable man who achieved much on the international stage.”

Abdulrahim Abby Farah died in New York in 2018, aged 98.

The Welsh Political Icons series profiles the lives and impact of political figures with a Welsh connection.

80: Welsh Political Icons – Abdulrahim Abby Farah

Abdulrahim Abby Farah, Somaliland Diplomat Who Fought ApartheidBarry-born Abdulrahim Abby Farah is one of Somaliland/Wales’ major internationalists of the Twentieth Century. It was Abdulrahim Abby Farah who led the United Nations deputation to the country in early 1990 to confirm that the regime was being dismantled in accordance with the agreements made, having previously been Chair of the UN Special Committee on Apartheid during the 1960s, and Chair of the 1972 UN Security Council meeting in Addis Ababa, on matters relating to Africa – the first time in twenty years that the UN met outside of its New York headquarters. Ian Johnson tells his remarkable story.


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