Somaliland prominent politician and former Somali Prime Minister Ali Khalif Galaydh has passed away in Jigjiga, the capital of the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia on Thursday at the age of 79.

Besides an illustrious career as a politician, he was a noted scholar with teaching experience at universities in the US.


Somalis from around the world, including Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi, have condoled his death. His burial took place in Mogadishu after his body was transported from Jigjiga in Ethiopia.

The professor was living in Hargeisa of the Republic of Somaliland liaising closely with the government to bring differences between Sool and Buuhoodle regions and the government to a close.

He made it clear to his followers that Sool and Buuhoodle shared nothing with Mogadishu. Instead, he argued, these regions were inextricable from the rest of Somaliland with whom they were umbilically tied – politically, geographically, ethnically, and historically.

Of course, Somaliland wanted to hold a state funeral for him in Hargeisa or Las Anod – his hometown. Somalia – which he was highly critical of – suddenly jumped into the fray claiming he was a ‘nationalist’, using some of his Khatumo associates abroad.

Galaydh served as prime minister of Somalia under President Abdel Qassem Salat in 2000. Before that, he serves as Minister of Interior in 1965-67 when Somalia and Somaliland were still under one union flag before pulling apart in 1991.

Jigjiga, where he died, wished his body to find a final home there.

Critics point out that creating controversies might be part of the game to necessitate quick funerals with the winning group eloping with the coffin before the other caught up with them.

His Excellency the President of the Somaliland Republic, Muse Bihi Abdi, condoles the family and friend of the late statesman.

The President described him as an irreplaceable icon of statehood and peacebuilding.

Likewise, the leaders of the Somaliland opposition parties, Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi, Waddani Chairman, and Faisal Ali Waraabe, UCID, expressed their sorrow at the later professor’s demise.

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Both Speakers of the Somaliland bicameral parliament, as well as several hundred more politicians, academicians, business people, and media greats, voiced their sadness since the news of the professor’s unexpected death came to surface.



Ali Khalif Galaydh (Somali: Cali Khalif Galaydh, (15 October 1941 – 8 October 2020) was a Somali politician. He was the Prime Minister of the unrecognized Somalia administration from 8 October 2000 to 28 October 2001. Galaydh had extensive experience in public policy, diplomacy, public administration, and business. He taught these subjects at public universities in the United States. Additionally, Galaydh was the President of the now-defunct Khaatumo rebel movement. He returned in later life to politics in the Republic of Somaliland, his nation of birth, and where he was instrumental in the re-declaration of independence in 1991.

Personal life

Galaydh was born on 15 October 1941 in Las Anod, Sool region, British Somaliland. He attended Sheikh Intermediate School and Sheikh Secondary School in Sheikh, situated in the northwestern Togdheer province of present-day Somaliland. From 1963 to 1965, Galaydh received a scholarship to attend Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated with honors in 1965, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. From 1967 to 1969, Galaydh attended the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He received a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) and finished all the requirements for a Ph.D. Galaydh later wrote and defended his dissertation in 1971 and 1972. Between 1982 and 1987, he was a fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and a fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University.


Executive leadership

From 1966 to 1973 Galaydh worked for the Somali Institute of Public Administration (SIPA) and the Somali Institute of Development Administration and Management (SIDAM). Galaydh started as a Research and Training Officer for one year before going to the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University for post-graduate work. He returned to SIPA in 1969 to eventually become the Director-General.

In July 1974 Galaydh was named General Manager of Jowhar Sugar Enterprises, the biggest national sugar producer in Somalia. Galaydh managed 7,000 employees and 9,000 hectares of land for Jowhar Sugar Enterprises which contributed at least 10% to Somalia’s national budget. From 1977 to 1980 Galaydh became the Executive Director of the $400 million Juba Sugar Project in Marery, Somalia. Galaydh worked closely with British companies to complete the project ahead of schedule and under budget.

From 1996 to 2000 Galaydh founded and operated the private Somali telecommunications company, Somtel.

Public administration

In 1979 Galaydh was appointed as a Member of Parliament. In 1980 Galaydh was appointed as the Minister of Industry by Siyad Barre. He served in this role until 1982. When tensions were heightened by Siyad Barre, Galaydh was part of a group of reformer ministers who fled the country to avoid being arrested by the Somali President.

The formation of Somaliland

Professor Ali Khalif Galaydh played a key role in the formation of the Republic of Somaliland. He was part of the delegations in 1991 at the Burao Conference and in 1993 at the Borama Conference where Somaliland’s independence was declared and then its initial constitution “the national charter” was formed. Professor Galaydh was one of the first diasporas delegates to attend those conferences and actively participate in it

Ali Khalif was not only a participant but actually sought leadership as the Vice President of Somaliland.

In 1993 Professor Galaydh flew from the United Arab Emirates to attend the Somaliland Borama Conference, where he actively but unsuccessfully campaigned for the Vice Presidency. The Vice Presidency was elected to Abdirahman Aw Ali Farah from the Awdal region.

Prime minister of Somalia

Starting in September 1999, Galaydh participated in the Somalia National Peace Conference (SNPC) in Arta, Djibouti. In October 2000, Abdiqasim Salad Hassan was named the new President of the Transitional National Government in Somalia and named Ali Khalif Galaydh as Prime Minister on 8 October. The two statesmen returned to Somalia from their Djibouti exile on October 14. On October 15, Ismail Mahmud Hurre was named Foreign Minister. The rest of the cabinet was announced five days later: Abdullahi Baqor Musa as Defense Minister, Dahir Shaykh Muhammad as Interior Minister, and Sayid Shaykh Dahir as Finance Minister, with Saida Haji Bashir Ismail as Finance Vice-Minister.

During his tenure, Galaydh led negotiations to get two of the five Somali warlords at the time to join the cabinet. The other three went to Ethiopia and joined together to form an armed, anti-government movement.

In February 2001 Galaydh successfully used diplomatic methods to get Ethiopian troops to leave the Southwestern Somali region of Gedo which Ethiopia had occupied from August 1996 to February 2001. He served until 28 October 2001.

Federal Parliament of Somalia

On 20 August 2012, Galaydh was among the legislators nominated to the newly created Federal Parliament of Somalia.

President of Khatumo State

In August 2014, Galaydh was elected President of the breakaway rebel Khatumo movement in eastern Somaliland. He defeated former co-president Mohamed Yusuf Jama (Indho Sheel) by 21 votes to 9. Assembly members, who had been appointed by traditional leaders, also selected Abdul Cagalule as Vice President.

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