WorldRemitAds

President Egal’s legacies for the Republic of Somaliland are countless as he was the state craft-ship leader and founder of the constitution of the nation. He took office in 1993 and was reelected in 1997 for a second term which ended tragically following his death in 2002.

By Zaki Isaac

May 3rd marked the twentieth commemoration of the passing of the late president of the Republic of Somaliland, President Mohamed Haji-Ibrahim Egal at the age of 74. He died on May 3rd, 2002, in a military hospital in Pretoria, South Africa while undergoing an operation. His body was then flown to Hargeisa for a national burial in his hometown in Berbera city where he was laid to rest next to his father’s grave in accordance of his personal wishes.

President Egal’s legacies for the Republic of Somaliland are countless as he was the state craft-ship leader and founder of the constitution of the nation. He took office in 1993 and was reelected in 1997 for a second term which ended tragically following his death in 2002.

SomlegalAds

Despite the challenges his new administration endured during his first term which featured a civil war between the government army and a clan-based rebel groups in 1994, he managed to reconcile with all parties involved to pursue his dedication to rebuilding the country. The Somali National Movement or SNM – freedom fighters – who eradicated the Siyad Barre regime from the country in the late 1980s and early 1990s were not at ease with him as well, although the nation’s first leader, President Abdirahman Ahmed Aw-Ali is also known as Abdirahman Tuur, who held office from1991 through 1993 was among them.

The countless legacies of late President Egal through peace restoration while also disarming the militia groups, building lasting institutions for the country including multiple national forces such as the police force and military, stabilizing the economy, and introducing a new currency or the Somaliland Shilling which was printed in 1995, strengthening and upholding the three branches of the government including the executive, legislation, and justice, establishing the country’s initial bilateral relations and trades with neighboring countries, Ethiopia and Djibouti, and most importantly introducing the Somaliland passport and the national flag which was redesigned twice during his office terms.

Upon his re-election in 1997, President Egal felt the urge of a new direction for the nation which was democratization and the practices of the constitutional power. He immediately formed a committee composed of ministers from his cabinet, parliament members, and others from the civil societies and local intellectuals to draft the initial constitution articles for the country which was later ratified on a nationwide referendum with a 97.10% passing record in 2001.

President Egal then introduced the democratic system of multiple political parties participating in local presidential, parliamentary, and local councils’ elections in 2002 shortly before his death. He launched the country’s first party, United Peoples’ Democratic party or the UDUB party, which was his administration’s party also.

Unfortunately, Egal never had the chance to compete in a presidential election with his new UDUB party due to his passing. The late president’s vision to transition the nation towards democracy was to open new routes for the new generation to avoid and mitigate if not eradicate the long-lasting tradition of the Somali clan-based system of government.

President Egal led the country and nation with dedications and visions. His political position even had leverage on the African continent also. In the 1960s, Egal was one of the African anticolonial pioneers. His Pan Africanism position resurfaced during his prime minister of the Somali Republic era in 1968 where he continually engaged with other African heads of state including Kwame Nakruma of Ghana, Juluis Nerereh of Tanzania, Ahmed Ben Bella of Algeria, and Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya to unite the continent and form the United States of Africa with a single army, currency, and flag.

Most amazingly, President Egal was a pragmatic leader. His practices for continuous engagement with political oppositions was far beyond what any African leader would imagine. Most leaders would distance themselves from their enemies or those who oppose their policies and would imprison, but his leadership style was unique, and it was based on his confidence to convince anyone whom he encounters.

The nation of Somaliland dearly misses him and continues to mourn after twenty years since his passing in 2002 because of his influences. They will continue to pray for him and ask Allah Almighty to grant him the highest level of Paradise – Janna Al-Fardowsa. President Egal may be gone, but he’s certainly not forgotten. To many people, he is considered the father of the nation and republic.

Author

Zaki Isaac, Minneapolis, Minnesota

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.