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Sharif Sheikh Ahmed
شريف شيخ احمد
7th President of Somalia

In office
31 January 2009 – 20 August 2012
Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein
Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke
Abdiwahid Elmi Gonjeh (Acting)
Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo
Abdiweli Mohamed Ali
Preceded by Adan Mohamed Nuur Madobe (Acting)
Succeeded by Musa Hassan Abdulle (Acting)
Personal details
Born 25 July 1964(1964-07-25) (age 58)
Mahadai, Somalia
Political party Himilo Qaran
Alma mater University of Kordofan
Religion Sunni Islam

Sharif Sheikh Ahmed is a Somali politician who served as President of Somalia from 2009 to 2012. He is the founder and leader of Himilo Qaran political party and also the founder and head of the Forum for National Parties (Somali: Madasha Xisbiyada Qaran) of Somalia. He is the chairperson of the Council of Presidential Candidates of Somalia.

Early life and education

Sharif Ahmed was born on 25 July 1964 in the southern Shabeellaha Dhexe region of Somalia. He is a member of the Abgaal clan.[1]

Sharif began his education at the Sheikh Sufi Institute, which was associated with Al-Azhar University in Egypt. He then went to Sudan and entered University of Kordofan in late 1992, where he pursued a bachelor's degree in the Arabic language (major) and geography (minor) in the city of Aldalanj. In 1994, the university was renamed to the Dalanj University, and Sheikh Sharif left for Tripoli, the capital of Libya, after having completed only two out of the required four years. In Libya, he entered the Open University where he earned a bachelor's degree in Law and Islamic Shariah, graduating in 1998. He worked as a secondary school teacher of geography, Arabic, and religious studies.

A hafiz, Ahmed had memorized the Qur'an as a child and spoke only standard Arabic, shunning slang and local dialects. Thus, his religious upbringing and education allowed him to succeed his father as the spiritual leader of the Idriseeyah sect of Sufi Islam in Somalia.[2]

Islamic Courts Union

After returning from overseas, Ahmed became involved in the ICU and was elected to head a small local sub-clan court in Jowhar. A few years later, a local gang in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, kidnapped a young student and demanded a ransom from his family in return for the boy's release. Ahmed helped secure the boys release. This incident was one of countless other kidnappings and killings perpetrated by armed groups in the Somali capital who exploited the disintegration of the central government. This event reportedly marked a turning point in the life of Sheikh Ahmed and propelled his further involvement with the ICU.[3] By 2004, Sheikh Ahmed had become one of the leading figures in the Mogadishu Islamic Courts

Political career

2009 presidential election

As the first round of voting began, several candidates withdrew, increasing the speculation that the vote would largely be a choice between Nur Hassan Hussein and Sharif Ahmed. In the first round, Sharif Ahmed received 215 votes, Maslah Mohamed Siad got 60, and Hussein obtained 59. Hussein then withdrew his candidacy, thus likely sealing the election of Sharif Ahmed as president. In the final round of the presidential election, Sharif prevailed with 293 votes. After winning the vote in the early hours of 31 January 2009, Ahmed was sworn in later in the day at the Kempinski hotel in Djibouti.[4]

New Prime Minister

On 14 October 2010, President Sharif appointed former First Secretary of the Somali embassy in Washington, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, as the new Prime Minister of Somalia.[5]

On 31 October 2010, the vote of confidence was held, with lawmakers overwhelmingly approving Mohamed's appointment as Prime Minister. Out of the 392 Members of Parliament, 297 endorsed the selection via hand-raising; 92 MPs voted against and 3 abstained.[6][7] United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon also issued a statement commending the Somali leadership for having reached a consensus on procedural arrangements that facilitated a transparent and consultative confirmation of the new Premier.[8]

Kampala Accord

The Kampala Accord was an agreement made in Kampala, Uganda in line with the Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic to bring and end to the transitional phase of the Transitional Federal Government on 20 August 2011. It was signed on 9 June 2011 by HE Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, President of the Transitional Federal Government, Hon Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, Speaker of the Transitional Federal Parliament, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda and Dr Augustine Mahiga, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations

Operation Linda Nchi

In October 2011, a coordinated operation between the Somalian military and the Kenyan military referred to as Linda Nchi began, with Kenyan troops crossing the border into southern Somalia in pursuit of Al-Shabaab militants that are alleged to have kidnapped several foreign tourists and workers inside Kenya.[9][10] President Sharif along with Prime Minister Ali initially opposed the deployment of Kenyan troops into the country, as they felt it was a breach of an earlier joint defence pact reached with the Kenyan government that limited Kenya's supporting role to logistical activities.[11] On 31 October, a Somalian delegation met in Nairobi with the Kenyan Premier Raila Odinga and other government officials to iron out differences and to outline a joint strategy vis-a-vis Operation Linda Nchi. After lengthy talks, the delegations issued a joint communique pledging coordinated military, political and diplomatic support for the mission, requesting that AMISOM peacekeepers police areas captured from Al-Shabaab, and that the International Criminal Court (ICC) begin formal investigations against the group's commanders.[12] The two delegations also formed a joint "high-level co-ordinating committee" to maintain regular contacts between their respective governments.[13]

In early June 2012, Kenyan forces were formally integrated into AMISOM.[14] Analysts expect the additional AU troop reinforcements to help the Somali authorities gradually expand their territorial control.[15]

Post-transition

In February 2012, Sharif Ahmed and other Somali government officials met in the northeastern town of Garowe to discuss post-transition political arrangements. After extensive deliberations attended by regional actors and international observers, the conference ended in a signed agreement between the President, Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, Speaker of Parliament Sharif Adan Sharif Hassan, Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole, Galmudug President Mohamed Ahmed Alim and Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama'a representative Khalif Abdulkadir Noor stipulating that: a) a new 225 member bicameral parliament would be formed, with a lower house and an upper house seating 54 senators; b) 30% of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) is earmarked for women; c) the President is to be appointed via a constitutional election; and d) the Prime Minister is selected by the President and he/she then names his/her Cabinet.[16][17] On 23 June 2012, the Somali federal and regional leaders met again and approved a draft constitution after several days of deliberation.[18] The National Constituent Assembly overwhelmingly passed the new constitution on 1 August, with 96% voting for it, 2% against it, and 2% abstaining.[19]

On 28 June 2012, President Sharif Ahmed signed a cooperation deal in Dubai with Ahmed Mahamoud Silanyo, President of the separatist Somaliland region in northwestern Somalia. Referred to as the Dubai Charter, the agreement calls for greater coordination between Somalia's various political units and is part of broader international reconciliation efforts among all Somali parties. The presidents of the autonomous Puntland and Galmudug regions as well as the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs also attended the signing.[20]

2012 presidential elections

In August 2012, Sharif Ahmed presented himself as a candidate for re-election in the year's national presidential elections. On 20 August, Ahmed's term as President of Somalia officially ended, concurrent with the conclusion of the Transitional Federal Government's mandate and the start of the Federal Government of Somalia. He was succeeded in office by General Muse Hassan Sheikh Sayid Abdulle, who had been serving in an interim capacity.[21]

Sharif Ahmed was among the top four presidential candidates who made it to the second round of voting. Two of the four finalists subsequently dropped out, leaving Sharif Ahmed to contest the presidency with the eventual winner, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.[22]

References

  1. Rabasa, Angel (2009). Radical Islam in East Africa. Rand Corporation. p. 59. ISBN 0833045199. http://books.google.ca/books?id=sCxkLkI5KbcC&pg=PA59&lpg=PA59#v=onepage&q&f=false. 
  2. Aljazeera News (Arabic Network)
  3. "Mogadishu's modest Islamic leader". BBC. 12 June 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/5072268.stm. Retrieved 17 January 2007. 
  4. "Somalia swears in new president", Sapa-AFP (IOL), 31 January 2009.
  5. Somali president appoints new PM. Al Jazeera. Retrieved on 22 August 2012.
  6. Somali parliament approves new prime minister. Reuters (31 October 2010). Retrieved on 22 August 2012.
  7. parliament approves new premier/-/1066/1043934/-/36b2q7z/-/ Somali parliament approves new premier[dead link]
  8. UN chief encourages new Somalia PM to form government. People Daily (2010). Retrieved on 22 August 2012.
  9. Noor Ali (2011-10-16). Kenyan ramps up security at Somali border, eyes al Shabaab. Reuters. Retrieved on 22 August 2012.
  10. "Kenyan troops pursue al-Shabab into Somalia in Operation Linda Nchi". 16 October 2011. http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/10/20111016115410991692.html. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 
  11. Somali President wants Kenya troops out. Africa Review. Retrieved on 22 August 2012.
  12. Somalia government supports Kenyan forces' mission. Standard Media (31 October 2011). Retrieved on 22 August 2012.
  13. Somalia vow to clear Al Shabaab Kenya, Somalia vow to clear Al Shabaab. Standard Media (1 November 2011). Retrieved on 22 August 2012.
  14. "Kenya: Defense Minister appointed as acting Internal Security Minister". 19 June 2012. http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Kenya_Defense_Minister_appointed_as_acting_Internal_Security_Minister.shtml. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  15. "Kenya agrees to join AMISOM". China Daily. 7 December 2011. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2011-12/07/content_14225808.htm. 
  16. Somalia: Garowe conference comes to a close. Garoweonline.com (19 February 2012). Retrieved on 22 August 2012.
  17. Second Garowe Conference Concludes. Somalia Report (18 February 2012). Retrieved on 2 August 2012.
  18. "Somali Leaders Adopt Draft Constitution". ANP/AFP. http://news.africanseer.com/general/203260-somalia-somali-leaders-adopt-draft-constitution.html. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  19. "Somalia adopts a constitution, amidst insecurity". 1 August 2012. http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_adopts_a_constitution_amidst_insecurity.shtml. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  20. "Mogadishu, Somaliland sign cooperation deal: report". 28 June 2012. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. http://web.archive.org/web/20130921055354/http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5i0PL7RRrZdKc0pNWPTXsJAvKB2Zw?docId=CNG.1b5f582d499ddcbc132bb7f3eb3290a8.551. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  21. "Office of the Somali Parliament". Office of the Somali Parliament. http://www.somaligov.net/The%20Parliament.html. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  22. "Somali lawmakers elect Mohamud as next president". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/10/somalia-politics-idUSL5E8KAIUR20120910. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Adan Mohamed Nuur Madobe
Acting
President of Somalia
2009–2012
Succeeded by
Musa Hassan Abdulle
Acting


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