Maanta Waa - Today is

President Egal Died But Somaliland Is Here To Stay

May 14 2002 We share with the people of Somaliland their shock and grieve over the terrible loss of our President, Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, who died yesterday morning in a military hospital in Pretoria, South Africa. Translate (for Somali articles no translation available, sorry!)

Death is an inevitable event that every creature is bound to meet.
Mohammed Ibrahim Egal's soul, may Allah rest it in eternal peace, was
of course no exception. But one cannot fail to notice the feelings of
total disbelief that his countrymen and women have already shown in
reaction to the news of his death. Despite being overwhelmed by
feelings of shock, loss and sorrow, Somalilanders however have once
again demonstrated their maturity and wisdom in dealing with times of
national calamity. Shortly after the news of Egal's death arrived in
Hargeisa yesterday, Vice President Dahir Riyale Kahin was sworn in as
President of the Republic of Somaliland. It is not the first time
that Somaliland has accomplished a smooth succession of power in the
country's leadership.

In fact, Somaliland has never experienced a power vacuum since its
inception in 1991.

At this juncture, we are confident that the people of Somaliland will
heed the calls of unity from their government leaders and across the
nation, and uphold the country's peace and stability. This is a time
for atonement and reconciliation.

We also commend the responsible way in which the leaders of the
political opposition parties and civic groups have reacted to the
unfortunate loss that this country has sustained in the death of its
president. The people of Somaliland take great consolation
in this expression of patriotism and unity of purpose.

To the enemies of this country, we say that President Egal is dead,
but the Republic of Somaliland is here to stay.

Somaliland President Egal Dies (1929 - 2002)
Pretoria, South Africa (SL Times): The President of the Republic of
Somaliland, Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, died Friday in a military hospital
in Pretoria, South Africa.

Mr. Egal arrived in Pretoria last week, for medical treatment. He was
admitted into a military hospital on Thursday April 25 for a medical
check up after experiencing numbness in his legs.

Initially his condition was so bad that he had to be taken from the
plane to the hospital in an ambulance.

Iqbal Jhazbhay, a South African who represents Somaliland affairs in
his country, was at the side of President Egal during the treatment.
Egal was also accompanied by his wife, Kaltum Haji Dahir, and five
children from another wife, Asha Saeed Aabi, in addition to a
delegation comprising foreign minister Mohamed Saeed Gees,
information minister Abdillahi Mohamed Dualle and governor of Bank of
Somaliland, Abdirahman Dualle.

Mr. Jhazbhay said Mr. Egal had responded well to initial treatment
and was walking on crutches. He was in good spirit and sharing Jokes
with members of his delegation that had accompanied on the trip.
In their attempt to determine the cause of the numbness, doctors at
the military hospital then performed an exploratory bowel operation
known as colonoscopy.

During the procedure in the early hours of Friday President Egal, 74,
sustained laceration and died from a complication arising from
pressure on his heart and lungs.

Mr. Jhazbhay added that Mr. Egal's advanced age had also been a
factor leading to his death at 10am Pretoria local time. He said the
Somaliland delegation members did not suspect negligence on the part
of doctors or hospital staff. President Egal's body is expected to be
flown back to Somaliland on Sunday; a Somaliland government said last

In fulfillment of his will, President Egal will be buried near his
father's grave in the port city of Berbera.

The late President was born in 1929 in Odweine about 75km southwest
of Buroa. In the early fifties, Egal went to England on a 2-year
college education course on the subject of commerce.

In 1956, Egal became the Secretary General of Somaliland's
independence Party, the Somali National League.

When Somaliland gained its independence from Britain on June 26,
1960, Mr. Egal was elected Prime Minister of the new independent
state of Somaliland.

After the independent state of Somaliland merged with Somalia on July
1960, Mr. Egal became the Union's first minister of defense and later
its minister of information. He resigned in 1963 to form an
opposition party, the Somali National Congress (SNC).

In 1964, Egal was re-elected to Parliament and then became Somalia's
Prime minister from 1967 up to October 1969. His government was
toppled by General Siyad Barre on Oct 21 1969; the military regime
put him in prison for 8 years.

On May 18 1991, Somaliland won 10-year-old liberation struggle
against Barre's regime and proclaimed its independence.

Abdirahman Ahmed Ali (Tur) was the first President of Somaliland.
Egal was elected President of the new Republic in Boroma's National
Reconciliation Conference on May 3, 1993.

He was returned to office on Feb 23, 1997 in the wake of another
National Conference held in Hargeisa on Oct 1996 - March 1997 for a
term of 5 years.

Last January, his term in office was extended for a period of one

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Posted to the web 15:24 May 14 2002 by SLT.

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