11 June 2007

Somalia: Body of First President Arrives in Mogadishu

Mogadishu — The body of Somalia's first president, Aden Abdulle Osman (Aden Adde), was received by Somalia transitional government officials and relatives at Mogadishu international airport on Monday morning.

Initially the government was in a high level preparation to receive the body of Aden Abdulle Osman, the country's first president who died in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on 8 June.

Senior government officials, relatives of the deceased and journalists have stormed Mogadishu international airport soon as the plane carrying the cadaver of President Osman landed at the airport. "There was a tight security inside and outside the airport", Shabelle reporter, Rage, said.

The government spokesman, Abdi Haji Goobdoon, has told Shabelle on Monday that the government was prepared to hold a national memorial service for the late president. "We have arranged a national memorial service for Somalia's first president, Aden Abdulle Osman Adern Adde, and today is mourning day for the nation of Somalia wherever they are in the world," he said.

Aden Abdulle Osman was born in 1908 in Balet Weyne, the main town of Hiran province, central Somalia.

Osman, spent most of life in his farm land in Janale, southern Somalia, following the collapse of former government in 1991.

The deceased was considered to be first African leader to be democratically elected in July 1, 1960 when Somalia took its independence from Italy.

In February 1944, he joined the Somali Youth Club (later called the Somali Youth League, SYL,), a nationalist party, which struggled for the independence of Somalia.

He became a member of the party's steering board and in 1946 he was appointed as Secretary of Belet Weyne where he hails from.

From 1958 until 1959 he acted as chairman of the Somali Youth League. In 1956 he was elected as chairman of the Legislative Assembly.

In June 10, 1967, he was defeated by Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, the second president of Somalia, in a general presidential election.

Goobdoon said, "The president was an influential figure who played major roles in demotic and foreign politics. His legacy will always be remembered in Somalia. He was elected as the head of state in the country in 1960 without bloodshed and stepped down without creating any tension and conflict among Somalia's population and politicians in 1967, so I believe he is a role model for our politicians."

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