Profile: Somali's newly resigned President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed 2008-12-29 20:48:53   Print

    MOGADISHU, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed resigned on Monday as Somali's transitional president four years after he was inaugurated in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

    Following a two-year national reconciliation conference, Ahmed was elected president on Oct. 10, 2004 in a session of the Somali Transitional Federal Parliament in Kenya, and four days after that, he was sworn in as president.

    The inauguration ceremony was attended by leaders of different Somali factions, heads of states from several East African nations, representatives from some other countries as well as the members of Somali community in Nairobi.

    Ahmed was born in the town of Galkaayo in the central Somali region of Mudug in 1934. He joined the Somali army and was among the first cadets to be sent to Italy in 1957 for military training. He took part in the two Somali-Ethiopian wars of 1964 and 1977. He was honored for bravery in both wars but remained an army colonel throughout his military career.

    Ahmed fell out with the then Somali President Mohamed Siyad Barre and fled to Ethiopia where he formed a rebel movement known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front, which he led until the fall of the late Somali government in 1991.

    His movement then took over large swathes in northeastern Somalia where is now known as Puntland. He remained as the president of the self-styled semiautonomous state of Puntland until 2004.

    The Somali transitional government led by President Ahmed was in exile for the first year of its existence because of internal disagreement. With support from Ethiopian troops, the Somali government forces retook capital city Mogadishu and much of the country's central and southern parts from an Islamist movement in late 2006, but remained troubled by deadly Islamist insurgency.

    During his tenure, President Ahmed named three prime ministers but he fell out with the first two. However, the third prime minister he named was never recognized by the Parliament or the international community.

    The Somali transitional government and the opposition, the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia, has signed a power sharing agreement that stipulated the expansion of the current parliament and the election of a new leadership. The accord is widely welcomed by Somalia's stakeholders and the international community but characterized by the resigned president as no more than "a clan deal."

Editor: Yao
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