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Mohamed Yusuf Haji

Mohamed Yusuf Haji (Somali: Maxamed Yuusuf Xaaji) (born 23 December 1940) is a Kenyan politician. He was the Minister of Defence of Kenya from 2008 to 2013, and briefly served as its acting Minister of Internal Security and Provincial Affairs in 2012. He has served in the Senate of Kenya since 2013.

Mohamed Yusuf Haji

Maxamed Yuusuf Xaaji
Member of the Kenyan Senate
Assumed office
28 March 2013
ConstituencyGarissa County
Minister of State for Defence
In office
8 January 2008 – 26 April 2013
PresidentMwai Kibaki
Preceded byNjenga Karume
Succeeded byRaychelle Omamo
Member of the National Assembly of Kenya
In office
2003 – March 2013
Preceded byMohammed Weyrah
Succeeded byIbrahim Abass Ibrahim
Personal details
Born (1940-12-23) 23 December 1940 (age 78)
Garissa District, British Kenya
Political partyKANU
Alma materUniversity of Birmingham (Dip)

Personal lifeEdit

Haji was born in 1940 in Garissa District in the North Eastern Province (Northern Frontier District) to an ethnic Somali family.[1] He hails from the Abdalla subclan of the Ogaden Darod.[2]

For his post-secondary education, Haji earned a diploma from the University of Birmingham, where he majored in Management and Finance Control.[1]

Haji is married.[1]

Political careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Haji began his professional career in administration and management. He joined the Provincial Administration of Kenya as a District Officer, and went on to serve as Provincial Commissioner between 1970 and 1997.[1]

In 1998, Haji was nominated as a member of the Kenyan Parliament. He was later elected an official Member of Parliament on a Kenya African National Union (KANU) ticket.[1]

From 1998 to 2001, Haji worked as an Assistant Minister in the Office of the President. He subsequently acted as the Office's Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs in 2002.[1]

On a KANU ticket, Haji was elected to represent the Ijara Constituency in the National Assembly of Kenya at the 2007 parliamentary elections.[3]

Minister of DefenceEdit

On 8 January 2008, Haji was appointed Kenya's Minister of State for Defence after the 27 December 2007 general elections.[1]

On 18 October 2011, Haji and a Kenyan delegation met with Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG) officials in Mogadishu to discuss security issues cooperation against the Islamist Al-Shabaab group as part of the coordinated Operation Linda Nchi.[4] Haji and Somalia's Minister of Defence Hussein Arab Isse then signed an agreement to collaborate against the insurgent group.[5]

In early June 2012, Haji signed another agreement officially re-hatting Kenya's deployed military forces in Somalia under the AMISOM general command.[6]

Haji's term as Minister of Defence ended on 26 April 2013.[7]

Minister of Internal SecurityEdit

On 18 June 2012, Haji was appointed Kenya's acting Minister of Internal Security and Provincial Affairs after the incumbent minister George Saitoti died in a helicopter crash a few days earlier. Haji had previously worked closely with Saitoti on the Linda Nchi military operation. Haji held the new position concurrently with the Minister of Defence docket until a permanent Internal Minister was appointed on 21 September 2012.[8]


In recent times, Yusuf Haji has been linked with facilitating illicit trade in Somalia. According to a UN official interviewed by JFJ, there is a “fairly formal relationship” between the administration of Madobe and his former al-Shabaab colleagues when it comes to the charcoal business. Both have appointed special representatives on charcoal who negotiate the terms of their coordination and profit-sharing. Madobe of course is very close to Kenya. In this connection, workers at the port in Kismayo said that the port manager, “Hadun”, was a close associate and relative of the former Kenyan Defence Minister, Yusuf Haji, and that he had been placed there by his relative. Journalists in Kismayo claimed the same, pointing out that “Hadun” is from the same sub-sub-clan (Aden Abdalla/Abdalla/Ogaden). If this is true, then it would seem that a Kenyan cartel made up of senior military and political figures is pulling the strings of the charcoal-sugar trade from both sides of the border. A European diplomat who had seen intelligence reports said, with reference to the Somalia aspect of the smuggling ring: “I can’t tell you the details but [the KDF] … controls everything, together with Yusuf Haji. Madobe doesn’t exist: it’s Haji that controls the clan.” He meant that Madobe and his administration in Kismayo were simply representatives of the Ogaden clan of which Yusuf Haji is the most influential member. [9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "HON. MOHAMED YUSUF HAJI, E.G.H., M.P., THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR DEFENCE". Ministry of Defence of Kenya. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  2. ^ The Weekly Review. Stellascope Limited. 1997. p. 200. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  3. ^ Members Of The 10th Parliament Archived 16 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Parliament of Kenya. Accessed 19 June 2008.
  4. ^ "SomaliaReport: Kenya and Somalia Agree to Fight Al-Shabaab". Archived from the original on 15 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  5. ^ "PM – Somali President speaks out against Kenyan invasion 25/10/2011". Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  6. ^ "Kenya: Defense Minister appointed as acting Internal Security Minister". Garowe Online. 19 June 2012. Archived from the original on 5 April 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  7. ^ Ombati, Cyrus (26 April 2013). "Woman Takes Over Powerful Defence Docket". Standard Digital. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  8. ^ "Newly appointed ministers, assistant sworn-in". Daily Nation. 21 September 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
  9. ^ "Black and White: Kenya's Criminal Racket in Somalia" (PDF). Journalists for Justice. 11 November 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.

External linksEdit