Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal

Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal (Somali: Maxamed Xaaji Ibraahim Cigaal, Arabic: محمد الحاج ابراهيم عقال‎) (August 15, 1928 – May 3, 2002) was a veteran Somali politician. He was the President of Somaliland from 1993 to 2002. He previously served as the first Prime Minister of the Somali Republic during the early and late 1960s. [3]

Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal
محمد الحاج ابراهيم عقال
Mohammed Haaji Ibrahim Cigaal.jpg
2nd President of Somaliland
In office
May 16, 1993 – May 3, 2002
Vice PresidentAbdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur (1993-1995)[1]
Abdirahman Aw Ali Farrah (1995–1997)[2]
Dahir Riyale Kahin (1997–2002)
Preceded byAbdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur
Succeeded byDahir Riyale Kahin
Prime Minister of the State of Somaliland
In office
June 26, 1960 – July 1, 1960
Preceded bySir Douglas Hall (as Governor of British Somaliland)
Succeeded byNone (position abolished)
1st & 4th Prime Minister of Somali Republic
In office
July 1, 1960 – July 12, 1960
Preceded byAbdullahi Issa (as the Prime Minister of the Trust Territory of Somalia)
Succeeded byAbdirashid Ali Shermarke
In office
July 15, 1967 – October 21, 1969
Preceded byAbdirizak Haji Hussein
Succeeded byMuhammad Ali Samatar
Personal details
Born(1928-08-15)August 15, 1928
Odweyne, British Somaliland (now Somaliland)
DiedMay 3, 2002(2002-05-03) (aged 73)
Pretoria, South Africa
Political partyUnited Peoples' Democratic Party
Somali Youth League
Spouse(s)(1) Edna Adan
(2) Asha Saeed Aabi
(3) Hawa Ainab
(4) Kaltum Haji Dahir
Alma materSOS Sheikh Secondary School

Life and education

Egal was born in 1928, in Odweyne then a part of British Somaliland. He hails from the Issa Musse sub-division of the Habar Awal clan of Isaaq.

He completed his primary, intermediate, and secondary education in former British Somaliland and then moved to the United Kingdom. Egal was married to Asha Saeed Abby, and together they had three sons and two daughters.


Somaliland Flying for the first time: The White and Blue Somali Flag at the Independence Celebrations on 26 June 1960 Prime Minister of the State of Somaliland salutes the flag.

On 26 June 1960 Egal was Prime minister of the newly independent State of Somaliland, which merged five days later with the former Trust Territory of Somalia to form the Somali Republic on July 1, 1960.

Government work

He served as the first Somali's defence minister (1960–1962), Education Minister (1962–1963), Prime minister (1967–1969), and ambassador to India (1976–1978), although he was imprisoned twice under Barre dictatorship.

Prime Minister of Somali Republic

In 1967, Abdirashid Ali Shermarke was elected President and he appointed Egal as the Prime Minister.[4]

He was still the Prime Minister and in Washington D.C. when President Abdirashid Ali Shermarke was assassinated on October 15, 1969. Shortly afterward, the newly established Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC) led by Major General Siad Barre, Brigadier General Mohamed Ainashe Gule, Lieutenant Colonel Salaad Gabeyre Kediye and Chief of Police Jama Korshel seized power.[5] The SRC subsequently renamed the country the Somali Democratic Republic,[6][7] arrested members of the former civilian government, banned political parties,[8] dissolved the parliament and the Supreme Court, and suspended the constitution.[9] Egal was among the politicians detained by the SRC for his prominent role in the nation's early government. He was eventually released and was named the Ambassador to India (1976-1978) before the Barre regime imprisoned him again on charges of conspiracy until 1985.

President of Somaliland

Egal managed to successfully disarm and rehabilitate rebel groups, stabilised the north western region and Economy of Somaliland, successfully managed to establish bilateral trade with foreign countries, introduce Somaliland new currency the Somaliland shilling, as well as the Somaliland passport and Somaliland national flag and creating the most successful and powerful armed police and military force in Somalia.

Throughout his term as president of the Republic of Somaliland, Egal's dedication to the secessionist cause was doubted and challenged by hardliners, particularly within the Somali National Movement (SNM), who believed that he still ultimately hoped to reconcile with other political actors in the rest of Somalia. In August 2001, Egal survived by one vote a motion tabled by several regional MPs charging him of half-heartedly pursuing separatism.[10] In an interview with IRIN the same year, SNM leader Abdirahman Awale also said of Egal that "when he says he is for independence, it is for local consumption only. He tells the people here one thing, but in his speeches elsewhere he has clearly declared that Somalia will unite one day. He says we will talk to the southerners when they make their home clean and negotiate with them... He says one thing to the public, and a different thing to the international community."[11]


Egal died on May 3, 2002 in Pretoria, South Africa while undergoing surgery at a military hospital. His body was returned to Somaliland for a state funeral, whereafter his three sons laid him to rest next to his father, in accordance with his last wishes. Around 4,000 mourners reportedly attended his burial in Berbera, and the regional parliament declared seven days of mourning. However, Somaliland flags did not fly at half-staff since the emblem on them includes the Shahadah, Islam's holiest words. Dahir Rayale Kahin was sworn in the next day as the new president.[12]


  1. ^ Paquin, Jonathan (July 1, 2010). A Stability-Seeking Power: U.S. Foreign Policy and Secessionist Conflicts. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP. ISBN 9780773591028 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ Bahcheli, Tozun; Bartmann, Barry; Srebrnik, Henry (September 9, 2004). De Facto States: The Quest for Sovereignty. Routledge. ISBN 9781135771218 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "Somaliland's Quest for International Recognition and the HBM-SSC Factor". Archived from the original on May 28, 2012.
  4. ^ Greenfield, Richard (May 8, 2002). "Obituary: Mohamed Ibrahim Egal". The Independent.
  5. ^ Adam, p.226
  6. ^ J. D. Fage, Roland Anthony Oliver, The Cambridge history of Africa, Volume 8, (Cambridge University Press: 1985), p.478.
  7. ^ The Encyclopedia Americana: complete in thirty volumes. Skin to Sumac, Volume 25, (Grolier: 1995), p.214.
  8. ^ Metz, Helen C., ed. (1992), "Coup d'Etat", Somalia: A Country Study, Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress.
  9. ^ Peter John de la Fosse Wiles, The New Communist Third World: an essay in political economy, (Taylor & Francis: 1982), p.279.
  10. ^ Africa Research Ltd (2006). Africa contemporary record: annual survey and documents, Volume 28. Africana Publishing Co. pp. B–525.
  11. ^ "Somalia: IRIN interview with Somali National Movement (SNM)". IRIN. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  12. ^ "Somaliland leader buried". BBC News. May 6, 2002.

External links

Political offices
New title Prime Minister of the State of Somaliland
Somaliland merged with Somalia
New title Prime Minister of Somalia
Succeeded by
Abdirashid Ali Shermarke
Preceded by
Abdirizak Haji Hussein
Prime Minister of Somalia
1967 – 1969
Succeeded by
Mohamed Farah Salad
Preceded by
Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur
President of Somaliland
1993 – 2002
Succeeded by
Dahir Riyale Kahin