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President Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke


The History of Unique President Dr Abdirashir Ali Sharmarke 1919- 1969

More by user: Nuruddin Farah
Created: 13th May 2010
Modified: 13th May 2010
Professional Information

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Biographical Information
President Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke
(At a Glance)
Date of Birth: Nov/16/1919
Gender: male
Place of Origin: Somalia

Somalis reminds his famous speech during the war against Ethiopia 1964, “ Somalis reminds his famous speech during the war against Ethiopia 1964, Dr Sharmarke said: We join the elections and We are voting with our right hand, and with our left hand we took the rifle to defend the country from Ethiopians, our enemy, my dream is to liberate Somali who living under colonial power Ogaden, NFD, and Djabuti”

Shermarke was born in 1919 to a wealthy family in the town of Harardhere in the district of Hobyo.

Raised in Mogadishu, he attended Qur’anic schools and completed his elementary education in 1936. He then embarked on a career as a trader and later as a civil servant in the Italian colonial administration.

In 1943, the year of its inauguration, Shermarke joined the incipient Somali Youth League political party. He entered the British administration’s civil service the following year.

While still a civil servant, Shermarke completed his secondary education in 1953. He earned a scholarship to study at the prestigious Sapienza University of Rome, where he graduated in political science in 1958.

Today The university  has 21 faculties, 21 museums, 155 libraries and 130 institutions.

Sapienza University of Rome

The number of students is 147 000  and the number of teachers is 10 144 (www.SapienzaUniversity.com)

“ Sapienza University of Rome Sapienza – Università di Roma; still widely known as Università di Roma “La Sapienza is a coeducational, autonomous state university in Rome, Italy. It is the largest European university and the most ancient of the city’s three state-funded universities; Sapienza was founded in 1303. In Italian, sapienza means “wisdom” or “knowledge”.

Sapienza University of Rome ranks among top 20 European universities, recognized as the most prestigious Italian University, acknowledged among other elite institutes all around the world.

A leader must have Knowledge in its field

A leader must have a high level of knowledge in areas such as in their institution or in their company involved. It is clear that it may use the expertise most of people do not possess themselves, but we must have knowledge of working with. “

Dr. Shermarke was a president with  knowledge and genuine necessary skills to lead a country, knowledge about how to handle several million citizens, in answer to give them good health, education for children and young people, build infrastructure, build strong army, development opportunities for businesses, eradicate poverty.

He took decisions with regard to the country and its citizens best, it means that he exercised his power, after consulting experts in the field although it was only a few who  graduated as Sharmarke,

When he  involved with decisions, he considering with respect to wider support in parliamentary decision

After returning from his studies abroad in Italy in 1959, Shermarke was elected to the Legislative Assembly.

When Somalia gained its independence on July 1, 1960, he was appointed by then-incumbent President Aden Abdulle Osman as Prime Minister.

Shermarke’s duties as Prime Minister saw him travel abroad extensively in pursuit of a non-aligned and neutral foreign policy. He remained Prime Minister until March 1964, when the first general elections were held and which saw him re-elected as a member of Parliament.

In the 1967 presidential elections, Shermarke beat out Aden Abdulle Osman  to become  President of Somalia. He was sworn in to office on June 10, 1967.

When Dr. Sharmarke won the presidential post, he nominated Mr. Mohamed Ibrahim Igal to Prime Minister becouse Shermarke manning an important goverment posts with regard to individuals’ education and its qaualifications

He was educated, religious, modern, traditional, social, sometimes driving his car when he noticed that his driver is tired, he said: I am a driver and you are the President “when he jokes with him.

On October 15, 1969, while paying a visit to the northern town of Las Anod, Shermarke was shot dead by one of his own bodyguards.

Why he traveled to North Somalia :
Cities in north Somalia suffered a prolonged dry  1969, livestock deaths due to dry, the people suffered from hunger. News wrote a lot about it. Then Dr. Shermarke decided to travel there, while his advisers suggest he would not trip, because there is a conspiracy in the same way against him and against democracy

But he insisted to trip there, replied: I want to experience difficulties hit by my people, the feeling of pity prevent me not to travel. If i don`t travel there, then i feel that I have betrayed my people and my country, therefore it is my duty to take part of their difficulties, to get a correct assessment of the situation.

When he arrived in the city Hargiesa he made a speech : Our country had got independence before 9 years ago, I came here as a state leader to show you my government´s sympathy.

I have an obligation to ensure the size of the drought in my eyes, and then collect the government’s members to invest in the available  resources to rescue people.

His assassination was quickly followed by a Military Coup on October 21, 1969 (the day after his funeral), in which the army seized power without encountering opposition essentially a bloodless coup. The coup was spearheaded by Major General Muhammad Siad Barre, who was at the time the commander of the army.