March 23, 2012 ·35 Comments
BOSASSO — The former president of Somalia has died at the age of 78 in a Dubai hospital, in the United Arab Emirates, on Friday.
Abdullahi Yusuf was the first Somali president to return to the capital Mogadishu since the fall of dictator Mohammed Siad Bare in 1991, and served four years before handing power to Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed in 2008.
Mr Yusuf was a controversial army colonel who tried to remove Mohammed Siad Bare by force since 1977. He is said to have formed the first armed rebel group, Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF), in Somalia. He also became the first president of Somalia’s semi autonomous region of Puntland in 1998.
He underwent a liver transplant in the late 1990s and was admitted to hospitals in neighboring Kenya, Yemen and the United Kingdom several times.
Sources close to the family of Mr Yusuf said his liver transplant failed and he past away peacefully.
He is expected to be buried in the town of Galkayo in Puntland where he was born in 1934.
The Somaliland government issued a statement offering their condolences to the family, relatives of Mr Yusuf and the Somali people.
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