Count Down to Irro’s subsequent Victories and Lessons for New Post-Colonial School Generation Politicians: From Senior Police Officer’s First Son to Speaker, Party Chairman and Presidential Candidacy

By Dr. Abdiwahab A. Iidaan

Mr. Abdirahman Mohamed Abdillahi, the Speaker of Somaliland’s House of Representatives, and the Leader of Waddani Political Party as well as Presidential Candidate has vivid history of victories, one after another that an ambitious Somali person can learn something from. Well, someone might ask, why jump to this conclusion just at the start of this article, but let me say, without diving in to the success points of this man, his attainment of current credentials and titles from fragile contexts can make someone belonging to exemplary life. These victories which will be detailed hereunder do not only reveal Irro’s traits and character as an ambitious, hardworking, brave, confident and at all times fortunate, but serve a role model for those pursuing to win hearts of their opponents to say the least, for those who wish to involve in politics without sinking to tribalism, for those who desire to swim through the ocean-waves of the Somali clan-based politics without getting wet with the dirt of nepotism, favoritism and violence, for those who want to balance gaining support from diverse communities without losing their strongholds and lastly but not the least, for the new middle-aged generation who will substitute the old, colonial school leadership. Mr. Irro, is in fact an example of calm, sharp, diplomatic leader with vision and high level of confidence, a lot of what our future post-war generation leadership needs.

Brief Background

Mr. Irro was born in Hargeisa Group Hospital in 1953 as the son of a senior police officer, Mr. Mohamed Abdillahi Egal (Irro Weyne, the grey-haired) from whom he gained many of the disciplined life as his father was described as very straight-forward and last-minute speaker. Irro has studied elementary and intermediate studies in Hargeisa, Berbera and Burao, the center of Somaliland as his father was transferred time after another. His secondary education was at the prestigious Sheikh Secondary School which harbored only those with high scores from the elementary schools. During his childhood, he lived in Buuhoodle, Burao, Oodweyne, Berbera and Hargeisa and that has provided him a wide social network and context knowledge. In fact, most of the friendship networks penetrating party and clan-lines that he enjoys today are from his classes. For one glance, former mayors of Hargeisa Mr. Ji’ir and of Berbera Mr. Abdalle have been classmates of Irro in Berbera and Hargeisa. No doubt, the amount of support he gained from his childhood friends is unmeasurable. The first lesson here is, get acquainted knowledge of your people and country and leave legacy of your behavior to your friends. This is obviously helpful as you can see today a lot of politicians deprived of friends. During Sheikh Secondary School, Mr. Irro has tested the grip of leadership as he has become a member of the House Committee (vice-chairman) that represents students and manages their affairs. The lesson here is to take in charge of small responsibilities before endeavoring major ones.

After his completion of secondary education gaining the highest grade ever (kaalinta koowaad) from 7.7.77 final exam in Sheikh school, he joined SIDAM and studied Accounting as the first degree and Master Degree (MBA) from American University while working at the same time at the Settlement Development Agency (Dan-wadaagaha) in different parts of Somalia. From 1981 he started working in the foreign service of the Somali Democratic Republic. After a lot of disappointing and discouraging times where he was blocked from opportunities to work in foreign embassies by the leadership of the Foreign Affairs Ministry he was finally allowed to serve in the Somali Embassy as the first consular in Moscow which covered all over Soviet Union states, one of the two super powers at the time. In 1991 he resumed as the acting ambassador in the Soviet Union. During this period, he has supported tens of thousands of the Somali people who have fled from the civil war. According to some estimates, he has issued more than 20 000 visas for Somali people, while also helping those stranded in other parts of Eastern Europe. He also arranged plenty scholarships for the Somali people from all corners of Somalia, while supporting the living costs of many. It is estimated that more than 65 000 of those refugees in Europe and North America have passed Moscow with his assistance. Another very important support he facilitated at his personal capacity to the Somali people was the transfer of money through official bank accounts as there were no any transfer companies at the time. Not to mention here that he was serving his people completely on voluntary basis without salary or running costs at a time the Soviet Union has entirely collapsed. In fact, many of those who have voluntarily supported him throughout his political career from the 1990s until today are from diverse clans and throughout the world and those whom he helped at their difficult times. The third lesson here is to support all people regardless of their identity when holding public office. This can be a good lesson for those who believe the office they occupy is the share of their clan.

After serving Somali people since 1996, he moved to Finland to join his family who moved there some years before him, while he remained in Moscow to support the Somali people. Right after he was in Finland, he joined the Somaliland Finnish Associated where he selflessly worked with his close friend Eng. Faysal Ali Farah whom they become brothers. For the first time, Somaliland Finnish Community has received projects from the Finnish government ahead of other immigrant organizations. For the first time, a Somali NGO in Finland has received grants from the Finnish Foreign Ministry to support Somaliland or Somalia. The first Finnish-Fact Finding mission to Somaliland was carried out in 1999 followed by a plenty of projects that continue until today.

Stirred up by the wide destruction, human suffering and vulnerability of Somaliland people who have just recovered from a self-inflicted civil war and at the same time inspired by the great hope of the Somaliland people Mr. Irro has jointly formed the UCID political party with Eng. Faysal Ali Warabe. At the same time, Faysal was the chairman of Somaliland Finnish Association and Irro the vice-chairman for 3 consecutive terms. The trust founded by their amicable, friendship and sincere concern for the plight of their people was the foundation of their cooperation. Without much preparation in terms of funds, Faysal and Irro have finally returned to Somaliland and shared the same house for some years. UCID political party was the first opposition party formally formed in Somaliland after the ruling UDUB party while the other politicians simply opposed the democratization process because they did not see it benefiting their main aim which was to put down Egal (AHN) by any means. UCID also wholeheartedly supported the Referendum which put the foundation for the multi-party system, a process which many politicians have opposed and saw favoring Egal (AHN). In fact, Irro was at the center of UCID party together with Faysal almost managing the day-to-day business of the party.

The Beacon of Success

In 2005, Irro ran for the parliamentary election in Sahil region, winning the King-of-Votes position (boqorka codka) in Sahil not only within his party but in the whole region. He won with almost one-fourth (25%) of his parties’ votes. This victory together with the backing of UCID party and specially his friend Faysal Ali Warabe and other party comrades, he pursued to the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. This was difficult to even think about such position as UCID had only 17% of the House seats but the power calculation and the grit for his ambition has helped his determination. The calculated power ended to the fact that UDUB and Kulmiye could never share the leadership of the House and none-could get majority except UCID’s support. Strategically, the chairmanship (Shir-guddoonka) of the House which was seen as indivisible and thus spurring win-lose perceived outcome was broadened in order to accommodate the other party. On this basis, UCID approached UDUB and asked to share the chairmanship (Shir-guddoonka), being confident in getting the only needed 8 votes from opposition parties, UDUB offered the second vice-chairman of the House but UCID immediately approached Kulmiye who was desperate to get opposition House in order to pressure UDUB party through the majority House of Representatives. Finally, Kulmiye agreed to take the first and second vice-chairman positions. Against the full opposition of the ruling government, with its political, economic and clan-manipulation power, Irro was elected as the Speaker of Somaliland’s House of Representatives.

Soon after this, the real picture of Mr. Irro has come to the political arena of Somaliland. Some people characterize Irro’s political behavior as “rat-biting”style—mixture of calm and silent but strongly strategic and focusing to major gains than daily politics. Irro has kept acting with the end in mind, action than speaking, and thinking than talking while his colleagues especially Samale was critically engaged in expression of his opposition to the Riyale government. The main power which UDUB government was concerned was about the power associated to the Speaker of the elected House as independent organ of Somaliland state who had access to international community, neighboring countries, and international organizations and companies which cross-checked their dealings with the parliament. In fact, Irro had created broader diplomatic ties than the government ranging from international inter-parliamentary networks and other parliaments in different parts of the world including Europe, Africa and Asia. One tangible result of Irro’s achievements is the complete replacement and reconstruction of both Houses of Parliament buildings (Guurti and G. Wakiilada). In addition, Irro has emerged as an over-arching leader who sometimes mediates the opposition and the government (while he himself was an opposition). As a result, Rayale and his close advisors have realized the strength of opposition parliament and tried to replace him by firstly changing the bylaws of the House with absolute-majority (42) votes as they realized the difficulty of getting two-third (56) votes to directly replace him. As soon as the government started such campaign, Irro and his allies which were mainly from Kulmiye (because even some UCID members have worked against him at some point) have put together an impeachment as a deterrent which has exacerbated the situation and resulted instant defeat of Riyale’s government and eventual loss of public confidence. One can refer to US Wikileaks documents about this saga and Irro’s creative engagement with the international community as well as his involvement in the final six-points resolution.

Same History Again                                                    

(“History repeats itself”, by Ibnu Khaldun, Muslim Historian)

To be continued…… (ha sugiwaayin qaybaha dambe)

Dr. Abdiwahab Cabdillahi Iidaan



  1. Dr. Abdiwahab,

    With all due respect, I totally disagree with you about your views about Irro. Irro is incompetent and unfit to lead. I hope the WADANI party members will realize that they won't stand a chance of wining an election as long as a weak leader is at the helm of their party.

    Some people may say I dislike him because of his clan. Well, if clan means anything he hails from the same clan as me: Habar Yoonis. However, I belong to my country of Somaliland, not to my clan. Hence, Irro must go.


  2. Dr. Abdiwahab,

    I think you wasted your time by giving Somalilanders a fake biography of Irro. Don't you know that we are a very close net community , who are all inter-related and everybody knows everybody. This will not change the Somalilander's perception of Mr. Irro a bit. If you have proven anything, you have proven to the IC community that Irro was illegal human-trafficker and worked on money laundering. I do not think Somalilanders will ever elected someone with the credentials of low level Somalia employee until 2001, that makes him in-confident opportunist.

  3. Waaryadhaheen, iminka ma waxbuuyeelay iminka mise waxbuu taray. Wuxuu noo sheegay in uu dadka lacag kaga guranjirey qaxootiga Moscow isagoo u shaqaynayaa dawladii Afweyne ka dambaysey. Bali Ilaahay qudradii, maalin walba maalinta ka dambaysa fartii uu qaado iyo cidii amaantaaba Ciro ayay dib ugu noqonaysaa. Ciro edebtii iyo aamuskii ayuu ku fiicnaa ee qaar kan oo kale ah ayaa garbo dheer ka tuuraya.

    • Kooshin iskahadle xageed ka akhrisatay lacagtan iyo waxan aad sheegayso dee afwayne dad badan baa u soo shaqeeyay ha ugu horeeyo siiranyo.

  4. to the surprise and disappointment of the whole nation of Somaliland republic, Siilaanyo proved to be no different to triators such as Osman kalluun, Jaamac Sifir, Ismail Buubaa, who never believe in the independence and statehood of the people of Somaliland republic. Siilaanyo sees somaliland only as part and supserviant to the failed and disasterous Somalia where wild tribes such as hawiye afar qooble and daarood doofaar wage endeless civil war for the last twenty three years. Siilaanyo left the borders of Somaliland open for the majeerteen war mangers oin garoowe to grap parts of sanaag and sool regions. This coward president doesnot even dare to stand up to the socalled head of Majeerteeniya who is called cabdi Weli who threatens to occupy even more regions in Somaliland. Notice whenever Abdi weli threatens Somaliland with AGGRESSION AND OCCUPATION, SIILAANYOPREFERS TO COWARDLY KEEP SILENT. I HOPE VERY SOON THE PEOPLE OF SOMALILAND WILL THROW OUT THIS DEAD MAN WALKING CALLED SIILAANYO TO THE DOGS.

  5. A Poorly written article littered with full of garbage. It is nothing more than a fabricated biography by an angry man about an angry man with full of hate. Please take your sorry ass to elsewhere .

  6. Are you kidding me? Cirro was representing Afwayne until his death and left the Ambassador office in Moscow only after 1993 !!!! I leave the judging to you guys, but to me, he's not clean…..

    • Buuxiye,

      What about Siilaanyo.? What was Siilaanyo's first assignment when he went to London? Was he not sent by Siyaad Barr to bring SNM fighters back Somalia? We have many secrets we shy away to disclose. So be real and respect your parliament speaker.

      • Neeor,

        Taasi waa ku qabso, ku qadimeyside. Nacasnimadaadda Cirro iyo Silaanyo ayaad is barbar dhig doontaa. Walee waa yaab, waxa qoladani arkayso ee Somaliland arki weeydey. Waar yaan laydinku qoslin ee xishoodda yaaydaan saliid dabadda ka keenine Looooooooool.

        • Farah saliidle,
          Waa la arki doonaa cidii saliid laga keeno,waarcaga dhigo kolay waxaba iska celinmayside sidiinii baad yaaci doontaan yaa maryo aloolaay dii hore miyaad ilowday. doorkan winner take all!

  7. Human beings have different cultures, and each culture tells the true traits and traditions of every society. The culutre in which Somaliland people, especially Isaagis, accustomed to is to deny and denounce the credibility of one of them. It is as if almost all Isaaqis were born to dsmiss what one desrves and lie what one said or wrote against what another argued or even initiated. It is this element of hate, hard to restrain or even to restrict, that most of the commonts on this forum carry that proves that most of Isaaqis are mentally retarded and their mentality never grows up with their natatonal aspiration.

  8. Irro is the beginning of the new generation that is going to lead the country. He represents new and fresh ideas that will help the country develop and prosper. It is the time for the old generation like Silanyo to retire. I hope Silanyo will build the first nursing home that he will live in before he is booted out of the government.

    • The author eloquently elaborated on Eroh's history of patriotism, selflessness and soft spot for helping the needy. The stability of Somalilands government for the past 8 years and the manner in which he resolved the latest parliamentary interference from warlord Siilaanyo is a testimony to his leadership and superior diplomatic maneuvers.

  9. Here is my personal opinion without bias. This man was has nothing to say or do since he came to power at the helm of SL parliament. Not even during any major crises. He was not eventful. excuse my English. Until he had a major fall out with waraabe. When he lost the case in the courts he decided to form his own party which was an excellent decision and the obvious route for him to take. In mind, I thought this man is a calculating position who is coming of age. The only qualm I had with him was most of his inner circle are from the corrupt Remnants of Udub party. I really wanted to see new blood and youth in there.But , hey politicians see things different than us ordinary folks. And then, he was riding high until this crises which he caused himself without thought to what might come of it. let us look at this from rational point of view. What made him think that he can get rid of the president and the co-leaders of the parliament in one go. a typical Somali fadhi ku dirir rhetoric thoughts. What made think that he will gain the continuous support of a corrupt , back stabbing Parliament members . No plan B. You could see from his following actions that he had no plan. Closing the parliament sessions to stop voting him out of office. And then calling on his tribe to arms risking leading the whole country down the drain. A wise leader would not do this. In my Opinion Erro need to have people of integrity and wisdom not to mention caring for this young country as his inner circle. Only a dictator will take that kind of actions burning himself and his people in the process. This time he and the country was saved from a sure recipe for disaster but what about next time. Just remember where it landed SOMALIA when Siayd bare and his cohorts decided to rule this country alone and what happened. We don't need that disaster again.

    • Cimraan,
      Don't play politics with prejudices. Politics is not an art for grievances. It is a struggle for mastery, if you can understand this. Your opinion towards Cirro is full of grief and nothing else. That is one thing.

      The other thing is that please drop name "Cimraan" and use your own name. It is disgrace to name yourself a name that belongs to a clan. This also proves that your thinking is too low and do not differentiate between what is wrong and what is right

      • Cimraan is Marshall of the dung beetles clan. They are a bunch of Siilaanyo guulwadayaals who dwell on this ardaa to insult clans while singing Siilaanyo's praises here at all times. They abuse the good name of honorable HJ. They are Siilanyo's body guards and together belong to the dung beetles clan. Siilaanyo being the king of the dung beetles clan is guarded jealously.

      • These guys you talking about are good f4ckers and must have f8cked your mother in front of you. KKKKKKK

        • ABDI,
          Cimraan is the eldest son of Habra Mother Jecle and Ayoub is the eldest son of
          mother Magadle. Btw the Cimraan blogger is not DR Yusuf but from the South Somalian.
          DR Yusuf has many other names but neveer ever uses Cimraan names.The blogger
          himself tells the truth when he said that he's not from Cibran. Abdi, if you are from
          HJ, you are one of the weirdest and weakest link without apologies. Cibran as yiou
          claim is the Marshal of all the Somaliland at all times and not only limited to the GOSL
          headed by HE President Ahmed Silaanyo. Enough to respect the Cibran as the eldest of
          all the three habroz,,,,Jecle, Magadle,Sharifo. Keep your Dung Beetles to your Arda.
          trying to teach you little bit of history and no hard feelings.

          • my comments are for both zee and abdi. Btw i now know that Abdi is not from the HJ.
            No wonder that he lacks the far sightedeness of the HJ bloc. history and blindly

  10. What a sickness!!! How come you just unethically deface a well and professionally writen article about one of Somaliland's most popular leaders? Who come you brush this man and the writer without one senseful reason! Waa kuwani ma asxaabul ukhduudkiibay soo tooseen. Guys, just politely refute with evidence if you have any mismatches of this article or about this man but don't just brush him! You are the old type Somalis who forsake our nation with your illfull manners.

    I solute the author of this article and would urge anyone who has a good record of our other politicians to just write like this. This author has not hurt or blamed any other person but has shared with us a good part of Irro's history although he has not critically examined some parts.

    I am one of those who would like to know more about this man whom I believe has good understanding of power and politics in general. He seems to own artful and timely tactics. Dr. Abdiwahab, please wire more but be more critical.
    Hassan Berberaawi

  11. What a nice and eloquently written piece of Irro! Well done Diktoore and never mind about those sick guys who meesh xun uun ka ursada as the Somalis say. Kudos Abdiwahab.

    Since he came to the Somaliland political fora, Cirro gained more and more through his politeness, calm and respectful. I never saw him insulting anyone even when he was continuously and even his personality was attached by his closest friends like Faysal Cali Warabe. He smartly replied with quoting some stories like Silsiladda Xaydha or Waaba Laxbaa lagaa yidhi and so on, which indirectly educated his opponents. It is surprising to see how his former enemies are diehardly supporting him from every corner….look at Cali Gurey, Faysal, Jamaal, Xoog, Gaboose and others who have sometime back seen him as their 1# enemy!
    I never saw him worried, he always laughs in difficulties. He is also fully aware of his power and jurisdiction. I liked and started admiring him the day discarded the letter from the Chairman of the Supreme Court who asked him to stop adjourning the sessions of the parliament until disputes on the nomination of sub-committee members is settled with the deputy chairmen of the house, but Cirro replied "Golaha wakiiladu ma aha jago la isku haysto oo la xannibayo inta laga heshiinayo, laakiin waa gole madax bannaan wixii dhexdiisa ka jirana waxa lagu xalinayaa xeer-hoosaadkiisa maxkamadduna shuqul kuma laha ee xadkeeda haku eekaato". From that day onwards, I really admired him because he had a point and the Supreme Court Chairman kept silent and apologized because the Judiciary should not have intervened the Legislature which is completely independent entity..

    I see him one of the few new generation politicians who will abide by the spirit of the law and who are clean from tribalism. for those of you who blame him, I would suggest you write about your heros if he is not. Otherwise, just raise your concerns in a good manner.
    MD. Baalle

  12. hota inaynu qofka qabiil ku raacno. maha wana lag afican yahay markaa waxan annihilate
    CIRRO madaxwne mu qalmo mana ladoranaayo sidaad filayo iyo 9 sano ayuu barlaman hogaminayay
    wax uu tarayna lama arag meesha ayuu ka qoslayaa inynu qokii isku qolo ayaanu nahay anigu qoladiisa ayaan ahay hadana wa ka soo horjeedaa wayo waxan arkayaa inaanu waxba hogamin karin makaa waxan wadani odhan laah inataan dorasho lagaadhin meesha musharax fiican ood is odhan kartaan
    waladoranayaa soo sharax waa igatalo
    byy ayaan cisman

        • The question is not whether Irro will be president or not, but who is Irro! His success to presidency to the poor Somaliland depends on Gos's will and after that up to the Somaliland voters. The questions not whether we love Irro or not but who he is!

          Irro is one of the most seasoned Politicians in Somaliland and cleaniest from nepatism, corruption and inability. He is trustworthy, generous, tough, firm and hardworking. From the 100+ politicians in Somaliland today, I could see few who can match him!
          Chers to all

          • Nothing wrong with expressing opinions and have different ideas. That is what democracy is all about. But self destruction and .inflicting wounds are not acceptable. So what if he worked the Afweyn regime. Who didn't? Let us give him a chance like any one else.

          • Zee,

            Are you kidding, who the hell would want this laughing cow to become the next Somaliland president? He is just wasting his time and the time of the ignorant tribalists like you and sick gay aka Abdi.

  13. nin kaa is yidhi taa riikhta CIRO ka shekee odaygii qoslaye wax ayuu yeelay anagu tariikh uma baahnin
    inaad nooga shekayso wax muuq oo qabtay sheeg waxad nalee dahay dad ayuu tahriibin jiry wax kale lakalay adeer habar yoonis hadaynu nahay aynu waracade soo sharax no kaas ayaa dadka iyo dalkaba wax qabanayee hadii kale ciri hiinaa iskawata waligiiba

  14. The name Cimraan is a common Muslim name. Imran (also transliterated as Emran, Omran, or Umran, Arabic: عمران‎) is an Arabic male given name. It means prosperity or long-lived. For example Cimraan Khan the famous Cricket player of Pakistan. It is silly for anyone to associate this name with only THE SOMALI TRIBE NAME.Just for the record, I'm not from that tribe at all and got nothing to do with it. Any similarity in name is purely coincidental. This tribe is an honorable clan that I respect. For all those who jump to conclusions without first thinking about issues because they are blinded by tribe affiliations think again. Tribe means nothing to me other than it tells me where I hail from.
    Finally, for those of you who can't see that, you can fry in your own hate for all I care.

    • No matter whoever you are and to which clan you belong, ignorance is still what you dwadle, drivel and twaddle. Good luch

    • waryaa ma waxaad modaysaa in aan lagu garanayn. Waar waa ku garanaynaa oo waxaad tahay Dr. Yuusuf saqajaanyahaw magacyada badani Waar reerka aad ka dhalatay ha ceebayn ee magaca u daa duli yahaw. Hadaad cibraan ka dhalatay kumay odhan magacooda ku cayaar oo dad ku cay. Dhakso ugu dhig magaca.

      • Waa runtaa oo magacyada uu la baxo Cimraan waxa kamida, garyaqaan, dhugtame, gelle, Gulaid, guuleed, awdally boy, wadani, patriot, marka uu diraca soo xidhana wuxuu la baxaa hamda omer, Asha, iyo weliba qaar kale.