Abdullahi Issa

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Abdullahi Issa Mohamud
عبد الله عيسى محمد
1st Prime Minister of Somalia
In office
29 February 1956 – 1 July 1960
Preceded by Inaugural
Succeeded by Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal
Personal details
Born 1921
Afgooye, Somalia
Died 1988 (aged 66–67)
Rome, Italy
Political party Somali Youth League
Religion Islam

Abdullahi Issa Mohamud (Somali: Cabdullaahi Ciise Maxamuud, Arabic: عبد الله عيسى محمد‎‎ (b. 1921 – d. March 1988) was a Somali politician. He was the first Prime Minister of Somalia during the trusteeship period, serving from February 29, 1956 to July 1, 1960.[1]


Issa was born in 1921 in the southern town of Afgooye.[2] He hailed from the Sa'ad Habar Gidir clan,[3] and his mother was from the Marehan clan.[4] Issa's father died a couple of months after his birth. His mother subsequently moved the family to Mogadishu.[5]

Nicknamed "Bidaar",[2] Issa frequented an Italian primary institution in the capital, as well as a local Qur'anic school (madrassah).[5] When the Second World War broke out, he was still a student.[6]

Issa later relocated to the port of Merca at the age of sixteen, where he would work as a postal clerk. He thereafter returned to Mogadishu and assumed a position in the Department of Economic Affairs. Following the British military occupation of Italian Somaliland in the early 1940s, Issa was relieved from his duties. He then embarked on a business career.[5]

After the turmoil of the war years, Issa joined the Somali Youth League (SYL) at its onset. He typified the Somali political elite of the period, as he was "young (age 38), intelligent, largely self-educated, confident, and determined".[7] He quickly rose through the ranks to become one of the party's leaders. In 1948, he was appointed to the SYL's central committee, and eventually as its Secretary-General.[5]

Issa later went to Paris and New York as an SYL delegate to proclaim the right of the Somali people to independence. After being appointed to office as an SYL deputy in the political elections of 1956, he was called in the same year to form Somalia's first government, thus becoming the nation's first Prime Minister.

Re-elected in 1959, he was re-confirmed as Premier, and held for some time also the portfolios of Foreign Affairs, Interior and Grace and justice. In the government formed after Somalia's independence in July 1960, Issa was later appointed Foreign Minister.[8] In this capacity, he took part in many international conventions, in particular the United Nations General Assembly and the conferences in Addis Abeba, among other cities. With the conclusion of the general election of March 1964, Issa returned to the National Assembly as an SYL deputy for Beledweyne.

A few years later, the Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC) seized power. The new military government subsequently appointed Issa as Somalia's Ambassador to Sweden in 1974. He held the position until early 1983, when he resigned from public office after a long career in politics.[2]

Issa spent his retirement years in Rome, Italy. He died there in March 1988, and was transported to Mogadishu for burial.[2]

See also


  1. Somalia - Worldstatesmen.com
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Ali, Salah Mohamed (2005). Huddur & the History of Southern Somalia. Nahda Bookshop Publisher. pp. 487–488. 
  3. Somalia at the Crossroads. Adonis & Abbey. 2007. p. 10. 
  4. Ghalīb, Jama Mohamed (1995). The Cost of Dictatorship: The Somali Experience. L. Barber Press. p. 41. ISBN 0936508302. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Hempstone, Smith (1961). The New Africa. Faber and Fabe. p. 145. 
  6. Europa Publications Limited, p.925.
  7. African and American Institute
  8. Touval, p.113


Political offices
Preceded by
Prime Minister of Somalia
1956 – 1960
Succeeded by
Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal