Aden Abdullah Osman Daar

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Aden Abdulle Osman Daar
آدم عبد الله عثمان دار
Aden Abdullah Osman Daar.JPG
1st President of Somalia
In office
July 1, 1960[1] – June 10, 1967[1]
Prime Minister Abdullahi Issa Mohamud
Succeeded by Abdirashid Ali Shermarke
Chairman of the National Legislative Assembly
In office
29 February, 1956 – 1 July, 1960
Preceded by Office established
Succeeded by Hagi Bashir Ismail
Personal details
Born 1908
Beledweyne, Hiran, Italian Somaliland
Died June 8, 2007 (aged 98–99)
Nairobi, Kenya
Nationality Somali
Political party Somali Youth League (SYL)
Religion Islam

Aden Abdulle Osman Daar (Somali: Aadan Cabdulle Cismaan Daar, Arabic: آدم عبد الله عثمان دار‎‎) (1908 – June 8, 2007), popularly known as Aden Adde, was a Somali politician. He was the first President of Somalia, serving from July 1, 1960 to June 10, 1967.[1]


Daar was born in 1908 in the town of Beledweyne, situated in the south-central Hiran region of the former Italian Somaliland.[2] His family hailed from the Hawiye clan.[3]

Political career

Somali Youth League

Daar joined the incipient Somali Youth League (SYL) political party in 1944, a nationalist organization that campaigned for an independent Somalia. Quickly rising through the ranks, he became the local secretary of the SYL's Beledweyne branch in 1946. A decade later, he became Chairman of the National Legislative Assembly, and would eventually lead the SYL itself two years afterwards.[4]


By the time Somalia gained its independence in 1960, Daar had attained widespread prominence as a nationalist figure. In short order, he was elected the country's first President, a position he would assume from 1960 to 1967.[4] Fellow SYL member Haji Bashir Ismail Yusuf would serve as the first President of the Somali National Assembly on 1 July 1960.[5]

In the 1967 presidential election, Daar was defeated by Abdirashid Ali Shermarke, his former Prime Minister. His term as president ended on June 10, 1967.[4] Daar accepted the loss graciously, making history as the first head of state in Africa to peacefully hand over power to a democratically elected successor.[6]

Shermarke was assassinated two years later by one of his own bodyguards. The slaying led to an unopposed, bloodless coup d'état by the Somali Army on October 21, 1969, the day after Shermarke's funeral. Spearheading the putsch was Major General Muhammad Siad Barre, who at the time commanded the army.[7]


In 1990, with the start of the civil war, Daar, former Minister of Education Hassan Ali Mire, and about 100 other Somali politicians signed a manifesto expressing concern over the violence and advocating reconciliation.[4][8] Daar was summarily arrested, and remained imprisoned until the ultimate collapse of Barre's regime the following year.[4]

Later years

After his release, Daar spent the better part of his later years on his farm in Janale, in southern Somalia.[9]

On May 22, 2007, it was erroneously reported that he had died in a hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. He was, however, in critical condition and on life support. Daar died in hospital on June 8, 2007, at the age of 99.[10][11][12]

The Transitional Federal Government, then headed by former President of Somalia Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, declared 21 days of mourning, complete with a national memorial service, and issued a statement that Daar would receive a state funeral.[13] It also renamed Mogadishu International Airport to Aden Adde International Airport in his honor.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Somalia -
  2. - Daar, Aden Abdullah Osman
  3. Lewis, I.M. (1981). Somali Culture, History, and Social Institutions: An Introductory Guide to the Somali Democratic Republic. London School of Economics & Political Science. p. 17. ISBN 0853280711. Retrieved 10 June 2014. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Bloomfield, Steve (11 June 2007). "Aden Abdulle Osman - First President of Somalia". The Independent. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  5. H. E. Hagi Bashir Ismail Yousuf
  6. "First president of Somalia dies". BBC. 8 June 2007. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  7. Moshe Y. Sachs, Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations, Volume 2, (Worldmark Press: 1988), p.290.
  8. Horn of Africa Bulletin, Volumes 3-4. Life & Peace Institute. 1991. p. 14. 
  9. Aden A. Osman, 99; first president of independent Somalia
  10. Aweys Osman Yusuf, "Somalia: First President Dies At the Age of 99", Shabelle Media Network (, May 22, 2007.
  11. Mohamed Abdi Farah, "Somalia: Former president in coma (correction)", SomaliNet, May 22, 2007.
  12. "Somalia's first president dies at age 99", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), June 8, 2007.
  13. Body of First President Arrives in Mogadishu