Muhammad Ibrahim Egal
Politician. He earned high standing when steered his country from colonialism to political independence.
The Somali government collapsed in 1991 and the ever-impetuous north unilaterally declared its resumption of the independence. Thus the Republic of Somaliland was reborn and in 1993 a council of elders handed the presidency to Egal who served as such until his death. He restored security, introduced a new currency and brought back a semblance of sound internal self-government but his country remained unrecognised by the United Nations, by the regional organisations, by African countries and by any other country.
He was a compelling orator possessed of considerable charisma. Yet from the beginning astute observers detected an occasional lack of consistency and determination. Egal held a number of important position: Prime minister, Somaliland Republic (1960), Minister of defence, republic of Somalia (1960-62), Minister of education (1962-63), Prime minister (1967-69), Ambassador to India (1976-78), and Chair, Chamber of Commerce, Mogadishu (1985-91).
Egal was born in Odweyne, British Somaliland Protectorate and was from the Habre Awal section of Isaaq clan. He was one of the few lucky ones whose family could pay for further schooling in Manchester, England. He died in a hospital in Pretoria from where his body was taken to Hargeisa, the capital city of the unrecognised Republic of Somaliland.
Compiled by:M. Nauman Khan