GAROWE, Somalia May 8 2012 (Garowe Online) - A senior Cabinet official in Somalia's Puntland government has died of illness in London on Monday, Radio Garowe reports.
Dr. Abdi Hassan Jimale, Puntland's State Minister of the Presidency for Democratization Process and
Federal Affairs passed away at 64 years of age at a hospital in London, relatives and Puntland officials said.
Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole, who spoke on BBC Somali Service later Monday, sent his condolences to the family of Dr. Jimale on behalf of Puntland government and people.
|Dr. Jimale [left] sitting with TFG Prime Minister Dr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali at Garowe Conference, Feb. 2012|
Dr. Jimale had been away in London to
receive treatment for an illness.
The late State Minister for Democratization Process and Federal Affairs played a key role reviewing and finalizing Puntland's state constitution, which was approved by Puntland Parliament on 15 June 2009.
Last month, the Puntland Constituent Assembly adopted the state constitution in Garowe, the capital of Puntland. Appointed in
2009 when President Farole won the election, Dr. Jimale served as a close adviser to
President Farole and was a key figure in Puntland politics
Born in Mogadishu in 1948, Dr. Jimale after graduating
from Somali National University (Gahayr) furthered his education in Russia, Uganda, Germany, and Romania where he finished his Ph.D in Law.
Dr. Jimale was fluent in six languages, including English, Romanian, Arabic, and Danish, and was also a renowned author and academic who wrote many books on Somalia
and law and delivered many speeches.
His most recent Somali-language book is entitled the History of Islam (Taariikhda Islaamka).
Government officials who spoke to GO said that
Dr. Jimale's death comes at a crucial time in Somalia where despite heavy
criticism of the constitution, the National Constituent Assembly is expected to vote on adoption of the Draft Federal Constitution of Somalia later this month.
"Someone with his expertise and experience
is needed at a time where Somalia is at a crossroads, he will be deeply missed
by the Somali people," said Puntland' State Minister of the Presidency for Good Governance, Mr. Mohamed Farah Gashaan.
Continuing, Minister Gashan said: "You cannot sum up his
achievements or his deep dedication for achieving peace and stability in
Somalia with words."
Puntland's leader President Farole had appointed a three-member committee to record Dr. Jimale's history and impact in Puntland and Somalia as a whole. The three members consist of Minister Gashan, Health Minister Dr. Ali Abdullahi Warsame, and Environment Minister Abdigani Yusuf Adde
The late minister Dr. Jimale accompanied President Farole on numerous delegations abroad, including official visits to U.S., Ethiopia, Djibouti, and U.K. He left behind a wife and two children, according to relatives.
Most recently, Dr. Jimale attended Second Somalia National Constitutional Conference, held in Garowe 15-18 February 2012.