Somalia: Jubaland Education minister dies in India
KISMAYO, Somalia - A top Jubaland official died on Wednesday in an Indian hospital, authorities announced, just a few weeks after the signing of a historic deal between President Ahmed Madobe and three of his competitors.
Moalim Mohamed Ibrahim Mohamed, the state's education minister, died at New Delhi where he had spent the last four months, but the Jubaland regional government did not divulge to finer details of his ailment.
The Federal state announced the tragic death through it's Twitter post, noting his substantive contribution to the betterment of education standards in the state, which has for many years battled against inter-clan conflicts and Al-Shabaab menace.
"Jubaland Minister of Education Moalim Mohamed Ibrahim Mohamed has passed on. The Minister, one of the founders of Jubaland State, died in New Delhi, India where he was being treated," read the statement from the state.
Ahmed Madobe, the regional president termed him a "pillar" to the education department in Jubaland, adding that "this is a sad loss not only locally but also in our country. We shall dearly miss his services".
Moalim, he noted, worked tirelessly to develop a curriculum that meets the international standards, besides lying foundation for proper transition in different learning stages as recommended by Somalia.
"He immensely contributed to the betterment of our education standards. I cannot name all but he was very instrumental in our regime. I wish his family God's grace during this difficult time."
Abshir Mohamed, the state's Chief of Staff, also paid tributes to the minister, who also played a fundamental role during last year's elections in Jubaland. He termed him as an "icon" to the people of Jubaland.
"Jubaland State has lost an icon. He was one of the pillars and founders of Jubaland. May Allah has mercy on his soul," said Abshir Mohamed, a seasoned bureaucrat within the administration of President Madobe.
It's not clear if his remains will be interred in India or the administration will consider flying him to Somalia for burial. Both countries have imposed strict travel restrictions due to the raging Coronavirus pandemic.
As of Wednesday, Somalia had registered almost 886 positive cases of COVID-19. Of these cases, 75 have been discharged while 39 have since perished, authorities said. Most of these cases were recorded in the Banadir region according to data obtained from the ministry.
His death could now change the matrix is Madobe's administration, due to the recently signed deal that brought opposition bigwigs on board. The deal was signed in Nairobi last month, ending an 8-month impasse.
Although Madobe's administration is yet to be fully constituted, the death now creates the second vacancy. Early this year, Aw Hirsi resigned as a planning minister, accusing his own administration of "harboring" people being sought for committing "crimes" against humanity.
Under the deal, the opposition leaders agreed to "recognize" Madobe's August victory besides promising to be actively involved in the war against Al-Shabaab militants. The Al-Qaida linked group controls large swathes of Jubaland.
In return, the deal added, Madobe would form a unity government that will bring on board antagonists. Also, the former Ras Kamboni Brigade commander agreed to "quit" from regional politics once his term ends.