Britain mourns top Somaliland's Sultan
In a show of solidarity, Britain on Saturday mourned a top Somaliland Sultan, who was a renowned community elder and peacemaker, in a statement that was posted by the UK representative to Hargeisa, the administrative capital of the breakaway region of Somalia.
Sultan Mohamed Sultan Abdulkadir died on Friday and was laid to rest on Saturday, in a state funeral that saw President Muse Bihi Abdi and top diplomatic officials attend. Sultans are regarded as community rulers in the region, which claimed independence from Somalia in 1991.
Stuart Brown, the head of Britain's liaison office in Somaliland, termed Sultan Mohamed Sultan Abdulkadir as a prominent traditional elder who played a remarkable role in pushing for peace and stability in the Horn of Africa. He sent his condolences to the family.
"With the passing of Sultan Mohamed Sultan Abdulqadir Somaliland has lost a prominent traditional leader who played a remarkable role in peacebuilding and reconciliation processes. I extend my condolences to his family and friends, and to the people of Somaliland," the envoy said in a tweet.
Before attending the state funeral on Saturday, Muse Bihi Abdi also shared grief with the family of the deceased. He joined thousands of mourners in the streets of Hargeisa as they headed to the graveyard where the ruler was laid to rest.
"The President of Somaliland Muse Bihi has sent a message of condolence to the family, friends, relatives, and close acquaintances of the late Sultan Mohamed Sultan Abdulkadir, who passed away tonight in Hargeisa," State House said.
Britain is a major stakeholder in Somalia and has been pushing for reconciliation with the breakaway Somaliland. However, talks to reunite Hargeisa and Mogadishu have often collapsed, with Somaliland now pushing for international recognition.
It is customary in the history of the Sultanate to crown the new Sultan before laying the old Sultan to rest. In that respect, Sultan Daud Sultan Mohamed Sultan Abdulkadir Sultan Abdullah was named as the 9th Sultan of the Isaaq.