|Biographical detail : ||First President of Somalia
Elected in 1960, as President, when former British and Italian Somali colonies united to form the Republic of Somalia, Osman was also the first African leader to hand over power to a democratically elected successor, in the 1967, when he lost the presidential election.
Sadly, his successor, Abdirashid Ali Shermarke was assassinated in 1969 and Muhammad Said Barre led a coup that ushered in 22 years of military rule. When Said Barre was overthrown in 1991 the country fell apart, torn to pieces by warlords and clan militias. Since then Somalia has become a byword for anarchy.
Somalia descent into chaos greatly saddened Osman who had devoted his life to securing his country’s independence. He joined the Somali Youth League, in 1944, a nationalist party, which campaigned for the end of British and Italian rule. By the time Somalia won its independence, Osman was a popular national figure and was duly elected the new country’s first head of state, leading the democratic government.
Aden Abdullah Osman was born in the town of Belet Weyne, near the border with Ethiopia. He died in a Kenyan hospital.
The airport in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, is to be named after him.