Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, President of Somaliland (since Jul 26, 2010)
Ahmed Mohamed Mahamoud “Silanyo” (Somali: Axmed Maxamed Maxamuud “Siilaanyo”, Arabic: احمد محمد محمود سيلانيو) is a Somali politician. He is the current Chairman of the Peace, Unity and Development Party (Kulmiye) political party and President of Somaliland, a self-proclaimed republic internationally recognized as an autonomous region in Somalia. Standing as an opposition candidate, Silanyo was elected as President during the June 2010 presidential election.
Silanyo hails from the Habar Jeclo sub-clan of the Isaaq major clan. From 1946 to 1957, he attended the secondary schools in the towns of Sheekh and Amud in northwestern Somalia. He passed the advanced level GCE examinations in London, England, from 1958 to 1960. He then attended college at the University of Manchester, and earned an Honors Bachelor’s Degree in Economics (1960-63). He completed his Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Manchester in 1966.
Silanyo served as a junior official at the Ministry of Planning and Coordination in Mogadishu from 1965 to 1969. He was also the Minister of Planning and Coordination (1969-1973), the Minister of Commerce (1973-1978 and 1980-1982), and the Chairman of the National Economic Board (1978-1980). He was the Chairman of the Somali National Movement’s UK branch from 1982 to 1990, and was that organization’s longest-serving chairperson. From 1993 to 1997, he was a member of the House of Representatives of Somaliland. He served as the Somaliland region’s Minister of Finance from 1997 to 1999, in which position he initiated a program of fiscal reform. Between 1999 and 2000, he also worked as Somaliland’s Minister of Planning and Coordination, a position from which he resigned in 2001.
Dahir Rayaleh Kahin, Former President of Somaliland
Dahir Rayaleh Kahin (Somali: Daahir Riyaale Kaahin) (born 1952, Quljeed, British Somaliland) is the President of the self-declared Republic of Somaliland. He became the third president of Somaliland on May 5, 2002, after the death of Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal. He won elections on April 14, 2003, representing the Ururka Dimuqraadiga Umada Bahawday (UDUB), or United Democratic People’s Party, and was sworn into office on May 16, 2003. Background
He was born at Quljeed, Awdal and was trained in Russia. He comes from the Dudub (Jibril Yonis) Sub-Clan of the Gadabursi Clan . His previous posts include a diplomat at the Somali Embassy in Djibouti; he was also in intelligence; governor of Awdal; a businessman; and vice president of Somaliland (1997 – 2002).
Service in the Barré government
In the last years of the Barré government, Kahin held the rank of Colonel in the National Security Service, and served as the NSS station chief in Berbera. During this time the NSS has been identified by many sources (U.S. Department of State, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Africa watch) as having been involved in torture and extrajudicial killings of civilians on a massive scale, particularly during the war in Northern Somalia from May 1988 through the end of 1989. Colonel Kahin was charged with suppression of the SNM guerilla movement, and was specifically named in a work published by the human rights organization Africa Watch (now a part of Human Rights Watch) as a prime suspect in extra-judicial killings that took place in Hargeisa (the current capital of Somaliland) during this time. The work was based on research and interviews with newly arrived refugees in Djibouti, England and Wales in the later half of 1989.
However, there are also some eye witnesses who clearly told that If Rayale was not there, they would not have survived. Others asserted that he saved the lives of so many civilians from the regime he belonged to.