Government officials on Thursday attended a national funeral service for the late former Minister of Defense, Mohamed Ali Samatar, in Mogadishu.
The funeral service was held in the Ministry of Defense headquarters in Mogadishu. In attendance were the President, Hassan Sh. Mohamoud, Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Osman, Prime Minister, Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke and members from the parliament and executive council.
“Mr. Ali died in Virginia, U.S this week and his body flown to Mogadishu International Airport”, a Radio Dalsan female reporter, Farhia said.
The officials prayed that the deceased’s soul rest in jannah and asked his family and friends to be patient.
Somalia president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud and his premier had on Saturday expressed their heartfelt condolences over Samatar’s sudden death. His death has drawn outpouring condolences on social media from Somalis across the world.
“He was a true patriot who helped build a strong Somali army. He was among the few African leaders who showed so much spirit for their countries,” said the president.
Mr. Samatar passed away on Friday morning at a hospital in Virginia where he was admitted due to poor health.
The speaker of the federal parliament, Mohamed Osman Jawari had on Tuesday directed that Flags be flown at half-mast, pointing out that the government had assigned a committee to prepare for General Samatar’s funeral service.
Mr. Samatar was a General in the Somali Armed Forces and served as Defense Minister (1973-1985) and as Prime Minster of Somalia from 1987-1990. The retired Military general was a key figure in Somali politics throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
The general was born in 1931 in Kismayo, southern Somalia. For his post-secondary education, he studied at the Frunze Military Academy in the former Soviet Union, an elite institution reserved for the most qualified officers of the Warsaw Pact armies and their allies.
He was facing trial in the US for crimes against humanity in northern Somalia while serving as an army general and Prime Minister in the military regime of Siad Barre.
Radio Dalsan prays that his soul rests in jannah.
(Writing by Hassan Istiila. Editing by Julian Kamau)