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Obituary: Buri Mohamed Hamza, Minister of state for Environment

By   /  July 21, 2016  /  No Comments

On 25 June 2016, Buri Mohamed Hamza, a State Minister of the Premier’s Office for Environment was martyred in Mogadishu, in a treacherous criminal act committed by the terrorist group known as “Al-Shabaab”. He was assassinated because he was a member of government, a statesman, in an attempt to send a message that they are against the aspirations of the Somali Nation to statehood, social peace, progress and prosperity. They are striving relentlessly to bring about the status of statelessness, total chaos and ruin and to impose the mafia style reign.

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Buri Mohamed HamzaOn 25 June 2016, Buri Mohamed Hamza, a State Minister of the Premier’s Office for Environment was martyred in Mogadishu, in a treacherous criminal act committed by the terrorist group known as “Al-Shabaab”. He was assassinated because he was a member of government, a statesman, in an attempt to send a message that they are against the aspirations of the Somali Nation to statehood, social peace, progress and prosperity. They are striving relentlessly to bring about the status of statelessness, total chaos and ruin and to impose the mafia style reign.

Buri was chosen to be a minister in 2000, in the wake of the reconciliation conference of Arta, Djibouti, sponsored by the President of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Gelle, in the government that was presided by Ali Khalif Galeyr. In accepting to be a member of government he was aware of the risks involved and the challenges awaiting him but he was ready to take, out of his sense of duty to stabilise his country and to restore its dignity. In that government he held the position of Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

When the government of the Prime Minister Ali Khalif Galeyr was deposed, he returned back to Canada to join his family, a country of refuge he has chosen after the breakout of the civil war.

In Canada he was absorbed in academic work, he was also involved in political activities among the Somali community aiming at forging a broader Somali cohesion to overcome the differences.

He had a passionate interest in academic research in his specialisation, writing in political affairs and practicing translation between the multiple languages he mastered.

When Ethiopia invaded Somalia in 2006, to remove the Union of Islamic Courts that took over the power and imposed the rule of law and order and unified the half of the country, he wrote extensively political articles in Somali electronic websites exposing the Ethiopian expansionist aims, he also took part in conferences held by the Somali diaspora to mobilise the masses against the foreign occupation.

Buri Hamza took part in the reconciliation conference held in Djibouti in 2007 sponsored by the United Nations that resulted in the formation of the first internationally recognised government. He was chosen by the newly elected President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed to be a member of the Cabinet and remained a member of parliament for two terms, until his death.

Buri Hamza held the post of Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in the reign of President Hassan Sheikh Mahmud until 2014. He excelled in his new function given his multi skills and his command of various languages as well as his academic background and his experience as a senior officer at the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) that lasted for twenty years.

Buri Hamza was born in the city of Brava on 1943. His father had passed away when he was 10. His grandfather from his mother’s side Haji Momin, one of the elders of the city, took care of his upbringing and education.

He started his first schooling in an elementary school where the language of teaching was Italian. In the intermediate and secondary phase, he went to the Gamal Abdul Nasir School in Mogadishu where the language of Education was Arabic. At the same time, he was studying English at the British Council. When he finished the Egyptian secondary school (science section), he joined a contest examination in English for scholarship to the United States in which he outperformed those who studied in Schools where the language of teaching was English.

He was a distinguished student, a trait that allowed him to get generous scholarships to graduate from the Faculty of Science at York University in the United States and later on receive a grant from UNESCO for post-graduate studies at the American University in Beirut and Ein Shams University in Cairo. His higher educational qualifications gave him the opportunity to work as a professor at the University Institute of Lafole and in a senior position at the the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO).

The Somali Ministry of Education has adopted the educational programme he prepared for the University Institute of Lafole. He developed, in that institute, intimate friendships and affections with his group of professors and disciples that survived with him all his life.

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Mohamed Sharif Mohamud is vice chairman, Somali Initiative for Dialogue and Democracy, and former ambassador of Somalia and Arab League

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