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Somali dean of lawmakers Boukouri: Assassinated by Al-Shabab and mourned by Somali people

Wednesday 27/February/2019 - 01:29 PM
The Reference
Ahmed Adel

 Although he is more than 80 years old, Somali parliamentarian Osman Elmi Boukouri was assassinated by Al-Shabab terrorist group in his car in the capital Mogadishu on Saturday evening in an attack claimed by al-Shabab.

A few hours before the incident, Boukouri told the security services that he was facing a threat from the movement's members and called on the police to provide security for him and his family.

Osman Elmi Boukouri was born in the northern coastal town of Zela. After his mother's death, he moved with his father to the city of Ali Sbeih in Djibouti in 1953. In 1962, he returned to Somalia and rose at the military ranks until he reached a colonel.

In 1991, the central government of Somalia fell, the state collapsed and entered the spiral of terrorist organizations that the country needed since that date. But Boukouri fled the country and remained to contribute to the fight against extremism and terrorism even after he left military service. 

He became a member of parliament in the successive Somali parliaments, starting with the interim parliament that was formed in the resort of Arte in Djibouti in 2000. He served two terms as the second deputy speaker of the parliament between 2009-2012 and became on 27 December 2013 the oldest member of parliament, and was currently a member of the Defense Affairs Committee until the date of his assassination.

Boukouri was known for defending the rights of ordinary people, especially the army. The incident that showed this was two days before his assassination. He was intercepted by a soldier who prevented him from passing through a restricted area. Boukouri apologized to the soldier, saying that Somali army soldiers were paid low wages that do not exceed a hundred dollars per month, an amount that is considered not enough.

He was mourned by top officials in the county after his assassination. Somali President Mohammed Abdullah Faramago, Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khairi, Speaker of Parliament Muhammad Musrul Sheikh Abdul Rahman, and members of parliament sent condolences to the people over killing of Boukouri.