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Somali prime minister mourns Senator Yussuf Haji

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Somali prime minister, Mohamed Hussein Roble has today condoled with the family and the people of Garissa County following the death of their senator, Mohamed Yusuf Haji.

In a twitter post, the premier eulogised the veteran politician as an elder for all Somalis.

“May God have mercy on Senator Mohamed Yusuf Haji who was a Somali elder and a veteran politician who had a great influence and value in the Somali region and the Horn of Africa as whole,” the prime minister said in the post.

The 80- year-old Haji died on Monday morning while receiving treatment at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi. Haji was a long time administrator who served in various areas including the vast Rift valley between 1970 and 1998.

He was nominated to Parliament in 2002. And in 2007, he was elected to Parliament unopposed as Ijara MP.

Mr Haji was also the chairperson of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) task force.

Haji was the Minister of Defence from 2008 to 2013 during Mwai Kibaki’s administration and briefly served as the acting Minister of Internal Security and Provincial Affairs in 2012.

It was during his tenure when the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) troops were deployed to Somalia to fight Al Shabaab.

In 2015, as he served as the chairman of the Senate National Security and Foreign Relations Committee, Haji proposed that individuals from indigenous communities be recruited in security teams to help fight against cattle rustling because of their knowledge of terrains.

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Briefing

Meet the Somali in the British parliament

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The Somali community has become increasingly engaged in British politics. There are eight councillors in London, a former mayor, and a member of the House of Commons.

Mark Hendrick is an Anglo-Somali Labour politician. He has been the Member of Parliament for Preston retaining the seat for his party at a by-election in 2000. He was then successfully re-elected in June 2001 after a landslide victory with 20,540 votes

Hendrick previously represented the Central Lancashire as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 1994–1999.

He was born in 1958 in Salford, Lancashire. He is of AngloSomali descent. His father worked in the timber industry.

Hendrick studied attended Liverpool Polytechnic (now Liverpool John Moores University), where he completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Electrical Engineering. He also earned a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Manchester. Additionally, Hendrick is a Chartered Engineer and holds a Certificate in Education (a teaching qualification) from the same institution.

Recently in the December 2019 General Election, Mark received 20,870 votes, which equaled a 61.8% majority, retaining his seat.

Mark was first elected to Salford City Council in 1987 and served on the City Council for eight years.

“What drove me into politics was seeing the wasted potential of people I grew up with. People who were denied fair chances because of poverty, a poor education and then the lack of a job.”

Mark was in the European Parliament before he sat in the House of Commons. He rose through the ranks as MEP for Lancashire Central, an area which includes Preston, where he became Labour’s spokesperson on economic, monetary and industrial policy, and later was elected Leader of the Socialists on the European Parliament’s most powerful legislative committee, the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee Mark is now on the influential Select Committee for International Development.

Following the change over from Prime Minister, Tony Blair to Gordon Brown, Mark was moved to become PPS to Jack Straw the Lord High Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Justice in the re-shuffle that followed. Mark served as a PPS to Jack Straw, Minister of Justice, for one year.

Hendrick’s political interests include foreign affairs, international development, defence, European, economic, monetary and industrial affairs.

Hendrick was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 2018 New Year Honours for parliamentary and political service.

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Briefing

Mortar shells target Mogadishu’s Halane compound

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Several motar rounds have hit inside the heavily fortified Halane camp in Mogadishu on Tuesday. Sources say at least three mortar shells landed inside the camp, with no casualties reported.

Leaders from the federal and state governments are expected to hold talks Wednesday in the camp over disputed electoral process.

Somalia’s al Qaeda-linked militant group Al Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack. The group have been driven out of the Capital, Mogadishu and other major urban centres, but is still capable of conducting high profile attacks within and outside of Somalia.

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