Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal
In Office 1993 – 2002
August 15, 1928 – May 3, 2002) was a veteran Somaliland politician. He was the first prime minister of the Somali Republic during the early and late 1960s. He also served as the President of the Republic of Somaliland
Egal was born in 1928, in Odweyne then a part of British Somaliland.. He completed his primary, intermediate, and secondary education in former British Somaliland and then went to UK . Egal was married to Asha Saeed Abby, together they had three sons and two daughters.
On 26 June 1960 Egal was Prime minister of the newly independent State of Somaliland, which merged five days later with the former Trust Territory of Somalia to form the Somali Republic on July 1, 1960.
He served as the first Somali’s defense minister (1960–1962), Education Minister (1962–1963), Prime minister (1967–1969), and ambassador to India (1976–1978), although he was imprisoned twice under Barre dictatorship.
In 1967, Abdirashid Ali Shermarke was elected President and he appointed Egal as the Prime Minister.
He was still the Prime Minister and in Washington D.C. when President Abdirashid Ali Shermarke was assassinated on October 15, 1969. Shortly afterward, the newly established Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC) led by Major General Siad Barre, Brigadier General Mohamed Ainashe Gule, Lieutenant Colonel Salaad Gabeyre Kediye and Chief of Police Jama Korshel seized power. The SRC subsequently renamed the country the Somali Democratic Republic, arrested members of the former civilian government, banned political parties, dissolved the parliament and the Supreme Court, and suspended the constitution. Egal was among the politicians detained by the SRC for his prominent role in the nation’s early government. He was eventually released and was named the Ambassador to India (1976-1978) before the Barre regime imprisoned him again on charges of conspiracy until 1985.
Egal managed to successfully disarm and rehabilitate rebel groups, stabilised the north western region and economy of Somaliland, successfully managed to establish bilateral trade with foreign countries, introduce Somaliland new currency the Somaliland shilling, as well as the Somaliland passport and Somaliland national flag and creating the most successful and powerful armed police and military force in Somalia.
Egal died on May 3, 2002 in Pretoria, South Africa while undergoing surgery at a military hospital. His body was returned to Somaliland for a state funeral, whereafter his three sons laid him to rest next to his father, in accordance with his last wishes. Around 4,000 mourners reportedly attended his burial in Berbera, and the regional parliament declared seven days of mourning. However, Somaliland flags did not fly at half-staff since the emblem on them includes the Shahadah, Islam’s holiest words. Dahir Rayale Kahin was sworn in the next day as the new president.