Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo announced the sack of the country’s chief justice Hassan Ibrahim Idle Suleiman on Sunday after a two-year service.
The president said his decision was part of a plan to improve the justice system that has been struggling for so many years amid several questionable judicial decisions and allegations of corruption.
The dismissal was immediately followed by the appointment of little-known Baashe Yusuf Ahmed as the new chief justice. He will assume the position of chairman of the Somali supreme court.
Yusuf Ahmed’s appointment was received with mixed reactions in Somalia as some questioned if the young lawyer is qualified to be a chief justice as the constitution requires a minimum of seven years of work experience as a lawyer or in a high judicial position.
Others have also questioned his ties with rival state Somaliland where he is an active politician and a member of the opposition Wadani party led by Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi. Somaliland has declared itself independent of Somalia since 1991 and has remained so despite ongoing efforts by Somalia to merge.
Keep reading for details about the life of the new chief justice of Somalia Baashe Yusuf Ahmed.
Baashe Yusuf Ahmed is a 36-year-old lawyer born in Hargeisa, Somaliland in 1982. He obtained his law degree from the University of Hargeisa in 2008 and then a Master’s Degree in Commercial and Maritime Law in 2014 from the University of Hertfordshire under the UK government’s Chevening scholarship programme for students with leadership qualities.
Prior to that, he served as the programme officer for the United States NGO Mercy Corps in Hargeisa where they empowered people to recover from crisis, build better lives and transform their communities for good.
He served as the Director General of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of Somaliland between 2010 and 2012 and upon his return from the UK, he returned to Mercy Corps as its Youth Employment Technical Advisor.
While lecturing at the University of Hargeisa from 2014, Yusuf Ahmed also served as a consultant for UNDP and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs where he used to work. He also worked as a legal advisor for the Somaliland parliament and other international agencies including the German development agency GIZ.
Baashe Yusuf Ahmed has been married since 2011 and lived briefly in Oslo, Norway.
Below are some social media reactions after his appointment.
This article by Ismail Akwei was first published on face2faceafrica.com