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Somaliland's chief elder passes away in Hargeisa at 122

Hiiraan Online
Friday May 10, 2019

Haji Abdi Warabe speaking to reporters in Hargeisa on October 2018 - FILE

Hargeisa (HOL) - Somaliland's chief elder, Haji Abdi Hussein Yusuf "Haji Abdi Warabe” has passed away on Friday at the Hargeisa International Hospital. The 'Wise Chief' was a reported 122 years old at the time of his death, making him one of the oldest centenarians in the world.

He was buried hours after his death on Friday in Hargeisa according to Islamic rites with hundreds of Somaliland nationals paying their last respect to the peacemaker.

Haji Warabe became a tribal leader in 1940, 12 years before the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Born at the very end of the 19th century outside Hargeisa - near what is now Egal International Airport - to a nomadic family. Haji Warabi began tending to baby sheep and goats at the age of four and eventually to the camel, an animal he described as "the most magnificent of all Somali beasts".

In an interview with the BBC in 2012, The respected Guurti member reminisced about his early years as a nomad and lamented how modern civilization has interrupted the traditional way of life.

"Even though I am now too old to actively herd my livestock, I still consider myself first and foremost a nomad, and I visit my herds whenever I can.

Nomadic life has changed dramatically over the decades. It used to be just us, our animals and the wilderness.

Now villages, roads and vehicles get in the way of everything. People are ruining the environment by cutting down all the trees for charcoal."

“Haji Abdi Warabe” was widely credited with being a veteran state builder as one of the main architects of Somaliland's tradition-based conflict resolution mechanism that helped foster peace a lasting peace in Somaliland.


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