by, Prof. Mohamed Haji Mukhtar
Thursday, April 04, 2013
"Hassan Mohamed Nur, affectionately known as Hassanow Manur by his friends and colleagues, passed away on Tuesday April 2, 2013, in Bonn, Germany. Recipient of Hero Award from Center for Peace- Building Initiative/Peace & Development Research in their annual meeting in London, UK on February 4, 2012. Leader of the Reewin Resistance Army (RRA) and a powerful officer in the former National Security Service (NSS). Shargaduud “Red Shirt” was born in Baidoa and earned a military degree with a specialization in telecommunications 1969 at the Modena Military Academy in Italy.
He was also trained in military intelligence in the 1980s in Cairo, Egypt, Rome Italy, Berlin, East Germany and Moscow, the Soviet Union. In 1978, he earned a law degree from the Somali National University (SNU). Shargaduud served as the regional commander of the NSS in the Jubada Hoose, Lower Juba region in 1972-1975 and the Waqoyi Galbed, Northwestern region in 1980-1982; in this period, he was also the president of the Hargeisa Security Court. In 1977-1980, he was the presiding judge of the Mohgadishu Security Court. Shargaduud was governor of Gedo region in 1982-1984 and until the fall of the Mohamed Siad Barre regime, he served in several different security positions, including aide-de-camp to President Barre.
During the civil war, Shargaduud was active in reconciliation efforts. After the Djibouti Conference of June-July, 1991, he was included in the first Transitional National Government as Minister of Interior. In 1994, he became a member of the Digil-Mirifle Supreme Governing Council (DMSGC). Shargaduud’s political importance comes with the formation in 1995 of the RRA, which he was a cofounder with Malak Mukhtar Malak Hassan and cohort of dignitaries. At Jhaffey, west of Baidoa where the RRA was found on October 13, 1995, Shargadud, was elected chair and the leader of this revolutionary movement, the first organized military movement in the contemporary history of the Digi-Mirifle people.
The emergence of the RRA was triggered by the invasion of Baidoa by Mohamed Farah Aideed’s militia on September 17, 1995, which overthrows the first Digil-Mirifle regional government, the Riverine State established in March 1995 as an interim autonomous Digil-Mirifle State, with two houses, the House of representative and the House of Elders. This was the first autonomous State in southern Somalia since the collapse of Barre regime. It was covering the following regions: Bay, Bakool, Gedo, Jubbada Dhexe, Jubbada Hoose, Shabellada Hoose and Banadir. Hssan Sheikh, known as Dr. Hassey was the President of this State.
Shargaduud’s major task was to recruit, train, and arm young Digil-Mirifle men and women. In early 1996, he launched successful attacks on major important installations held by Aideed. During the Sodere Peace and Reconciliation Conference of 1997, Shargaduud insisted that RRA would not negotiate with those who occupied Digil-Mirifle land, “what is taken by force would only be retaken by force.” By 1998, the RRA liberated Bakool, Bay, parts of Gedo and Shabelle. Because of the Arta Reconciliation Conference of May-August, 2000, the RRA military activity was temporarily suspended hoping the TNG might bring about comprehensive peace. Nevertheless, when Abdulqasim Salad’s TNG failed, the RRA resume its activities and Hassan Mohamed Nur Shargaduud established a State called Southwest Somalia in November 27, 2002, and he became its President.
Hassanow Manur “Shargaduud” was a true friend for more than 40 years. For health reasons he could not make the peace conference that I organized in London last year. I spoke with him recently while in hospital. To those of us whose lives were touched by Hassanow Manur, let us keep his memory alive in our thoughts, and spend as much time as we can to celebrate his life; a life well spent. Aluta Continua"
DR. Mohamed Mukhtar
Savannah State University
Savannah, Georgia, USA.