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.
Ibrahim Idle Suleiman who was sacked as Chief Justice says decision by @M_Farmaajo is not legal because proper procedures has not been followed. Suleiman insists that he’ll continue his normal duties. Some MPs also made similar claims about the sacking https://t.co/iZKeAtNBrq
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— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) May 28, 2018
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.
— Sahra Abdi Ahmed (@SahraCabdi) May 27, 2018
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.
Yes your new supreme court leader pic.twitter.com/LZ6Gf8dsei
— AbdiShakur Haji (@Shakurhaji62) May 27, 2018
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.
Pres @M_Farmaajo appoints Bashe Yusuf Ahmed as Somalia’s next Chief Justice. According to reports, Ahmed has been a member of Somaliland’s Waddani party until at least earlier this year. In one photo he appears alongside former Ethiopia PM and ex-Somaliland FM Mohamed Bihi Yonis. pic.twitter.com/1hoRUQurRp
— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) May 27, 2018
Wonder if he has law degree? Wonder if he held such high position before? Wonder if he is contaminated by cancer in the name of “qabil”? Just basic questions you know.
— Wali.K (@WaliK100) May 27, 2018
Dont judge a book by his cover istubirad
— Mo_gutale (@GutaleMo) May 27, 2018
Chief Justice this young? He is too young for the most supreme justice position in the country. He at least should be over 60 years with decades of experience. @M_Farmaajo made major mistake.
— Mo Omar Rageh (@Mo_ragehh) May 27, 2018
The most amazing chief of justice somalia can have bashe indeed is an asset
— Ayan Mohamoud (@ayanamohamoud) May 28, 2018
A Chief Justice with swagger. He must have a special talent to be named such a high profile position in a young age. Waiting in-depth profile and work history. @SahraCabdi
— Abdul Abdi (@RealAbdulAbdi) May 27, 2018
If ayoung person is nominated,they say he is too young to lead,if an old aged,they say he is a retire he can’t lead.big problem in politics.
— Mohamud Mohamed Abdi (@Mohamudfarajest) May 28, 2018
As long as he is qualified to hold such a higher position we shouldn’t judge him on his appearance or age. 70% of our population are youth so we deserve fresh minds free from tribalism mentality.
— Mohamed Talil (@Mohamed_Talil) May 28, 2018
You know for once, we need to do things differently. The elders tried, but partially failed. Lets see what the young prospects are capable of. You know we in 21st Century
— Abdiqaaliq (@Abdiqaaliq7) May 28, 2018
This minor replacement does not solve the problem of the judiciary. The judicial service commission who are mandated for the overall administration of the judiciary is not in place and with out them , no effective , independent judiciary could be expected .
— Salim Said Salim سالم سعيد سالم (@Salim8Said) May 27, 2018