Meet Abdirahman Abdishakur

Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame

Abdirahman Abdishakur was born in Somalia to ordinary family and lived an ordinary life, sharing in the common joys and hardships of life.  He graduated from the International University of Africa in 1997 with a degree in laws before and gained his Master of Laws in comparative federalism from the National University of Malaysia.  

He subsequently settled in the UK, and attended several courses on management and leadership, strategic communications, conflict resolution, negotiations skills. He become active member of the Somali Diaspora community and played a role in a variety of welfare and media outreach projects, related to integration, civic engagements, and de-radicalisation of young Muslims. He established Somali Concern Group with other key members of UK based Somali activists and become executive director of North London Muslim Welfare Centre.

Burdened by the crisis in our homeland, He eventually returned to Somalia in 2007 to serve as deputy chairman of the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS).  In that capacity, He served as the ARS’ chief negotiator during the landmark Djibouti talks in 2008-2009, which ultimately led to the formation of the Transitional Federal Government. He then joined the post-Djibouti government as Minister of National Planning and International Cooperation and Member of Parliament.  He  had also played a key role in negotiating the Kampala Accord in 2011, which became the basis for the roadmap to end the transition.  

When, subsequent to this, the first post-transitional government was set up in 2012, He joined it as a Senior Policy Advisor to the President of the Federal Republic.  In this capacity, He led the work and engagement in the preparation of the London II Conference, including setting its agenda, developing the relevant substantive plans, and negotiating the final communiqué on behalf of the Federal Republic of Somalia.  He was also honoured to represent the Federal Government during the Addis Ababa talks that led to the Jubba Agreement and the formation of the Jubbaland Administration. 

Alas, despite his  eagerness to serve and despite sharing the general optimism that the  country had turned a corner, He came to the realisation, to his huge disappointment, that poor leadership and management continued to prevail.  He therefore resigned and in 2014 joined the United Nation Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) as the Senior Special Advisor to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG).  In this role, He  helped shape the building regional administrations in Somalia from the outside.  He was instrumental in the UN’s support for state formation processes in various parts of the country, helped mediate, and also played a key part in laying the foundations for the credible electoral process in 2016 that Somalia so deserves and needs.  He supported SRSG in negotiating the ‘Mogadishu Declaration,’ in which Somali leaders committed themselves to the fundamental elements of an electoral process that was going far beyond the selection process of 2012, and He advised Michael Keating during his initial days in office.

Mr Abdishakur is passionate about Somalia, its people and its future.  When He was in the diaspora, He saw his  role as that of a catalyst for changing perceptions, reviving hope, and raising the political consciousness of his people and harnessing their energy to serve the goals of peace, enlightened politics and national reconciliation. He look back to his  years of community activism in the UK with great pride.  They reinforced his conviction and faith in the intrinsic goodness of his people and his confidence in their capacity to surmount the challenges confronting them.  He formed professional and personal friendships accumulated many important leadership and managerial experiences, learnt valuable political lessons, and picked up the set of skills that he would later draw upon when he left the UK to join active politics in Somalia.  

As a member of the ARS and its chief negotiator in Djibouti, he successfully navigated around powerful vested interests and sought to harmonise and narrow diverging viewpoints.  He also learnt one of the salient truths of modern politics:  that politics cannot be conducted as a zero-sum game.  This process was about making painful compromises and concessions in the interest of achieving a workable formula to advance the collective and strategic goals – peace, national reconciliation, an inclusive democratic and functional government.  In the interest of advancing these goals, he agreed to join the government.  He was honoured to serve a an MP and as a Minister, overseeing the development of a Five-Year Strategic Plan for Somalia and strengthening aid coordination mechanisms, and leading Somalia back into the fold of Arab cooperation when He chaired, for the first time in two decades, the Arab Council of Foreign Ministers for a six-month period.  

In 2016, Mr Abdishakur and like minded colleagues whom  for several years discussed about issues that are important for the existence and the future of the Somali nation and its people had decided to establish Wadajir Party. The founding  members of the Party are included politicians, intellectuals and social activists from different parts of the country, with wide range of experience. They stood up to lead the Somali public into new vision and social ambition. A vision of Somali society free of clan identity politics, violence and religious extremism; imbued with a sense of national identity and civic consciousness; capable of discharging its national duties and responsibilities; upholds justice and dignity for all and at peace with itself and its neighbours. 

Mr Abdishakur with the support of members of the Party  run for Presidential election of 2017 under the panner of ISKUTASHJ which is an agenda of Self-reliance. Though he didn’t win the election, he believes that  he has much to offer and contribute, and he will continue to seek to reward the trust that Somalis place in him, for the good of his country and people to provide a leadership, that explains the great challenges and opportunities that Somalia face with a body of ideas about what needed to change.  Mr Warsame has 200K Facebook  and more 30k Tweeter followers. He is regards among Somalis the leader of the opposition. The federal government authorized a deadly attack on his residence on December 2017 in Mogadishu, in which five of his bodyguards were killed.  This raid was a serious setback for democratization and reconciliation processes. Though Mr Warsame claims it was an assassination attempt. The government denies that and in he absence of an independent probe and with two sharply contrasting, highly partisan narratives, the truth may never come to light. Irrespective, the government has come out badly. The opposition claims the raid reflects the regime’s "growing authoritarian tendencies”.