Somaliland:State Funeral for the Late Abbas Idriss (John Drysdale)

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DSC_0045By Goth Mohamed Goth

The remains of the late Abbas Idriss were finally laid to rest on Tuesday during a state funeral held at the Maslah Muslim burial grounds, in Hargeisa.

H.E Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud Silanyo was among the mourners attending the state funeral for the Late Abbas Idriss (John Drysdale) . The Late Abbas Idriss (John Drysdale) passed away on Sunday after succumbing to short illness.

Hundreds of mourners, including religious leaders and top politicians, paid their respect at his funeral said that the country has lost a great citizen who served the nation with distinction.

The Late Abbas Idriss aka John Drysdale a former British army officer, arrived in Somaliland in 1943 in his teens. He served alongside Somaliland soldiers during WWII in Burma and Singapore. During his long career as Military man, diplomat, businessman, Historian and publisher, Drysdale has been a prolific writer and analyst of political events in Somaliland, Somalia East, Africa and Southeast Asia.

He served alongside Somaliland soldiers during WWII in Burma and Singapore. He returned back to Africa after the defeat of the Nazi regime in Germany and Japan to serve in the British Colonial Service and the Foreign Service where he carried out assignments in Ghana (then the Gold Coast) and in Mogadishu (now under British control with the defeat of Italy).

He became an advisor to three Somali Prime Ministers in post independence Somalia and to three successive UN special envoys to Somalia during  1992-1993.Mr Drysdale is regarded as an expert on Somalis including the Somali literature, history, culture and the people. He is an accomplished speaker of Somali.

His work on Somalia which includes The Somali Dispute (1964), Somali The Peninsula and Whatever Happened to Somalia (1994) has become a standard reference works on the Somali people and their politics.

During his long career as diplomat, businessman, and publisher, Drysdale has been a prolific writer and analyst of political events in Africa and Southeast Asia.

Mr Drysdale founded and edited the Africa Research Bulletin in Britain and the Asia Research Bulletin in Singapore in collaboration with the Straits Times Group.

He also founded the Asean Economic Quarterly in Singapore. His book Singapore: Struggle for Success is a recommended reading for all young Singaporeans. Returning to Somaliland in mid 1990s, Mr Drysdale worked as an advisor to the Somaliland government under the late President Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal for a while before setting up his own land survey NGO, Cadastral Surveys. Cadastral Surveys has been surveying and mapping hitherto non-existent farm boundaries in the Gabiley and Dilla districts of south-west Somaliland.

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