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General Abdullahi Ahmed Jama Likajiir- Keeping the Promise

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One of Africa’s finest leaders, a dedicated veteran of great repute; one that has fought for his country and Africa, and a leader per excellence.

Abdullahi Ahmed Jama was born in Erigavo, Northeastern Somalia, on March 13, 1951. He completed his primary education at Dayaha, the storied boarding school near Erigavo town.

Upon graduation he was accepted into the newly established NTEC (National Teachers’ Education Center) at the outskirts of Mogadishu, known as Lafole, where he worked briefly as a teacher. A profession he thought to be a very noble calling, but one he had to sacrifice at the altar of military service.

This was well expected as the course of Abdullahi’s career was already set at an early age by several antecedents ranging from the fact that he hails from a prominent Makhir family known for bravery, and the sense of adventure that his father (one of the renowned captain-owners of the East) had instilled in him early in childhood.

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Jama joined the Somali National Army and was sent to the then Soviet Union for training as a Cadet Officer in 1970. After which he attended the prestigious Military Academy in Odessa (Ukraine), earning his first degree in Military Science in 1973 and then proceeded to the Staff College in Cairo, Egypt where he studied from 1980-1983, earning a Master’s Degree in Military Science.

In 1989 he earned a Diploma in Strategy and Decision-Making from the US Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and in 2000-2004, Jama attended Bryan & Stratton College at Rochester, NY and earned a degree in Accounting..

As a career Military Officer and Leader, Jama held numerous positions in the Somali National Army: from Battalion Commander to Army Commander. He was the youngest Officer to head the Directorate of Operations of the Somali National Army, where he distinguished himself as the best.

Jama is a veteran of the 1977 Ogaden war, where he received two (2) bronze medals and one (1) silver medal for bravery as well as numerous certificates of merit for outstanding conduct.

He also served as a distinguished lecturer at the Somali Staff College.

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This hero is the author of four (4) publications and numerous articles in Somali for the Somali National Army in the fields of tactics, operations and military strategy.

General Jama is one the Somali military officers that refused to participate in the Somali civil war that pitted brotherly communities against one another to advance the selfish interests of craven faction leaders and atrocious warlords. He is well respected for his transformational leadership.

Though he followed closely the situation of his beloved Somalia, General Jama chose to stay out of the dispute of the internecine wars that have been tearing the country apart for the past 17 years.

The one exception is when he was called back by the community in the early 1990’s to assume the position of Governor of the Makhir/Sanaag region. The vexing challenge facing the community at the time centred on the need to liberate the region from a well-armed and religious group that had forcibly occupied the region’s principal seaport, Lasqoray and its environs. Shortly upon arrival the General mobilized the community’s defences and was able to put in place a strategy that resulted in solving the situation peacefully without further bloodshed.

For the some years, the General has been living with his family in Upstate New York. He is now ready to once again answer the call of duty to return to the motherland to offer the type of transformational leadership that he is uniquely qualified to provide.

Lovelyn Okafor
Lovelyn Okafor
Lovelyn Okafor is a Journalist/Writer, Poet, Lawyer and God-Lover. She enjoys a good read and sees everyday as an opportunity to live and enjoy her calling whilst working towards perfecting it. She believes that someday soon, Africa will reach her full potential as the light-bearer of the world. You can find her on Twitter: @lovelyn_o

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