By Spy Uganda Correspondent
Mogadishu: The Somali flag will fly at half-staff during three days of mourning for former President Ali Mahdi Mohamed, who died late Wednesday at age 86, the government announced.
“I extend my condolences to his family, friends, and the Somali people on the death of our former president. He will be remembered for what he did for our country,” said current President Mohamed Abdullah Mohamed Mohamed in a Thursday video also announcing an official funeral committee.
Ali Mahdi died in the Kenyan capital Nairobi after being hospitalized for COVID-19, according to local media.
President Ali was born in the Mahaday District of the Middle Shabelle region in 1939 and became a member of parliament in 1968.
Ali Mahdi was appointed president in 1991 after the collapse of the military government of Siad Barre.
He was immediately opposed by former Gen. Mohamed Farah Aidid and then re-elected during a reconciliation conference in Djibouti the same year, but his term was marred by civil war.
He was nominally in office until 2000 when Somalis elected Abdiqasim Salad Hassan his successor.
He was also a businessman before he was elected president of Somalia in 1991 when the military government was overthrown.