Somalilandsun: Kenyans in General and more specifically the Somali community are mourning the death of Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji.
The senator who died in Nairobi today has been buried at the langata cemetery in Nairobi where thousands thronged to pay their last respects to the man who has for decades been too most Somalian public adminstrator and Politician.
On the early morning of February 15, Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji was pronounced dead at the Aga Khan Hospital after a long illness reports the StarStar as it revealed that the Kenyan career administrator and former Cabinet Minister had been flown in from Turkey on Saturday where he had been since December for treatment.
A family spokesman said Haji had multiple body organ failure.
The late Senator is the father of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji. His other son is Noordin Yusuf Haji, an undercover anti-terrorism agent.
The late Haji was born on December 23, 1940, in Garissa District in the North Eastern Province to an ethnic Somali family. Haji hailed from the Abdalla subclan of the Ogaden and Borana from his mothers side.
He earned a diploma from the University of Birmingham, where he majored in Management and Finance Control.
Haji was married and has nine children of whom one is deceased.
Haji began his professional career in administration and management where he joined the Provincial Administration of Kenya as a District Officer in 1960 before he was promoted to a Provincial Commissioner between 1970 and 1997.
In 1998, Haji was nominated as a member of the Kenyan Parliament and later won the Ijara Constituency seat on a Kanu ticket between 2003 and 2013.
While serving as a nominated MP, Haji was appointed as an Assistant Minister in the office of the President where he served from 1998 to 2001.
He subsequently acted as the Office’s Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs in 2002.
After the 2007/8 general election and post-election violence, Haji was appointed as Kenya’s Minister for Defence under retired President Mwai Kibaki’s regime.
In 2011, Haji would play a key role when he led a Kenyan delegation that met with Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG) officials in Mogadishu to discuss security issues cooperation against the Islamist Al-Shabaab group as part of the coordinated Operation Linda Nchi.
It was during his tenure that the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) troops were deployed to Somalia to fight Al Shabaab militants.
Haji and Somalia’s Minister of Defence Hussein Arab Isse then signed an agreement to collaborate against the insurgent group.
A year later, Haji signed another agreement officially re-hatting Kenya’s deployed military forces in Somalia under the AMISOM general command.
His term as the Minister of Defence ended on April 26, 2013.
In 2012, Haji was appointed the acting Minister of Internal Security after the then minister George Saitoti died in a helicopter crash.
Haji had previously worked closely with Saitoti on the Linda Nchi military operation.
Haji held the new position concurrently with the Ministry of Defence docket until a permanent Internal Minister was appointed on 21 September 2012.
Well known for his strong advocacy for peace and unity, Haji in 2014 oversaw the signing of a peace agreement between communities in Wajir and Mandera counties to end the perennial clashes.
The agreement presided over by the then National Cohesion and Integration Commission chairman Francis ole Kaparo was signed by Degodia and Garre communities amid efforts to spearhead peace in the region.
While in the Senate, Haji served as the chairman of the Senate National Security and Foreign Relations Committee where proposed that individuals from indigenous communities be recruited in security teams to help fight against cattle rustling because of their knowledge of terrains.
Haji had proposed that border posts be established to check the proliferation of illegal firearms in the country.
Before his death, Haji was the incumbent Senator for Garissa, a position he had held since 2013.
Up to last year, he served as the chairman of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) taskforce.
He died aged 80 years.