The incredible story of an African minister who was a security guard in the ministry he now supervises
London, Feb. 29, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The story you are about to read is neither a fiction nor tales from the moonlight. It is a story told by the man himself. -The Minister of Information in A small African country of Somaliland
It’s not often you hear of a security guard rising through the ranks to become a government minister, but Suleiman Yusuf Koore did just that. He is not just a minister in any ministry, but a minister in the same ministry he now supervises-Ministry of Information
The minister, Suleiman Yusuf Koore started out in 1984 as a watchman at Radio Hargeisa, the state broadcaster of the self-declared republic of Somaliland, which is housed within the complex of the ministry of information.
Now as the minister of information and communication, Mr Koore is the most senior person in the building.
“Back in the day I wasn’t allowed to enter the office that I occupy now, because of my status as a watchman,” he told the BBC Somali service.
At the time he lived with his family on the outskirts of Hargeisa and earned $12 (£9) a month.
By contrast, ministers in Somaliland today earn $2,000 each month plus up to $705 in allowances.
Mr Koore has been in politics for the last 25 years and has held several portfolios as a minister – but in December he started his first stint at the information ministry, which he regards as his true home.
“It makes great sense to me that I became a minister at the ministry I worked at during my youthful days as it has a special meaning to my life,” he told BBC.
His country, Somaliland officially the Republic of Somaliland is a self-declared state, internationally considered to be an autonomous region of Somalia. The government of the de facto state of Somaliland regards itself as the successor state to the former British Somaliland protectorate, which, in the form of the briefly independent State of Somaliland, united as scheduled on 1 July 1960 with the Trust Territory of Somaliland (the former Italian Somaliland) to form the Somali Republic.
Somaliland lies in northwestern Somalia, on the southern coast of the Gulf of Aden. It is bordered by the remainder of Somalia (per international recognition) to the east, Djibouti to the northwest, and Ethiopia to the south and west. Its claimed territory has an area of 176,120 square kilometres (68,000 sq mi), with approximately 4 million residents. The capital and the largest city is Hargeisa, with the population of around 1,500,000 residents.
In 1988, the Siad Barre government began a crackdown against the Hargeisa-based Somali National Movement (SNM) and other militant groups, which were among the events that led to the Somali Civil War. The conflict left the country’s economic and military infrastructure severely damaged. Following the collapse of Barre’s government in early 1991, local authorities, led by the SNM, unilaterally declared independence from Somalia on 18 May of the same year and reinstated the borders of the former short-lived independent State of Somaliland.
Since then, the territory has been governed by democratically elected governments that seek international recognition as the Government of the Republic of Somaliland