Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - Exiled former Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf, 77, has died in a hospital in the United Arabs Emirates (UAE), where he was admitted for an unknown illness, sources said Friday.
The former Somali President, credited with the creation of the semi-autonomous state of Puntland, was imprisoned by Somali dictator Siad Barre for failing to support the 1969 military putsch, but was released in 1975.
As the first President of the current Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG), Yusuf, who suffered from poor health and survived a car bomb attack on his convoy, was forced out of office in late 2008, after a disagreement with his Prime Minister.
The former President was elected in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, by a majority vote by the interim parliament, created after nearly three years of painstaking talks to form a new governing authority in Somalia.
A former commander of the Somali National Army, Yusuf attempted a coup d’etat against Barre’s regime but failed to capture power and later escaped to neighbouring Ethiopia, from where he re-merged to stand for the Presidency.
-0- PANA AO/SEG 23Mar2013