Brief Biography of Sultan Ibrahim Jama Samatar

Sultan Ibrahim Jama Samatar’s father Sultan Jama Samatar was a prominent and charismatic leader of the Gabiley region and was the Sultan for Baha who are a group of diverse Gadaoursi clans who reside in the Gabiley region. After his father Sultan Jama Samatar passed, his older brother Sultan Mohamed Jama Samatar succeeded him. Then when his older brother Sultan Mohamed Jama Samatar passed Sultan Ibrahim Jama Samatar succeeded him and became the Sultan of the Mahad Asse clan of the larger Gadaboursi clan families. He was the head of the of western Somaliland traditional leaders, and was also a high level member of the Dir clan families of the Horn of Africa. Sultan Ibrahim Jama Samatar has made huge contribution to the quest to build a peaceful, diverse and democratic Somaliland. Along with other Gadaboursi clans who are members of the larger Gadaboursi clan families he has played a lion’s share in the efforts of building a free, independent, peaceful and democratic Somaliland.


Sultan Ibrahim Jama Samatar was born, raised and has successfully completed his K-12 education in the beautiful city of Gabiley. After completing his high school enrolled in the once prestigious Lafoole College of education and graduated from that college in 1980 and worked as a high school instructor for few years, and after that joined the so many young people who were at the time leaving that troubled country in droves. FinallySultan Ibrahim Jama Samatar has landed in Yemen where he was a high school instructor until the passing of his older brother Sultan Mohamed Jama Samatar. When that happened he was called from Yemen to be the successor to his brother to become the head Sultan for the Mahad Asse branch of the Gadaboursi clan families.

Adal Empire

Sultan Ibrahim Jama Samatar descended from a nation the Gadaboursi that traditionally used to have long tradition of having Sultans, Ugases, kings and Kingdoms going back to the days of Ahmed Gurey the King of ancient Zeila-the Ifet/ Adal Empire, who along with other Emirates eventually became the great Adal Empire that once was in control of the whole of the Horn of Africa including Ethiopia.

In conclusion the Gadaboursi clan families in particular and all people of Somaliland have lost a giant. We lost an articulate, savvy, valiant, sagacious, intrepid, incisive, indefatigable, peacemaker, a bridge builder, a trailblazer, and charismatic leader. In short we lost a nation builder. Ibrahim Jama Samatar developed good relations with Djibouti which we used to have tense relations. Sultan Ibrahim Jama Samatar passed a time when there is a huge chaos and instability in our neighborhood. We all know the ongoing multiple civil wars in Ethiopia, tension and war in Somalia and the huge opposition Djibouti’s for life president is facing everywhere.

Sultan Ibrahim Jama Samatar died in Turkey on Monday, April 12, 2021, and was flown from Turkey to Somaliland where he was given a national burial in Gabiley; a city where he loved so much on Wednesday 14th of April, 2021.  In his burial site government officials, traditional leaders; large number of the local general public, and a number of delegations from all regions of Somaliland, Djibouti and Ethiopia took part.

Short poem

Today we lost an irreplaceable giant, a dashing trailblazer

We lost a peace maker, a peace keeper, a bridge builder and a passionate optimist

We lost a man of humor, humility, and honesty

We a lost a tenacious, team player at times of tumult and turmoil

We are praying the almighty to bless the soul of the irreplaceable icon we lost.

Prof. Soleiman Egeh is a freelance writer, political analyst and a senior science instructor.