London Somalis mourn former resident turned mayor of Mogadishu killed in a suicide blast

A suicide bomb attack has claimed the life of the mayor of Mogadishu who has died from injuries sustained in a blast that claimed the lives of at least six people last week.

Abdirahman Omar Osman spent 17 years in the UK after fleeing civil war in Somalia in the 1990s, earning citizenship and a master’s degree before returning to his homeland to work as an official in the national government and city official.

Mohamed Omar, his son and a student at London’s Queen Mary University, tweeted a tribute to his father. “Today the people of Mogadishu lose their mayor; but I lost my father. May Allah grant him the highest rank of paradise,” he wrote.

He worked as a housing manager at Ealing council in London, before returning to the country in 2008 to help with the rebuilding effort, serving as prime ministerial aide and minister of commerce and industry before being appointed mayor in 2018.

“Somalia has suffered so much from warlords, pirates and terrorists,” he said in 2012. “Our capital city was destroyed. So much blood has been shed. The dreams of generations of our people have been destroyed.

“So when there was a chance to rebuild my country I knew I had to do it. We can make this a decent place. I am a hard worker and I want this task.”