|Abdullahi Ali Afrah|
|Born||Abdullahi Ali Afrah
March 9, 1953
Ceelgaras, Galguduud, Somalia
|Died||July 1, 2008
Matabaan, Hiiraan, Somalia
|Cause of death||Gunshot|
|Occupation||Professor (1999 - 2006)|
Abdullahi Ali Afrah, born in Somalia, was a Canadian immigrant who returned to Mogadishu as a leader in the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) where he became known as "one of the few intellectuals within his organization that had weight to move [the] peace process forward". He was killed 1 July 2008 in a gunfight with Ethiopian troops.
Afrah got his bachelor's degree in Agricultural from Lafoole University in 1983, and his master's degree in Crop science from Texas Tech University in 1986. He also got a bachelor's degree in the Islamic studies from the University of Science and Technology, Sana'a in 2005. He joined a variety of other universities but did not complete.
Afrah moved to Toronto following the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991, became a Canadian citizen and worked as a security guard with the Toronto Catholic District School Board, before operating a Somalia wire transfer service, and eventually co-owning a grocery store on Dundas Street West.
Return to Somalia
In 1996, Asparo moved back to Somalia with his family.
"I have been there, just like everybody else, working and trying to make a good life. I tried my best and when I finished my intention to stay there I just moved back to Somalia", Afrah said, during a telephone interview with National Post.
He took his wife and three children back to Mogadishu in 1997, where he became known as an insurgent UIC leader under the name "Asparo". Afrah's support of the UIC led William Kaplan to brand him a "Taliban wannabe" in December 2006.
A month later, Afrah spoke to Canadian journalist Michelle Shephard in a telephone interview, and urged Canadians not to lump the UIC in the same category as terrorists or al Qaeda, as they were simply trying to repel the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia. He also suggested that he may return to Canada, once Somalia had secured peace.
In 1 July 2008, on his way back from a journey to his birthplace (Ceelgaras), Asparo was caught up in a clash with the Ethiopian troops, in Matabaan, Hiiraan, Somalia, and was killed there.
- Shephard, Michelle. Toronto Star, Canadian insurgent 'Asparo' killed in Somalia, July 3, 2008
- Evaluation of Laboratory Tests For Predicting Field Performance Of Sorghum Seed
- Shephard, Michelle, Toronto Star, Top Islamist ponders return to Toronto, January 8, 2007
- Shephard, Michelle, Toronto Star, "From T.O. to Mogadishu", October 21, 2006
- Canadian in Somalia defends Taliban
- Kaplan, William, "Is it time to close Hotel Canada?", December 25, 2006