To return for the school Term – because he had
A new job as deputy Prime minister of Somalia.
Mohamed Ibrahim, 64, who was heavily involved in politics in his home country, has been a learning support teacher at the Newman Catholic College in Brent, North London for the past two years.
But during the summer Mr Ibrahim was summoned back to take up a senior role in the new Western-backed government of Somalia,
and help tackle the devastating drought and famine which is gripping the country.
Somalia has not had a central government since 1991, when President Siad Barre was ousted, and has since then been torn apart by rival warlords.
Since taking up his post, Mr Ibrahim has been taking a lead role in helping to combat the famine that has gripped the Horn of Africa.
The UN warned this week that 750,000 people could die as the drought worsens in the coming months.
The quiet leader: Mohamed Ibrahim was a learning support teacher in Brent, north London. Now he is deputy prime minister of Somalia
Some 12 million people across the region need food aid, with about 1.4million people displaced within the country. Half of those who have already died are children.
Head teacher Richard Kolka said he found out about his staff member’s political appontment when he Googled his name, to discover him on the Somalia government register.
Mr Kolka said: ‘A Somali colleague told me he had been appointed to an important political position. I Googled his name and realised that he had been appointed deputy prime minister of Somalia.
‘I just thought Mohamed would be having a normal summer holiday, but when I found out he had helped form a new Government I must say I was truly astonished.’
Devastating: A woman and her malnourished child rest inside a ward at Banadir hospital in Mogadishu. The UN warned this week that 750,000 people could die of starvation in the country
Aid: Famine-stricken displaced people, many of them children, wait to receive food from members of al Shabaab, the Al Qaeda-linked Somali insurgents, at a camp near the capital
The new cabinet was announced in July and Mr Ibrahim was asked to return immediately to take up his post.
Mr Kolka said that given the circumstances, notice periods had been waived to allow Mr Ibrahim get straight on with the job of helping to rebuild Somalia.
Mr Ibrahim’s resignation email read: ‘I was unexpectedly called to my country during the summer holidays at a time when the country is facing a humanitarian crisis such as drought and famine.
‘I will always have Newman Catholic College in my heart and won’t forget the wonderful colleagues.’
Somali has long been a byword for a country riven by starvation and civil war. During the 1990s, the conflict was between rival warlords and militia, leading to widespread suffering. The UN and U.S. intervened before a humiliating pull-out in 1994.
It was during this period, in 1993, that the U.S. was involved in what became known as Black Hawk Down, when the Americans attempted to capture a warlord and found themselves in a desperate battle with a large force of heavily-armed Somalis. Ridley Scott later made a movie about the battle.