Pilot who refused to bomb Hargeisa awarded Medal of Honour

The President awarded the brave pilot Axmed Dheere Somaliland citizenship (diplomatic passport) along with Somaliland's Medal of Honour of the first order:

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Respect to the great hero from Wardhiigle :salute:

He is now also our Somalilander compatriot :friendhug:
 
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On July 12 1988, during the early months of the Somali Civil War, he received orders to bomb Hargeisa, then the second largest city in the former Somali Democratic Republic military dictatorship. As an officer in the Somali Air Force, he took an oath to defend his nation and its people and could not bring himself to bomb and kill innocent civilians.

He refused to obey his orders and switched off his radio. He flew his Mig-17 fighter aircraft to the nearby country of Djibouti where he was forced to make an emergency landing on a beach due to fuel shortage. He abandoned his jet and attempted to make his way to the capital by walking in the scorching heat. After walking some distance, he came across some fishermen near the coast who helped him reach the capital.

The Somali government requested his repatriation, however the Djibouti government refused and he was informed by the Djibouti Home Affairs Minister that due to his actions, he will be granted political asylum.

In 2008 he returned to Hargeisa, where he was invited to attend a ceremony held to honour his exceptional heroism, integrity and nobility.He was the guest of honour at that year's 26 June celebrations.

A humble man, He mentioned in a 2009 interview with BBC Somali that it was his duty as a human being to save the lives of defenceless and innocent people, adding that he refused to be a vessel for destruction and that it is only other people who make his actions seem heroic.
 

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