On February 23, 1970, he was appointed Secretary of State for the Interior. A tolerant rather than decisive personality, he has an extensive circle of Somali friends. He is an authority on Somali languages and speaks most dialects in the country, but is not an English speaker.
Following the outbreak of the civil war in 1991, Kulmiye among other Hawiye Officers were not arrested nor expelled from Mogadishu. Instead all Hawiye Clan officials who served the Barre regime were reinvented as Somali Heroes.