Military Review

The Golden Age of Somalia. Dictatorship of Siad Barre

25 years ago in Somalia overthrew the dictatorship of General Mohammed Siad Barre. The name of the state "Somalia" today has become synonymous with civil war and permanent bloody chaos. As a result of the internecine wars of the Somali clans and rebel groups during the 1990-s. this country actually ceased to exist as a single state. And this is despite the fact that, formally, Somalia is still considered to be a single state, it has official power and the capital, for the 56 years (from 1960 year) it has been a member of the United Nations. There was even the term "somalization" - that is, the complete collapse of state structures, the disintegration of the state and the transformation of its territory into the field of confrontation of armed political, political-criminal and simply criminal groups.

The Golden Age of Somalia. Dictatorship of Siad Barre

Meanwhile, even 30 years ago, Somalia was, albeit problematic, as most of the countries of Africa, but still a single and more or less centralized state. The decades when this country was headed by General Mohammed Siad Barre entered the modern Somali history as the "golden age of Somalia". Of course, during the years of Barre’s rule there were many shortcomings and problems in the life of the Somali state. There was corruption and repression against dissidents, and a bloody war with neighboring Ethiopia, and a quarrel with the powerful former patron - the Soviet Union. However, for all that, during the years of the dictator Barre’s rule, the Somali state retained the unity and centrality of government, at least as far as possible in the complex social space of North-East Africa. After all, the Somali tribes have never been particularly inclined to the state form of a socio-political organization. The feudal sultanates that arose on Somalia soon fell apart and the natural condition of these arid lands was restored - according to Hobbes, “the war of all against all”. The exception was the colonial period in the history of Somalia, but it also differed, firstly, because the country was divided between three colonial powers - Italy, Great Britain and France, and secondly - that the resistance of a number of Somali tribes in the interior of the country in fact, it was never suppressed, and the colonial administration had a very weak power over the way of life in Somali society. By the beginning of the twentieth century, the territory of Somalia was divided into three colonies. British Somalia, or Somaliland, was formed in that part of the territory of Somalia, which was previously dependent on Egypt. In 1884, this part of North Somalia became a British protectorate, which was administratively part of British India. However, the local population did not reconcile with the power of the British and, prior to 1920, waged an armed struggle, forming the “State of Dervishes, which existed from 1897 to 1920. The vast territory south of British Somalia in 1889 was proclaimed by Italy. The Italian government saw Somalia as a springboard for moving into neighboring Ethiopia. Finally, to the north of British Somalia, between it and the Italian colony of Eritrea, the French Somali Coast colony formed, which existed until 1967, when it gained independence under the name of Djibouti. Thus, the main part of Somalia developed in the first third of the twentieth century under the control of Italy.

From colonies to independent Somalia

The most intensive development by Italians of the Somali territory began in the years of Mussolini’s rule. The fascists hoped to unite the entire Northeast Africa under Italian rule — Eritrea, Somalia, and Ethiopia. However, the plans of Italy violated the Second World War. According to its results, Italy lost its colonies in Africa, more precisely, they were transferred to the custody of the United Nations. Nevertheless, Italy continued to carry out a kind of “patronage” over the former colonies - Somali, Eritrean, Libyan students were sent to Italian universities. Only in 1960, Italy, under pressure from the UK, agreed to finally grant independence to Somalia. But, given that the nomadic Somali tribes were never a “state nation”, the process of forming a full-fledged state was difficult. Affected inter-clan struggle in Somali society. However, the first decade of Somalia’s independent existence was relatively calm. Moreover, the country even maintained democratic governance. The first president of Somalia was elected Aden Abdullah Osman (1908-2007) - a former employee of the Italian colonial administration, after the occupation of Somalia in 1942 by the British army, left the bureaucratic service and went into business. In 1944, the city of Aden, Abdullah Osman became one of the founders and general secretary of the Young Somalis Club, on the basis of which the League of Young Somalis political party was created. In 1956, the city of Aden Abdullah Osman was elected Chairman of the Legislative Assembly, and when 1 July 1960 Somalia officially gained political independence, he was elected the first president of the country.

In September, 1960 established diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, and negotiations began on cooperation in the economic and technical fields. In the early years of independence, Somali politicians often spoke of the need to create a “Great Somalia” - uniting into a single state territories inhabited by Somali tribes (these are Somalia itself, Djibouti, the Ogaden Ethiopian province and the North-Eastern Kenyan province). For this reason, Somalia has supported Somali rebels in north-eastern Kenya. The uprising in the Northeast province of Kenya broke out in 1963. The rebels from among the Somali tribes inhabiting the province of Islam, did not want to live in Kenya - under the control of Christians from the negroid majority of the country. In turn, the Kenyan government ignored the political goals of this movement and called the rebels only as “shift” - “bandits”. Under this name - "Shift war" - the events of 1963-1967. and entered the newest history of East Africa. At first, the Somali government tried to support the rebels, but after Kenya, which was significantly militarily and economically superior to Somalia, declared that it would use force against the Somali army, the authorities refused to support their fellow tribesmen. As a result, the rebel movement of the northeastern province of Kenya to the 1967 year was suppressed. True, in some places periodically attacks on police posts and cases of cattle hijackings took place, but they rather testified to the complete degeneration of the insurgency into ordinary criminal banditry.

October Revolution in Somalia

In 1967, President Aden Abdullah Osman left his post. Abdirashid Ali Shermark (1919-1969) was elected as the new head of state in 1960-1964. headed the government of the country. Like Aden Abdullah Osman, Shermark was a former official of the Italian colonial administration, and after the war, in 1958, he graduated from the University of Rome. Mohammed Haji Ibrahim Egal (1928-2002), who advocated normalization of relations with neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia, was appointed Prime Minister of the country. However, Shermark’s reign was not long, and for a tragic reason. 15 October 1969 President Shermark was shot dead by a security guard during a visit to the northern city of Las Anod. The government of Egal began to prepare for the presidency of the country M. Bogor - a pro-Western orientation policy, but this did not suit a part of the country's highest military elite, focused on the fashionable concepts of a levonationalistic sense at that time. On the night of October 21 1969, a military coup took place in Somalia by a group of Somali army officers. Prime Minister Mohammed Haji Ibrahim Egal was removed from power and placed under house arrest.

Power in the country was in the hands of the military. Thus began the twenty-year-old era of the military dictatorship, which, compared with the modern period of the political history of Somalia, is characterized by many researchers as “the Somali Golden Age”. All political parties and the country's parliament were dissolved, and the ministers of the Egal government were arrested. The Supreme Executive, Legislative and Judicial Authority of the country proclaimed the Supreme Revolutionary Council of Somalia, created by the command of the army and the police. On the day of the coup, the Somali radio station Voice of the Somali People transmitted a statement from the Supreme Revolutionary Council to rename the Somali Republic into the Somali Democratic Republic. It was emphasized that the country will develop along the socialist path.

29 October 1969 was promulgated by Law No. 1, according to which the Supreme Revolutionary Council received the functions of the President of the Republic, the National Assembly and the Supreme Court of the country. 2 November 1969 was announced a list of 25 members of the Supreme Revolutionary Council - officers of the Somali army and police. The supreme body of the country included: Major General Mohammed Ainanshe, Brigadier General Hussein Kulmmah Afrah, Lieutenant Colonels Salaad Gabeire Kediye, Mohammed Ali Samatar, Ahmed Mohammed Adeh, Abdullah Mohamed Fadil, Ali Matan Hashi, Muhammad Mammah Math Mathmah Mathmah Mathmah Mathmah Mathmah Math Mathmah Mathmam Math Mathmam Math Math Mamam, Math Mamad Math, Math Mamad Math Mamad Hamad Shireh Ali Ahmed Abdullah Suleiman, Gills Mohamud Yusuf, Farrah Wais Dyuleh, captain Ahmed Hassan Musa, Musa Rabille Goad, Muhammad Farah Ahmed, Muhammad Omer Ges, Osman Mohammed Jelle, Abdi Warsame Isaac Abdirazak Mahamud Abubakar, Abdulkadir Haji Muhamad. Major-General Jama Ali Korshel became the deputy chairman of the VRS. The chairman of the Supreme Revolutionary Council, that is, the de facto head of the Somali state, was the 50-year-old Maj.-Gen. Mohammed Siad Barre (1919-1995), who previously served as commander of the Somali National Army.

Son of nomads and police officer

As well as about the childhood of many dictators, little is known about the initial stage of the life of Mohammed Siad Barre. Even the exact date of his birth remains a mystery, however - not so much because of the secrecy of the dictator, but because of the difficulty of establishing such events in the families of Somali nomads. It is officially believed that Mohammed Siad Barre was born on October 6 of the year 1919, but 1912, 1916, and 1921 are also named as the date of birth. Similarly, there is some confusion with birthplaces. After all, Somalis wander over a fairly extensive region. A number of sources indicate that Barre was born in Shihlaabo in the territory of the modern Ethiopian Ogaden region, or in the Lug-Ferrandi region (Upper Juba province). It is only known that the mother of the future dictator was a representative of the Somali clan Ogaden, and the father came from the Marehan clan. Mohammed Siad Barre himself considered himself a representative of the clan Marehan. The Marehan clan is one of the main sub-clans of the largest Somali clan, Darod. The first mentions in the European literature about the Marehan clan date from the 17th century. - Jesuit Jeronimo Lobo, who tried to penetrate into Ethiopia, mentioned him in 1624. Currently, the Marehan clan inhabits the areas of Jubadda Husa, Gedo in southwestern Somalia, Gulgood and Mudug in central Somalia, and also lives in Ogaden province in in northeastern province in kenya. The Marehan clan rebels fought against the British colonialists for a long time under the leadership of Saidp Mohammed Abdullah Hassan.

Mohammed Siad Barre’s parents died when the boy was about ten years old. He received his primary education in the city of Lugue in southern Somalia and moved to Mogadishu, seeking to get a secondary education. For the Somali orphan, such a craving for knowledge was amazing, because most of the peers of Mohammed Siad Barre did not receive any education at all, but preferred, like their ancestors, to engage in semi-nomadic cattle breeding. In 1940, Mr. Siad Barre, who by that time was 21, had a year (or so) enlisted in the colonial police. Recall that Italy before the defeat in World War II pursued an active policy to assert its dominance in Northeast Africa. To this end, the Italian government created colonial troops and colonial police, recruiting members of the native population — Libyans, Eritreans, Somalis — to private and non-commissioned officers. To protect public order and combat insurgency and banditry on the territory of the Italian colonies, gendarmerie military police units were formed, called Zaptié - “Zapti” (in the photo). Once so called Turkish gendarmes and military police of the Ottoman Empire. The Italian government has set up squads in the territory of Tripolitania, Cyrenaica, Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia along the lines of the Carabinieri Corps. Soldiers "zapti" recruited from among the natives, the command officers put Italian officers. In the Somali corps there were 1500 Somali soldiers and non-commissioned officers and 72 Italian officers. The uniform was khaki and its distinctive features were white and red carabinieri collars and a red fez. Armament consisted of carbines, revolvers and sabers. It was in the corps of the “start” and began in the 1940, the service of young Siad Barre. Thanks to his qualities, he managed to make a good career with the colonial police. He remained in service after Italy was defeated and Italian Somalia was transferred to the UN. At 1950, a thirty-year-old Siad Barre, who served as a police officer in Somalia, was sent to study in Italy. In 1952, he completed an education course at an officer’s school in Florence and continued to serve in the Somali police.

At the end of the 1950s, shortly before the proclamation of the state independence of Somalia, work began on creating a Somali national army on the Trust Territory of Somalia. Since the creation of an independent Somali state was envisaged in the near future, it was necessary to form at least a small but own army to protect its state borders and maintain order. The Somali Mobile Police Force Group (Darawishta) was originally established, the day it appeared - 12 April 1960. - subsequently celebrated as the Day of the Somali Armed Forces. After the independence of the country, Darawishta was connected to the Somali scout units operating in British Somalia. This is how the Somali national army appeared, initially numbering about 5 000 military personnel. The first commander of the Somali national army was Colonel Daoud Abdullah Hirsi, a former police officer in British Somalia, and then an officer of the Somali gendarmerie. Colonel Mohammed Siad Barre was appointed deputy commander and chief of staff of the Somali National Army (in 1962 he was given the rank of brigadier general). Command personnel for the Somali National Army were trained in the UK, Italy and Egypt. For ordinary Somalis, military service seemed to carry numerous privileges — an increase in social status, a stable salary, uniforms, and career opportunities. However, despite this, the Somalis did not rush to military service, and soon the army began to experience an acute shortage of personnel. In addition, the situation in the country's armed forces was complicated by contradictions between the clans. The historical confrontation of the Somali clans did not cease in the armed forces, moreover - it was aggravated by the division of officers into two groups - trained in British Somalia and in Italian Somalia. In December, the 1961 a group of junior officers attempted to raise a rebellion, after the suppression of which the country's leadership was seriously concerned about the modernization of the Somali army. The Soviet Union agreed to extend a loan to 32 million to Somalia. US dollars to retool the armed forces. In 1964 was Somalia’s armed conflict with neighboring Ethiopia took place - for the same-named province populated by the Somali clan. In these difficult years, and headed the Somali national army, Brigadier General Mohammed Siad Barre. In 1965 was he received an appointment as commander of the Somali National Army, in 1966. he was given the rank of Major General, and in 1969 he led a military coup and came to power in the country. Explaining the reasons for the coup, Mohammed Siad Barre said: “The intervention of the armed forces was inevitable. It was impossible to ignore such vicious things as corruption, bribery, nepotism, theft of public funds, injustice and disrespect for our religion and the laws of our country.

"Somali socialism": Marx, Lenin, Barre

In 1960 - 1970 - s. in the countries of the “third world”, the various concepts of “national socialism” have become widespread. As a rule, the socialist ideology in them was diluted with local nationalism, but the main unifying feature was the rejection of the capitalist (that is, pro-Western) path of development and the search for a socialist component in national cultures. Somalia was no exception. The state became known as the Somali Democratic Republic, and labor and social justice were proclaimed the foundations of social development. Of course, the 1969 coup became the name of the Somali Revolution. The socialist path of development of Somalia was greatly facilitated by the great financial, military and technical assistance of the Soviet Union. Moscow was interested not only in the spread of socialism, but also in strengthening its position in the strategically important country of the Horn of Africa - after all, the Somali coast allowed the creation of a Red Sea base for the Soviet Navy. For his part, Mohammed Siad Barre proclaimed Marx-Lenin’s scientific socialism, the concept of the communal development of his own authorship and the Islamic religion to be the three foundations of the Somali socialist way. Thus, not forgetting to emphasize loyalty to the national traditions of the Somalis, Barre demonstrated the complete political loyalty of the USSR. At the same time, of course, the general did not forget about himself. Next to the portraits of Karl Marx and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, posters depicting General Siad Barre were hung in the streets of the Somali capital Mogadishu. Officially, he was called not only the "Father of Knowledge" ("Aabah Agoonta") and "Victory Leader" ("Guulvaadde"). The general himself, however, preferred to be modest and simply called himself “Comrade Siad” (“Jaale Siad”). All sorts of demonstrations of loyalty to the socialist course convinced the Soviet Union of the sincerity of intentions Barre. In 1974, a treaty of friendship and cooperation was concluded between the USSR and Somalia. At that, Barre paid great importance not so much to economic and technical cooperation, as to receiving military aid from the USSR. At the request of the Somali leadership, several thousand Soviet and Cuban military advisers, instructors, and specialists arrived in Somalia. The Somali national army began to receive Soviet military equipment and weapons. In exchange, Somalia allowed the Soviet Union to equip the base station of warships of the Soviet Navy in the port of Berbera, to use a number of military airfields in the country. Thus, military cooperation between the two countries was mutually beneficial.

During the years of Barre’s rule in Somalia, foreign banks, oil companies, and land resources were nationalized. However, livestock and banana plantations, which gave the main income to the Somali population, remained in private hands. But it is difficult to deny that in the 1970-s. positive social and economic changes took place in the life of the country. For example, in 1973, a law on cooperation was introduced, implying the modernization of agriculture. During the first five years of the Barre reign, the production of canned meat, milk and textiles increased significantly. After the Somali script was created (the Somali language was unwritten before, all texts were written either in Arabic or in European languages), a campaign was launched to eradicate illiteracy in the country. Education has become universal and compulsory, and the government has attempted to create a complete health care system. The drought of 1974 was the reason for the implementation of a special program for the relocation of nomadic people from the most drought-prone regions of the country.

Back in 1971, Mr. Barre expressed his intention to create a Somali revolutionary party that would become a reliable tool for socialist transformations in the life of the country. In order to further consolidate Somali society and strengthen the vertical of power, the 27 of June 1976 of the Year in Mogadishu opened the First Constituent Assembly of the avant-garde party of workers, where more than 3000 of military and civilian representatives gathered. The Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party (SRSP) was founded at the congress, after which the Supreme Revolutionary Council ceased to exist and transferred all its powers to the Central Committee of the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party (Central SRSP). Mohammed Siad Barre was proclaimed president of the Somali Democratic Republic. As early as January 1977, the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party officially numbered 13.500 members, with which women and youth organizations were created. It was based on the type of the CPSU. The supreme body of the SRSP was proclaimed a party congress, which met once every five years. At the congress, party members elected the Central Committee of the SRSP as a part of 73 people. In turn, the Central Committee of the Council on Human Rights and Socialism elected the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Union of Soviet Socialist Workers' Union of Five. The general secretary of the Central Committee of the Siberian National Technical Union was elected at the congress for five years.

The second person in the Politburo, after Mohammed Siad Barre, was Major General Muhammad Ali Samantar (born 1931), a Tomayal clan born in Kismayo in the Lower Jabba region of Somalia Italy. Like Barre, Samantar began his career as a police officer. In 1956, he graduated from Kazan Infantry Academy in Rome (Italy), after which he was assigned as an officer to the Somali police. He also received his education at the Police Academy in Mogadishu, and in 1965-1967. He studied in the Soviet Union - in the Military Academy. Mv Frunze. After graduation, he returned to Somalia with the rank of lieutenant colonel, and in 1969 he was promoted to brigadier general. Becoming one of the direct organizers of the military coup of 1969, General Samantar in 1970 was appointed commander of the Somali national army, vice president of the Supreme Revolutionary Council. In 1971, Mr. Samantar was appointed Secretary of State for Defense. In July 1976, Samantar took over as vice-president of the Somali Democratic Republic, minister of defense, member of the Central Committee and member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the SRSP. It was General Samantar who was responsible for maintaining and developing foreign policy and military ties between Somalia and the Soviet Union.

Ogaden war and the crisis of the regime

However, the creation of a nationwide political party did not solve the very tasks that Mohammed Siad Barre himself expected from this event. The party was unable to consolidate Somali society, weakened by inter-clan contradictions. First, Barre’s policy pushed aside the most revolutionary, leftist part of the Somalis, which became known as “Gadhyarayal” - “Little Bearded Group” (leftists, like Fidel Castro, grew “partisan beards”). Secondly, in the leadership of the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party, only representatives of the sub-clans Marehan, Ogaden and the Dolbahant of the Darod clan were represented. The rest of the Somali clans were actually isolated from the process of government, which contributed only to greater growth of the internal fragmentation of the state. Finally, many contradictions persisted in the party program. On the one hand, in 1970-ies. The Somali revolutionary socialist party proclaimed loyalty to the ideas of Marxism-Leninism and attributed itself to the "vanguard parties of the working people." But Mohammed Siad Barre guaranteed the inviolability of private property, the coexistence of the private and public sectors within a mixed economy, stressed the importance of Islam for Somali society. In addition, the party’s program returned to the concept of “Greater Somalia”, which the Somali leadership refused in the 1960s, after a negative reaction from Kenya. The nationalist component in the party’s ideology envisaged a focus on uniting in Somalia all the lands inhabited by ethnic Somalis. This meant a poorly concealed nomination of territorial claims against all neighboring countries - Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti. Of course, that the world with its neighbors in such a situation could only dream of. But Mohammed Siad Barre didn’t want peace - he expected to gain strength and, with the help of the army, resolve the reunification of all Somali lands. But to expect victory in a military confrontation with neighboring states would be extremely naive. Djibouti fell away immediately - it was under the complete control and protection of France, which had its military base there. The Kenyan army was much stronger than the Somali army, and, in addition to this, Kenya enjoyed the support of Great Britain and could count on its protection. Ethiopia remained, but it was also more powerful than Somalia. The situation changed a bit by the middle of the 1970's. In 1974 was in Ethiopia, a military coup took place - "The Ethiopian Revolution". A group of revolutionary-minded officers overthrew the emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I. Since the military who came to power in the country also claimed to turn Ethiopia into a country of socialist orientation, there could no longer be any talk of Ethiopia’s help from its yesterday’s, under the monarchist regime, allies - the United States and Great Britain. Against the background of the overthrow of the emperor, armed conflicts shook the country, one of which was the uprising of Somali tribes in the province of Ogaden. This and decided to take advantage of Mohammed Siad Barre, preparing an armed invasion of Ethiopia. He hoped that Western countries would not intercede for Ethiopia, and the Soviet Union would help him - as an old and trusted ally and ally in socialist ideology. In July, the 1977 parts of the Somali troops invaded the territory of Ethiopia and at first quite successfully pressed the Ethiopian army. In early September, 1977 Mohammed Siad Barre arrived in Moscow. He hoped to achieve an increase in Soviet military aid to Somalia. However, since the Ethiopian leadership was also oriented toward the Soviet Union and proclaimed Ethiopia a country of socialist orientation, Moscow found itself in a difficult situation. On the one hand, Siad Barre was an old ally, who demonstrated his loyalty in every way. Ethiopia, on the other hand, with a much larger population, seemed to be a more promising country. Moreover, Russia and Ethiopia in the past had friendly relations. After weighing all the pros and cons, the Soviet leadership refused the requests of Mohammed Siad Barre and he was forced to return to Somalia, having achieved nothing. November 13 1977 city Mohammed Siad Barre announced the denunciation of the treaty on friendship and cooperation with the USSR and the severance of diplomatic relations with Cuba (Cuba more clearly than the Soviet Union spoke in support of Ethiopia). The Somali authorities demanded the immediate departure from the country of all Soviet citizens. Experts and advisers, who yesterday provided the most important assistance to the Somali government in all directions, instantly began to be regarded as "enemies of the state." Soviet citizens were insulted, there were cases of robberies. There were also concerns about the safety of Soviet civilian and military equipment. Therefore, November 20 1977 The ships of the 8 Squadron of the USSR Navy entered the port of Mogadishu.

The sharp complication of relations with the USSR prompted Barre to seek new allies and patrons. The countries of the Arab East were ideally suited for this role, especially since Somalia had historical ties with them, and Somalis profess Islam and are very fanatical believers. Indeed, Barre managed to get the help of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as well as Pakistan and Iran. But the Ethiopian army, supported by Soviet advisers and specialists and Cuban units, was stronger. By March 1978, the Somali army was defeated in Ogaden and was forced to retreat from Ethiopia. However, Mohammed Siad Barre did not recognize the defeat and subsequently continued to sponsor and arm the rebels from the Front for the Liberation of Western Somalia (FZS). By 1979, subunits of the Liberation Front of Western Somalia were able to establish control over most of the rural areas in the provinces of Ethiopia populated by Somali tribes. But in 1979-1980. The Ethiopian army launched a large-scale armed operation against the Liberation Front of Western Somalia. In the fight against the Ogaden rebel movement, Ethiopian troops actively used the scorched-earth tactics, which led to the outflow of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Ogaden. Refugees rushed to Somalia, which brought new socio-economic and political problems to the country.

Rebel movement and the overthrow of Barre

Refusing to cooperate with the USSR and the Warsaw Pact countries, Mohammed Siad Barre removed all references to Marxism-Leninism from Somali politics. The party program was edited, and in 1981 The Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party joined the Socialist International - an extremely moderate political association that included non-Marxist world socialist and social democratic parties with a wide variety of programs. Meanwhile, the cessation of assistance from the Soviet Union has hit the Somali economy significantly. In addition, the Ethiopians, in response to continued Somali support for insurgent groups in Ogaden, decided to act in similar ways - they began to assist the Somali clans opposing the regime of Mohammed Siad Barre. Already in 1980 The political situation in Somalia has deteriorated so much that Barre was forced to declare a state of emergency in the country and restore the Supreme Revolutionary Council. A rebel movement developed in the country, based on those Somali clans that were very unhappy with the monopolization of power in the hands of representatives of the Marehan, Ogaden and Dolbahant clans. Note that opposition sentiment in Somalia was growing at the end of the 1970s. So, against the background of the defeat of the Somali army in the Ogaden War, a group of officers led by Colonel Muhammad Sheikh Usmaan of the cadre of Madzhertin tried in April 1978. overthrow General Barre. However, the coup was suppressed, and all 17 conspirators were executed. Only Lieutenant-Colonel Abdillalahi Yusuf Ahmad survived, who managed to flee to Ethiopia and establish the Somali Salvation Front there. In April, 1981, a group of representatives of the Isaag clan living in exile in London, formed the Somali National Movement (SNM), which later also transferred its headquarters to Ethiopia. January 2 1982, the SND detachments attacked a Somali prison near Berbers and freed prisoners. The civil war began. By the end of 1980's The position of the regime of Mohammed Siad Barre became completely unenviable. The natural end of hopes for the unification of Somalis in the name of “Great Somalia” has come to the fore - tribal and inter-clan contradictions have come to the fore. In the current situation, Barre fully relied on his Marehan clan and unleashed ethnic cleansing against opposition clans Madzhirtin, Hawiyya and Isaag. By the beginning of 1990, as a result of ethnic cleansing and clashes, about 60 thousand people died in Somalia, about 500 thousand more. people became refugees and moved to neighboring Ethiopia. 30th of December 1990 Fights between members of the Darreod clan that supported Barre and the opposition Haviya clan had already broken out in the capital of Mogadishu itself. At this time, opposition forces were approaching the city. 19 January 1991, detachments of the Somali opposition under the command of General Mohammed Farah Aidid entered the capital, Mogadishu. 26th of January 1991 Mohammed Siad Barre left Mogadishu with a group of supporters. So ended the 22-year rule of this outstanding man, who at the beginning of the 1990-ies. they also called it “bloody dictatorship”, and now, comparing it with the current situation, they are increasingly referred to as the “golden age”. After attempts to take revenge by the forces of the troops controlled by Siad Barre's son-in-law, General Mohammed Said Hersi, known by the nickname "Morgan", Siad Barre in May 1992. sought political asylum in Kenya. Kenya refused, after which the dictator emigrated to Nigeria. 2th of January 1995 he died in emigration from a heart attack. Somalia, by that time, completely plunged into the abyss of civil war. Mohammed Siad Barre has long and vainly tried to form a Somali political nation in Somalia.
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  1. D-Master
    D-Master 19 January 2016 06: 44
    An excellent article on not very advertised pages of history. It seemed like everything was nearby and already covered with cobwebs after the prescription of times, and ask the young man on the street what he knows about Somalia, he will say the most about the country of pirates in Africa. Siad Bare made a fatal mistake, which Hussein then made - after exhausting the country's forces in fruitless wars, he went to war against a country that has the support of a superpower. There was no chance of winning the USSR at all. And the heart ached in the article from the following phrase: "Soviet citizens were insulted, there were cases of robberies. There were also concerns about the safety of Soviet civilian and military property. Therefore, on November 20, 1977, ships of the 8th squadron of the USSR Navy entered the port of Mogadishu. The Soviet marines landed on the Somali coast, which instantly cooled off. Hotheads of General Barre, General Samantar and other Somali leaders. "
    What the hell is lacking now the opportunity to land infantry in many countries of the world and Europe in particular. To cool so many heads.
    1. qwert
      qwert 19 January 2016 08: 11
      While friends with the USSR, they prospered. How to turn on a new course ... The usual story for that time.
    2. heal
      heal 19 January 2016 09: 25
      Quote: D-Master
      Therefore, on November 20, 1977, the ships of the 8th squadron of the USSR Navy entered the port of Mogadishu. The Soviet marines landed on the Somali coast, which instantly cooled the "hot heads" of General Barre, General Samantar and other Somali leaders. "
      What the hell is lacking now the opportunity to land infantry in many countries of the world and Europe in particular.

      Compare the industrial potential of the USSR and the Russian Federation and their GDP (as a percentage of the world) and everything will immediately become clear that such an opportunity will never happen.
      1. Mavrikiy
        Mavrikiy 19 January 2016 20: 29
        Twenty five again. Do not stop enemies from turning their necks. In Soviet times, to Germany, to Turkey, to plow the Middle East?
        1916 - the year of the monkey. We climb a palm tree and watch how a lion fight with tigers or with an eagle. What difference does it make to us? "No need to scratch. Society should get a full member, I think so."
    3. Mavrikiy
      Mavrikiy 19 January 2016 20: 21
      "How the hell is it that now there is not enough opportunity to land infantry in many countries of the world and in Europe in particular. That would cool many heads."
      Do not rush. Open the refrigerator, bacon bread, you look and the infantry will be relegated to the background.
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 19 January 2016 08: 02
    The unification of clans did not happen .. and now in Somalia, what probably should be ... Thank you, Ilya .. I read it with pleasure ...
  3. Maegrom
    Maegrom 19 January 2016 08: 03
    The article describes the rule of Stud Barre as a golden age, and it is clear that it was the mistakes of this period that led to the current situation, to which the country began to slide after military adventures and monopolization of power in one clan.
    1. WUA 518
      WUA 518 19 January 2016 09: 53
      Memoirs of eyewitnesses “... Somalis did not let us into the port. Then the escort ship BPC "Chapaev" approached, made a U-turn in the harbor, and the port was open for us. "

      After that, marines with a single amphibious tank PT-76 and two armored personnel carriers BTR-60 landed in the port of Mogadishu. As one of the Marines recalled, “on the shore a stack of boxes with the very property that the Somali leadership decided to appropriate for themselves hung on the wall. Behind these piles on a high-rise were armed people. And in front of the stacks in a narrow strip along the pier were Soviet specialists with their families. On this narrow strip of land, they spent either two or three days under the scorching sun. It was scary to get out of there, because they shot at stacks from time to time. People were desperate. When the landing boats came to their rescue, the women cried, and one of them could not stand it and jumped into the water from a high pier with the child. The sailors immediately picked her up, and then gave several bursts on top of that barricade of boxes. The situation returned to normal, everything went smoothly. ”

      Marines also acted in the port of Berbera. On November 13, 1977, a large landing ship, the Crimean Komsomolets, entered here to evacuate Soviet citizens. And here it turned out that the local authorities decided to let people go, and to take their property and the property of the USSR in favor of the Somali state, that is, to itself. The landing with tanks came ashore and the harsh aborigines could not refuse him anything.

      In addition to the dock, a floating base, auxiliary vessels, special equipment, weapons and ammunition were taken out from Berbera. But much had to be abandoned - port facilities, a communications center, a tracking station, a huge fuel terminal and two airbases ...
  4. Isk1984
    Isk1984 19 January 2016 13: 23
    Only power is respected, not an offense to these peoples, but the level of development with such a stick on the head immediately comes to an understanding ... and without power they become impudent and rude, this is the problem of Europe now when thousands of migrants come to them ...
    1. Scraptor
      Scraptor 20 January 2016 14: 39
      Are you talking about the Americans?
  5. Olezhek
    Olezhek 19 January 2016 21: 29
    Little known page
    Thank you.
    But of course - the Somalis behaved strangely ...
    Not the fact that the United States or Britain would subscribe to help them in the war with Ethiopia.
    Even between the leading powers were often defensive conjunctions
    And if he gets into a fight?
    So I don't see any "setup" from our side
    After all, what is the problem to the "sheriff" of the Indians?
    Why should a superpower help them in expansion ??
  6. tiaman.76
    tiaman.76 10 February 2016 23: 04
    interesting detailed article