Somalia History: Since Independence

Somalia History - Since Independence

With an advance on the expected date of December 2, 1960, this territory gained independence on July 1, 1960, joining the former British Somaliland which became independent on June 26, 1960, and forming a single parliamentary republic. The design of a “Greater Somalia” raised serious problems of territorial claims with France (for the French Somali Coast), with Kenya and above all with Ethiopia. This state of tension with Addis Ababa, which also resulted in sporadic acts of war, was also reflected in 1969 by an alteration of the internal political balance, due to the assassination of President Scermarke. A military coup d’état soon after (21 October) led to the M. Siad Barre. The Socialist Republic was declared, the Constitution was suspended and the political parties dissolved together with the Parliament. Siad Barre initiated a policy of socialist transformation of the state, establishing close relations of cooperation with the USSR. In 1976 the powers of the Revolutionary Council were transferred to the Central Committee of the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party (PSRS) and in 1979 the new Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Somalia entered into force. In the renewed institutional structure, Siad Barre concentrated on himself the positions of head of state, prime minister and secretary of the PSRS (single party). The dominant element of foreign policy was the conflict with Ethiopia over the possession of Ogaden: which resulted in armed struggle in 1977-78, it led to an overthrow of the alliances of Somalia, which relied on Western countries due to the help provided by the Soviets to Ethiopia.

In the following years Somalia had to deal not only with the Ethiopian incursions, but also with an armed opposition that found support and cover in that country. Having become the privileged interlocutor of the United States in the Horn of Africa, Somalia gave them the Berbera base and received massive economic aid from the Western world, particularly from Italy. Nonetheless, the Siad Barre regime was unable to favor the development of the country: rampant corruption and harassment of clans deemed hostile eroded consensus, swelling the ranks of the anti-government guerrillas. An agreement with Ethiopia in 1988 produced the opposite effect: a strengthening of the rebellion in the North that not even a ferocious repression could have overcome. Siad Barre, also for the pressures of Western partners, it therefore seemed willing to make some concessions, but by now the guerrillas were flaring up in almost the whole country and in December 1990 the capital Mogadishu itself rose up. Forced to flee, the dictator tried in vain to regain power. A tragic civil war broke out fueled by divisions between the various clans that had fought the regime. In this context, the caves of the former British Somalia on May 18, 1991 proclaimed the independence of their territory, renamed Somaliland. The generalized battle of all against all led Somalia to complete ruin, so much so as to determine, in December 1992, an armed intervention by a contingent international to ensure the distribution of aid. This seemed at first to favor the start of a process of détente between the various warring factions, but when the UN forces tried to implement the agreement with the disarmament of the factions, they encountered resistance from the militia of General Farah. Aidid, leader of the Somali Salvation Alliance (ASN). Bloody clashes ensued that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Somalis and many UN soldiers. After the Blue Helmets started, in the first months of 1995, Mogadishu became the scene of continuous armed clashes between the supporters of General Aidid and the interim presidentAli Mahdi Moḥammad. In one of these clashes, in the summer of 1996, General Aidid himself was killed. He was succeeded by his son, Moḥammed Hussein, who signed a peace agreement with the other so-called “warlords”, Mahdi and Ato, but immediately violated. In 1998, two months after reaching an agreement on the opening of the port of Mogadishu and for the dismantling of the borders that divided the city into sectors of influence, the “warlords” started negotiations for a joint administration of the country. Despite the agreement reached on the division of the offices of head of state (Ali Mahdi Moḥammad) and prime minister (Moḥammed Hussein), which did not correspond to effective power, the country continued to be in a situation of total anarchy and armed clashes they went on regularly. Meanwhile, in a conference 300 leaders of the Northeast nominally founded a new administration: Puntland with capital Garowe (1998). In May 2000 a national reconciliation conference was held in Djibouti, to which all the heads of the Somali clans were invited and in which the formation of an institutional structure was decided, based on a president ad interim and a transitional government and parliament.

According to remzfamily, the new president Salad Hassan and the government thus settled in Mogadishu in August of that year: the reaction of the “warlords” was to create, in March 2001, together with the two secessionist states of Somaliland and Puntland, a common political front against the new executive. Meanwhile, despite the Somali government declaring its opposition, the president of Somaliland Egal called for a constitutional referendum on May 31, 2001, approved in a plebiscitary manner, which sanctioned the independence of this territory and kept it out of conflicts. The following year saw the start of new negotiations: the provisional government and the “warlords” reached an agreement for the suspension of hostilities: the ceasefire was never actually respected. The talks led in January 2004 to an agreement between military and political leaders for the formation of a new parliament which took office in the summer of 2004. in October Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed was elected president and in December a government of national unity was installed. led by Ali Mohammed Gedi. In June 2006 an offensive by the IslamicCourts, a fundamentalist Islamic group, conquered the capital of the country, at that time in the hands of the “warlords”; subsequently the Courts advanced towards Baidoa, seat of the provisional government. The African Union he therefore decided to send Ethiopian and Ugandan troops to the country that easily defeated the Islamic Courts and allowed the government of Ali Mohammed Gedi to enter Mogadishu. At the beginning of 2007, the United States Air Force bombed some villages in the south of the country, believed to be the headquarters of Al-Qāiʽda (Al-Qaida) cells. The Ethiopian military intervention against the Islamic Courts did not normalize the situation and the government was unable to gain control of the country: it remained at the mercy of armed gangs dedicated to smuggling and piracy against ships passing along the Somali coast. In November Ali Mohamed Gedi resigned due to differences with the president, Nur “Adde” Hassan Hussein was appointed in his place. In December 2008, Ethiopia announced the withdrawal of its troops from the country, in anticipation of the start of the peace mission (AMISON), organized by the African Union. President AY Ahmed stepped down from office at the end of the year and moderate Islamic Sharif Sheikh Ahmed was elected in early 2009. In April, parliament introduced Islamic law (shari’ah) in the country. in December a serious attack in Mogadishu killed 24 people, including four government ministers. In the autumn of 2011, the Kenyan army entered Somali territory to launch an attack on the Islamic militias of Al Shabaab. In September 2012 the federal parliament unanimously elected Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud as president of the republic; in November a government was formed headed by Abdi Farah Shirdon.

Somalia History - Since Independence