The Regime of Said Barre
By 1986 Siad Barre’s grip on Somalia was secure. But Barre had growing opposition from clans and constitutional groups. The newly formed Somalia Revolutionary Socialist Party (SRSP) in November 1986 held its third congress in which the Central committee was reshuffled and the president was nominated as the only candidate for another seven-year term. In order to deal with clan opposition he used genocidal policies carried out against important clans and sub-clan lineages. His first actions were first waged against the Majeerteen clan which he knew was the strongest political power in opposition to his government. Then the Issaq clans of the north and finally against the Hawiye of the south, which eventually gave the regime the last blow and caused downfall.
In 1991 the country of Somalia declared a state of emergency. The regime lost control of the countryside in the Northwest regions and the area surrounding Muqdisho. In January 1991 Said Barre’s regime collapsed.
The reason the civil war began is the situation changed from overthrowing Barre’s government to fighting along clan lines. The Hawiye clan with the help of the minorities clans came under an umbrella called USC (United Somali Congress).They chased the Darod clan (including the Majeerteen who had been their allies before the down fall)
completely out of the capital city. If the Darod, who occupied about half of the Somali land, had not fought back, there would surely have been genocide. But they fought back and the Somali civil war began. There were battles all over Somalis as USC expanded their campaign to “wipe Darod out of Somalia,” gained momentum. Old remnants of the oppositional force to Said Barre the SSDF (Somali Salvation Democratic Front) formed a new alliance with their bothers of the former government.
Attack on North Darod
In May 1991 a de facto state declared its independence as Somaliland. In the south Ali Mahdi was named President of the Manifesto group Omar Arte Ghalib was appointed Prime Minister of the interim government but the government was rejected by some of the armed factions. With the government gone all the weapons fell in the hands of various clan factions.
The civil war took full scale as the Hawiye and the Darod’s battled it out. Attacks and raids took place but the Darod were losing considerably. Not prepared for war they evacuated with their families to different regions were they had power and family. On February, 1991 USC force of Hawiye attacked the town of Galkacyo the regional capital of the State of Mudug. The USC captured the city killing many civilians, looting and destroying property. Now the USC in Majeerteen territorial grounds did not have the backing of countryside nomads like muqdisho or minority groups. The Darod groups regrouped to attack the USC forces in Galkacyo killing Hawiye clansmen and took back the city.
Attack on South Darod
The USC also attacked southern Darod who lived down in the Jubba and Gedo the regions of Somalia. The groups had been mostly inhabits of Muqdisho before the war. Their wealth and families were trapped inside the chaotic city. As the Darod elders met in Kismayo and Gedo they discussed the changes in politics that took place in Muqdisho. They agreed to take back the capital by force. When they got with in miles of the capital city at Local town called Afgooye over looking the capital, they started to dispute about who would lead the country after victory. Those loyal to the President and his clansmen wanted Said Barre back, while the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM) of the Ogaden sided with the USC to stop him from returning. FWith a split in the Darod power, the USC of Hawiye repulsed and moved them back to respective place. They captured the city of Kismayo and 500 kilometers from the capital. They also moved in to Gedo and Hiiraan, where the former ruling sub-clan lives. There the local Rahanwein tribes militia who also inhabit those regions looted, and killed many of Marehan as they moved back and fourth through the regions. Slowly all of the Darod got pushed out of southern Somalia into Kenya and Ethiopia. But along the route were refugee camps, dotted all over southern Somalia.
Hawiye Civli War
Back at the capital the flames of another civil war was beginning. The only thing that stopped the onslaught of the Hawiye tribes was the internal conflict that emerged from the loosely form USC as the bickered about who their leader should be. In July 1991 after three months of wars and thousand died majority of them Darod. A reconciliation, conference was held in Djibouti were Ali Mahdi Mohamed was nominated as interim president of Somalia for two years. Gen. Mohamed Farah Aideed was the leader of USC and they Mater mind behind the “Darod Alienation Plot,” refused to recognize the new president even though he was a fellow hawiye. Now the long a waited split of USC took place. The biggest tribes of Hawiye the Abgal of Mr. Mahdi and the Habr Digr of Aideed took war on each other inside Muqdisho. This led to four months of fighting in the capital. Thousands died and destruction of properties was massive.
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