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Mohamed Siad Barre

Mohamed Siad Barre



Mohamed Siad Barre, born around 1910 in Somalia, had a childhood marked by tragedy, witnessing the murder of his father by members of the Isaq clan when he was only ten years old. This event deeply affected him, leaving a lasting scar on his psyche. Barre hailed from the Marehan sub-clan of the Darod, straddling the British and Italian spheres of influence in Somalia, which fueled his concerns about his clan's political future.

Despite his humble background, Barre pursued education and joined the colonial police force under Italian rule, concealing his unofficial birthplace to qualify for service. He rose through the ranks swiftly, attending military academy in Italy and mastering several languages, including Italian, English, and Swahili. By the time Somalia gained independence in 1960, Barre had become a prominent figure in the security forces, eventually ascending to the position of Vice Commander of the Somali Army.

In the 1960s, Barre became influenced by Soviet-style Marxism-Leninism, advocating for socialist government and Somali nationalism. He played a key role in the military, which gained widespread respect for its integrity and community engagement. However, dissatisfaction with the government grew, leading to a coup in which Barre seized power, promising to address the failures of post-independence governance.

As president, Barre established a personality cult and pursued a blend of socialism and Islamic principles. His regime initiated public works programs and a literacy campaign, but also faced accusations of human rights abuses and authoritarian rule. Despite initially aligning with the Soviet Union, Barre later shifted allegiance to the United States and faced internal resistance, particularly from the Isaaq clan.

By the late 1980s, Barre's regime was marked by repression, clan conflicts, and economic struggles. The civil war erupted in 1991, leading to Barre's overthrow and eventual exile. He passed away in Nigeria in 1995, leaving behind a controversial legacy characterized by both achievements and atrocities.


Time of Birth:

Place of Birth: Shilavo, Ethiopia

Long: 44.7673° E

Lat: 6.0935° N

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Date of Birth: 6 October 1909

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