9th February 2023  admin  Category :

26/01/1991: The day Maxamed Siyaad Barre vacated Muqdisho

NAIROBI, KENYA, JAN. 27 — Rebels fighting to overthrow the authoritarian 21-year rule of Somali leader Mohamed Siad Barre announced an offensive breakthrough in the bloody month-old conflict today, saying they had captured the state radio station and presidential palace in Mogadishu, capital of the East African country.

As Siad Barre’s dwindling forces were reportedly driven from the city by a fierce rebel assault, the insurgent Somali National Congress jubilantly claimed that the government had been overthrown. A congress spokesman said on Radio Mogadishu: “Last night . . . the government and responsibility of the Somali people were taken over by the {rebel} movement. We are addressing you from Radio Mogadishu, the voice of the Somali people.”

Siad Barre’s troops, meantime, were said to be still in tenuous control of the international airport and its immediate vicinity. It was not clear whether the octogenarian Somali leader also had retreated to the airport, but the Associated Press quoted rebel leaders in London as saying that he was surrounded with his forces there and that “we believe he may have been captured.”

Over the past 10 days, as the conflict slackened to an apparent stalemate in the capital, Siad Barre offered numerous times to step down and leave the country if the rebels would agree to a cease-fire. The rebels declined and continued to press for an advantage.

In London, rebel spokesmen said that within 48 hours they would announce an interim government to administer the country until the main rebel groups could meet to form a democratic government representing the various clans and regions of the nation of 8 million, one of the world’s poorest.

There was no immediate indication of rebel plans to restore order in Mogadishu, site of weeks-long anarchy, widespread looting and wholesale bloodshed in which thousands of civilians have been slain and many more thousands left homeless. In today’s broadcast, however, the rebels appealed for peace and called on all citizens to refrain from looting.

Telex and telephone lines between Somalia and the outside world have been inoperative for several weeks, since shortly after the clan-based rebel alliance began its offensive in Mogadishu on Dec. 30. Today, however, in a brief satellite telephone link to London, an international-aid worker in Mogadishu contacted the British Broadcasting Corp. and described the latest round of street fighting in the city.

The aid worker, identified as Murray Watson, said in the BBC interview that embattled government forces had lobbed dozens of artillery shells against civilian targets over the weekend and that hundreds of people had been killed. Other reports reaching Nairobi today described feverish looting by rebel soldiers and civilians of the presidential palace, called Villa Somalia, after the insurgents drove government troops away.

The rebel coalition — which is based on regional clan affiliations that traditionally have defined political power in the country — has accused the Siad Barre regime of numerous atrocities and human-rights abuses against political rivals during a harsh rule that began with a military coup in 1969.

Last year, the human-rights monitoring group Africa Watch estimated that Somali government forces had killed as many as 50,000 unarmed civilians between June 1988 and January 1990. The victims were said to have come mainly from the northern Isaak clan, which along with the large central Mogadishu Clan clan forms a large part of the rebel opposition to the regime. Siad Barre and most of his closest political allies are members of the tiny Marehan clan, which makes up less than 1 percent of Somalia’s population.

During his years in power, Siad Barre steered the predominantly Moslem nation through shifting diplomatic associations with the Soviet Union and the United States, becoming Washington’s closest ally in the Horn of Africa during most of the 1980s and the recipient of more than $700 million in economic and military aid.

In recent years, however, in the wake of continuing allegations of human-rights violations and a lessening of the strategic importance of the region, the United States cut back sharply on such payments.

The fierce conflict has driven at least 35,000 refugees to seek safety in neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia, according to U.N. officials here.



  1. Jirac

    I’ve been trying to understand what had happened in 1991 and I’ve read this story of Washington post at least twenty times and many other similar articles and stories from western media and aid agencies. To be understood what really had happened is USC & SNM committed genocide against all Somalis not only Daarood clan and they started first calling “DIBIRGOYNTA DAAROOD” sound familiar one of these people calling these hatred was GENERAL GALAL seriously it’s one hundred percent true there’s a recorded voice of him even saying these hateful words this led me to investigate why HAWIYE and ISAAQ tribes have so much hatred towards Daarood clan as a whole or gained independent from Daarood in 1991. When you go back to the real victims of the regime of Siyad bare and Samatar it was a Majerteen clan because that’s where it had happened the “HALABJA OF SOMALIA 1019 people poisoned and killed” and Hawiye attacks afterwards in the city of Kismayo killed so many civilians and looted and of these people did take part in those attorocities in ABDI QAYBDIID this man who put in his bucket the entire federal constitution I’m not joking, and also attacked the city Galkacyo while every human was sleeping 4:00 am and killed 513 civilians non combatants it’s unbelievable we’ve become three times victims which still going on today. Hawiye still committing genocidal attacks on Daarood lands, Isaaq is still playing victims of Daarood and doing bombs and killings in puntland daily if you go back 1993 there was a meeting between Hawiye elders from Mogadishu and Isaaq tribes in BURCO they’ve sent a group using religion as we know called “SHAATIGA SHAYDAANKA” also dhabarjabintii 93 ee HASSAN DAAHIR AWEYS. This led me to ask myself “did Daarood clan “ENSLAVED” Hawiye clan and Isaaq clan and they both become independent from Daarood in 1991. This is bullshit and it needs to stop no more shedding our people’s blood it’s 2021 we’re fighting back. We don’t care Farmajo his era is over in less than two weeks if he learns anything from history look no further in “BULOHAWO” today they still using old cards like WALAAHA GALGADUUD it’s all over it’s 2021 the year started to fight back no more ###sh##


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