Mohamed Farrah Aidid

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General Mohamed Farrah Aidid (Somali: Maxamed Faarax Caydiid, Arabic: محمد فرح عيديد) (December 15, 1934 – August 2, 1996) was a controversial Somali military leader, often described as a warlord.[1] He claimed to be the President of Somalia from 1995 to 1996. He was the chairman of United Somali Congress (USC) and later Somali National Alliance (SNA), who drove Mohamed Siad Barre’s dictatorial regime from the capital, Mogadishu and eventually from Somalia altogether. Later he challenged the presence of United Nations and United States troops in the country. General Aidid was one of the main targets of Operation Restore Hope, the United Nations and United States military operation that came to the country to provide humanitarian aid and to break the military siege. He became General of Somalia for a short period after forcing UN forces to abandon the country in 1995.



Aidid was born in the Habr Gidir clan of the Mudug region of Somalia. He was educated in Rome and Moscow and served in the Italian colonial police force in the 1950s. Later he rose in the military of Mohamed Siad Barre to the rank of general and served in the 1977-78 Ogaden War with Ethiopia.[1] Aidid also served in Barre's cabinet and as Somali ambassador to India before finally being appointed intelligence chief.[2]

Somali Civil War

Barre suspected Aidid of planning a coup d'état and had him imprisoned for six years as means of pre-emption. In 1991, Aidid's clan did indeed manage to overthrow Barre, and the former, as leader of the United Somali Congress, emerged as a major force in the ensuing civil war.

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