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The Somali Republic ( so, Jamhuuriyadda Soomaaliyeed; it, Repubblica Somala; ar, الجمهورية الصومالية, Jumhūriyyat aṣ-Ṣūmālīyyah) was the name of a sovereign state composed of
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script The Osmanya script ( so, Farta Cismaanya 𐒍𐒖𐒇𐒂𐒖 𐒋𐒘𐒈𐒑𐒛𐒒𐒕𐒖), also known as Far Soomaali (𐒍𐒖𐒇 𐒘𐒝𐒈𐒑𐒛𐒘, "Somali writing") and, in Arabic, as al-kitābah ...

Somalia
and
Somaliland Somaliland ( so, Soomaaliland; ar, صوماليلاند ', '), officially the Republic of Somaliland ( so, Jamhuuriyadda Soomaaliland, ar, جمهورية صوماليلاند ''Jumhūrīyat Ṣūmālīlānd''), is a de facto sovereign s ...

Somaliland
, following the unification of the
Trust Territory of Somaliland The Trust Territory of Somaliland, officially the "Trust Territory of Somaliland under Italian administration" ( it, Amministrazione fiduciaria italiana della Somalia), was a United Nations Trust Territories, United Nations Trust Territory situat ...
(the former
Italian Somaliland Italian Somaliland ( it, Somala italiana; ar, الصومال الإيطالي, Al-Sumal Al-Italiy; so, Dhulka Talyaaniga ee Soomaalida), was a protectorate of the Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state which ...

Italian Somaliland
) and the
State of Somaliland The State of Somaliland (, ) was a short-lived independent country in the territory of present-day Somaliland. It was the name assumed by the former British Somaliland protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected ...
(the former
British Somaliland British Somaliland, officially the Somaliland Protectorate ( so, Dhulka Maxmiyada Soomaalida ee Biritishka), was a British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the c ...
). A government was formed by
Abdullahi Issa Mohamud Abdullahi Issa Mohamud ( so, Cabdullaahi Ciise Maxamuud, ar, عبد الله عيسى محمد ( 1922 – March 24, 1988) was a Somali politician. He was the Prime Minister of Italian Somalia during the trusteeship period, serving from February ...

Abdullahi Issa Mohamud
and
Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal ( so, Maxamed Xaaji Ibraahim Cigaal, ar, محمد الحاج ابراهيم عقال) (August 15, 1928 – May 3, 2002) was a veteran Somali politician. He was the President of Somaliland from 1993 to 2002. He previou ...

Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal
and other members of the trusteeship and protectorate administrations, with
Haji Bashir Ismail Yusuf Haji Bashir Ismail Yusuf ( so, Xaaji Bashiir Ismaaciil Yuusuf, ar, حاجي بشير اسماعيل يوسف) (b. 1912 in Hobyo Hobyo ( so, Hobyo, also known as Obbia in Italian), is an ancient port city in Galmudug state in the north-central ...
as President of the
Somali National Assembly
Somali National Assembly
and
Aden Abdullah Osman Daar Aden Abdulle Osman Daar ( so, Aadan Cabdulle Cismaan Daar, ar, آدم عبد الله عثمان دعر) (December 9, 1908 – June 8, 2007), popularly known as Aden Adde, was a Somali politician A politician is a person active in party po ...
as
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...
of the Somali Republic. On 22 July 1960, Daar appointed
Abdirashid Ali Shermarke Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke ( so, Cabdirashiid Cali Sharmaarke, ar, عبد الرشيد علي شارماركي) (June 8, 1919 – October 15, 1969), also known as Abdirashid Shermarke, was Prime Minister of Somali Republic from July 12, 1960, to ...

Abdirashid Ali Shermarke
as
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpar ...
. On 20 July 1961 and through a
popular referendum A popular referendum (also known, depending on jurisdiction, as citizens' veto, people's veto, veto referendum, citizen referendum, abrogative referendum, rejective referendum, suspensive referendum or statute referendum)Maija SetäläReferendum, ...
, Somalia ratified a new
constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...
, which was first drafted in 1960. The new constitution was rejected by Somaliland. The administration lasted until 1969, when the Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC) seized power in a bloodless coup and renamed the country the
Somali Democratic Republic The Somali Democratic Republic ( so, Jamhuuriyadda Dimuqraadiya Soomaaliyeed, ar, الجمهورية الديمقراطية الصومالية ''al-Jumhūrīyah ad-Dīmuqrāṭīyah aṣ-Ṣūmālīyah'', it, Repubblica Democratica Somala) was th ...
.


History

Popular demand compelled the leaders of
Italian Somaliland Italian Somaliland ( it, Somala italiana; ar, الصومال الإيطالي, Al-Sumal Al-Italiy; so, Dhulka Talyaaniga ee Soomaalida), was a protectorate of the Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state which ...

Italian Somaliland
and
British Somaliland British Somaliland, officially the Somaliland Protectorate ( so, Dhulka Maxmiyada Soomaalida ee Biritishka), was a British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the c ...
to proceed with plans for immediate unification. The
British government The Government of the United Kingdom, domestically referred to as Her Majesty's Government, is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
acquiesced to the force of Somali nationalist public opinion and agreed to terminate its rule of British Somaliland in 1960 in time for the protectorate to merge with the
Trust Territory of Somaliland The Trust Territory of Somaliland, officially the "Trust Territory of Somaliland under Italian administration" ( it, Amministrazione fiduciaria italiana della Somalia), was a United Nations Trust Territories, United Nations Trust Territory situat ...
(the former
Italian Somaliland Italian Somaliland ( it, Somala italiana; ar, الصومال الإيطالي, Al-Sumal Al-Italiy; so, Dhulka Talyaaniga ee Soomaalida), was a protectorate of the Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state which ...

Italian Somaliland
) on the independence date already fixed by the UN commission. In April 1960, leaders of the two territories met in
Mogadishu Mogadishu (, also ; so, Muqdisho or Xamar ; ar, مقديشو, Muqadīshū ; it, Mogadiscio ), locally known as Xamar or Hamar, is the capital city and most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city ...

Mogadishu
and agreed to form a
unitary state A unitary state is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...
. An elected
president President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...
was to be head of state. Full executive powers would be held by a
prime minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpar ...
answerable to an elected
National Assembly In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber. Thus, a ''unicameral parliam ...

National Assembly
of 123 members representing the two territories. Accordingly, British Somaliland united as scheduled with the Trust Territory of Somaliland to establish the Somali Republic. On June 26, 1960, British Somaliland gained independence from
Britain Britain usually refers to: * United Kingdom, a sovereign state in Europe comprising the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands * Great Britain, the largest island in the United Kingdom * Ro ...

Britain
as the
State of Somaliland The State of Somaliland (, ) was a short-lived independent country in the territory of present-day Somaliland. It was the name assumed by the former British Somaliland protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected ...
. On July 1, 1960, the State of Somaliland unified with the Trust Territory of Somaliland, forming the Somali Republic. The legislature appointed the speaker of SOMALIA ACT OF UNION Hagi Bashir Ismail Yousuf as First President of the Somali National Assembly. The same day
Aden Abdullah Osman Daar Aden Abdulle Osman Daar ( so, Aadan Cabdulle Cismaan Daar, ar, آدم عبد الله عثمان دعر) (December 9, 1908 – June 8, 2007), popularly known as Aden Adde, was a Somali politician A politician is a person active in party po ...
become President of the Somali Republic; Daar in turn at 22 July 1960 appointed
Abdirashid Ali Shermarke Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke ( so, Cabdirashiid Cali Sharmaarke, ar, عبد الرشيد علي شارماركي) (June 8, 1919 – October 15, 1969), also known as Abdirashid Shermarke, was Prime Minister of Somali Republic from July 12, 1960, to ...

Abdirashid Ali Shermarke
as the first Prime Minister. Shermarke formed a coalition government dominated by the
Somali Youth League The Somali Youth League (SYL) ( so, Ururka Dhalinyarada Soomaaliyeed 𐒚𐒇𐒚𐒇𐒏𐒖 𐒊𐒖𐒐𐒘𐒒𐒕𐒖𐒇𐒖𐒆𐒖 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒜𐒆, it, Lega dei Giovani Somali or ''Lega Somala della Gioventù''), initi ...
(SYL) but supported by the two clan-based northern parties, the Somali National League (SNL) and the United Somali Party (USP). Osman's appointment as president was ratified a year later in a national referendum. During the nine-year period of parliamentary democracy that followed Somali independence,
freedom of expression in London, 1974 Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present stat ...
was widely regarded as being derived from the traditional right of every man to be heard. The national ideal professed by
Somalis The Somalis ( so, Soomaalida 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒆𐒖, ar, صوماليون) are an Cushitic peoples, East Cushitic ethnic group native to the Horn of Africa who share a common ancestry, culture and history. The Somali language is the ...
was one of
political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of reso ...
and
legal equality Equality before the law, also known as equality under the law, equality in the eyes of the law, legal equality, or legal egalitarianism, is the principle that independent being must be treated equally by the law (principle of isonomy ''Isonomia' ...
in which historical Somali values and acquired Western practices appeared to coincide. Politics was viewed as a realm not limited to one profession,
clan A clan is a group of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of ...
, or class, but open to all male members of society. The role of women, however, was more limited. Women had voted in Italian Somaliland since the municipal elections in 1958. Suffrage later spread to the former British Somaliland in May 1963, when the territorial assembly voted it in at a margin of 52 to 42. Politics was a national past-time, with the populace keeping abreast of political developments through
radio Radio is the technology of signaling and communicating Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entities or Organization, groups through the use ...

radio
. Political engagement often exceeded that in many Western democracies.


Early months of the union

Although unified as a single nation at independence, the south and the north were, from an institutional perspective, two separate countries. Italy and the United Kingdom had left the two with separate administrative, legal, and education systems in which affairs were conducted according to different procedures and in different languages. Janina Dill, an Associate Professor of U.S. Foreign Policy, states: Police, taxes, and the exchange rates of their respective currencies also differed. Their educated elites had divergent interests, and economic contacts between the two regions were virtually nonexistent. In 1960 the United Nations created the Consultative Commission for Integration, an international board headed by UN official Paolo Contini, to guide the gradual merger of the new country's legal systems and institutions and to reconcile the differences between them. (In 1964 the Consultative Commission for Legislation succeeded this body. Composed of Somalis, it took up its predecessor's work under the chairmanship of Mariano.) But many southerners believed that, because of experience gained under the Italian trusteeship, theirs was the better prepared of the two regions for self-government. Northern political, administrative, and commercial elites were reluctant to recognize that they now had to deal with Mogadishu. At independence, the northern region had two functioning political parties: the SNL, representing the Isaaq clan-family that constituted a numerical majority there; and the USP, supported largely by the Dir (clan), Dir and the Daarood. In a unified Somalia, however, the Isaaq were a small minority, whereas the northern Daarood joined members of their clan-family from the south in the SYL. The Dir, having few kinsmen in the south, were pulled on the one hand by traditional ties to the Hawiye and on the other hand by common regional sympathies to the Isaaq. The southern opposition party, the Greater Somalia League (GSL), pro-Arab and militantly Pan-Somalism, pan-Somalist, attracted the support of the SNL and the USP against the SYL, which had adopted a moderate stand before independence. Northern misgivings about being too tightly harnessed to the south were demonstrated by the voting pattern in the Somali constitutional referendum, 1961, June 1961 referendum on the constitution, which was in effect Somalia's first national election. Although the draft was overwhelmingly approved in the south, it was supported by less than 50 percent of the northern electorate. Dissatisfaction at the distribution of power among the clan families and between the two regions boiled over in December 1961, when a group of British-trained junior army officers in the north rebelled in reaction to the posting of higher ranking southern officers (who had been trained by the Italians for police duties) to command their units. The ringleaders urged a separation of north and south. Northern non-commissioned officers arrested the rebels, but discontent in the north persisted. In early 1962, GSL leader Haaji Mahammad Husseen, seeking in part to exploit northern dissatisfaction, attempted to form an amalgamated party, known as the Somali Democratic Union (SDU). It enrolled northern elements, some of which were displeased with the northern SNL representatives in the coalition government. Hussein's attempt failed. In May 1962, however, Egal and another northern SNL minister resigned from the cabinet and took many SNL followers with them into a new party, the Somali National Congress (SNC), which won widespread northern support. The new party also gained support in the south when it was joined by an SYL faction composed predominantly of Hawiye. This move gave the country three truly national political parties and further served to blur north-south differences.


Greater Somalia

The most important political issue in post-independence Somali politics was the unification of all areas traditionally inhabited by Somali people, ethnic Somalis into one country – a concept identified as Greater Somalia (''Soomaaliweyn'') (see also Somali nationalism). Politicians assumed that this issue dominated popular opinion and that any government would fall if it did not demonstrate a militant attitude toward neighboring countries occupying Somali territory. Preoccupation with Greater Somalia shaped the character of the country's newly formed institutions and led to the build-up of the Somali Armed Forces, Somali military and, ultimately, to the war with Ethiopia and fighting in the Northern Frontier district, Northern Frontier District in Kenya. By law, the exact size of the National Assembly was not established in order to facilitate the inclusion of representatives of the contested areas after unification. The Flag of Somalia, national flag also featured a five-pointed star, whose points represented areas claimed as part of the Somali nation: the former Italian Somaliland and British Somaliland, the Ogaden, French Somaliland, and the North Eastern Province (Kenya), Northern Frontier District. Moreover, the preamble to the
constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...
approved in 1961 included the statement, "The Somali Republic promotes by legal and peaceful means, the union of the territories." The constitution also provided that all ethnic Somalis, no matter where they resided, were citizens of the republic. The Somalis did not claim sovereignty over adjacent territories, but rather demanded that Somalis living in them be granted the right to self-determination. Somali leaders asserted that they would be satisfied only when their fellow Somalis outside the republic had the opportunity to decide for themselves what their status would be. In 1948, under pressure from their Allies of World War II, World War II allies and to the dismay of the Somalis, the British "returned" the Haud (an important Somali grazing area that was presumably 'protected' by British treaties with the Somalis in 1884 and 1886) and the Ogaden to Ethiopia, based on a treaty they signed in 1897 in which the British ceded Somali territory to the Ethiopian Emperor Menelek II of Ethiopia, Menelik II in exchange for his help against raids by Somali clans.Laitin, p. 73 Britain included the proviso that the Somali inhabitants would retain their autonomy, but Ethiopia immediately claimed sovereignty over the area.Zolberg, Aristide R., et al., ''Escape from Violence: Conflict and the Refugee Crisis in the Developing World'', (Oxford University Press: 1992), p. 106 The Somali government refused in particular to acknowledge the validity of the Anglo-Ethiopian Treaty of 1954 recognizing Ethiopia's claim to the Haud or, in general, the relevance of treaties defining Somali-Ethiopian borders. Somalia's position was based on three points: first, that the treaties disregarded agreements made with Somali actors that had put them under British protection; second, that the Somalis were not consulted on the terms of the treaties and in fact had not been informed of their existence; and third, that such treaties violated the self-determination principle. This prompted an unsuccessful bid by Britain in 1956 to buy back the Somali lands that it had turned over. Hostilities grew steadily, eventually involving small-scale actions between the Somali Armed Forces, Somali National Army and Ethiopian National Defense Force, Imperial Ethiopian Armed Forces along the border. In February 1964, armed conflict erupted on the Somali-Ethiopian frontier, and Imperial Ethiopian Air Force, Ethiopian aircraft raided targets in Somalia. The confrontation ended in April through the mediation of Republic of Sudan (1956–1969), Sudan, acting under the auspices of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). Under the terms of the cease-fire, a joint commission was formed to examine the causes of frontier incidents, and a demilitarized zone ten to fifteen kilometers wide was established on either side of the border. At least temporarily, further military confrontations were prevented. A French Somaliland overseas territory referendum, 1958, referendum was held in neighboring Djibouti (then known as French Somaliland) in 1958, on the eve of Somalia's independence in 1960, to decide whether or not to join the Somali Republic or to remain with France. The referendum turned out in favour of a continued association with France, largely due to a combined yes vote by the sizable Afar people, Afar ethnic group and resident Europeans. There was also widespread vote rigging, with the French expelling thousands of Somalis before the referendum reached the polls.Kevin Shillington, ''Encyclopedia of African history'', (CRC Press: 2005), p. 360. The majority of those who had voted no were Somalis who were strongly in favour of joining a united Somalia, as had been proposed by Mahmoud Harbi, Vice President of the Government Council. Harbi was killed in a plane crash two years later under mysterious circumstances.Barrington, Lowell, ''After Independence: Making and Protecting the Nation in Postcolonial and Postcommunist States'', (University of Michigan Press: 2006), p. 115United States Joint Publications Research Service, ''Translations on Sub-Saharan Africa'', Issues 464-492, (1966), p.24. At the 1961 London talks on the future of the Kenya Colony, Somali representatives from the Northern Frontier District (NFD) demanded that Britain arrange for the region's separation before Kenya was granted independence. The British government appointed a commission to ascertain popular opinion in the NFD on the question. The informal plebiscite demonstrated the overwhelming desire of the region's population, which mainly consisted of Somalis and Oromo people, Oromos, to join the newly formed Somalia, Somali Republic. A 1962 editorial in ''The Observer'', Britain's oldest Sunday newspaper, concurrently noted that "by every criterion, the Kenya Somalis have a right to choose their own future[...] they differ from other Kenyans not just tribally but in almost every way[...] they are Hamitic, have different customs, a different religion (Islam), and they inhabit a desert which contributes little or nothing to the Kenya economy[...] nobody can accuse them of trying to make off with the national wealth". Despite Somali diplomatic activity, the colonial government in Kenya did not act on the commission's findings. British officials believed that the federal format then proposed in the Constitution of Kenya, Kenyan constitution would provide a solution through the degree of autonomy it allowed the predominantly Somali region within the federal system. This solution did not diminish Somali demands for unification, however, and the modicum of federalism disappeared after Kenya's post-colonial government opted instead for a centralized constitution in 1964. Led by the Northern Province People's Progressive Party (NPPPP), Somalis in the NFD vigorously sought union with their kin in the Somali Republic to the north. In response, the new Kenyan government enacted a number of repressive measures designed to frustrate their efforts. Among these was the practice of mislabeling the Somali rebels' ethnically-based claims as ''shifta'' ("bandit") activity, cordoning off of the NFD as a "scheduled" area, confiscating or slaughtering Somali livestock, sponsoring ethnic cleansing campaigns against the region's inhabitants, and setting up large "protected villages" or concentration camps.Rhoda E. Howard, ''Human Rights in Commonwealth Africa'', (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.: 1986), p.95 These policies culminated in the Shifta War between Somali rebels and the Kenyan Kenya Police, police and Kenya Defence Forces, army. Voice of Somalia radio reportedly influenced the level of guerrilla activity by means of its broadcasts beamed into the NFD. Kenya also accused the Somali government of training the rebels in Somalia, equipping them with Soviet arms, and directing them from Mogadishu. It subsequently signed a mutual defense pact with Ethiopia in 1964, though the treaty had little effect as cross-border flow of materiel from Somalia to the guerrillas continued."The Somali Dispute: Kenya Beware"
by Maj. Tom Wanambisi for the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, April 6, 1984 (hosted by globalsecurity.org)
In October 1967, the Somali government and Kenyan authorities signed a Memorandum of Understanding (the Arusha Memorandum) that resulted in an official ceasefire, though regional security did not prevail until 1969.


Hussein administration

Countrywide municipal elections, in which the
Somali Youth League The Somali Youth League (SYL) ( so, Ururka Dhalinyarada Soomaaliyeed 𐒚𐒇𐒚𐒇𐒏𐒖 𐒊𐒖𐒐𐒘𐒒𐒕𐒖𐒇𐒖𐒆𐒖 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒜𐒆, it, Lega dei Giovani Somali or ''Lega Somala della Gioventù''), initi ...
won 74 percent of the seats, occurred in November 1963. These were followed in March 1964 by the country's Somali parliamentary election, 1964, first post-independence national elections. Again the SYL triumphed, winning 69 out of 123 parliamentary seats. The party's true margin of victory was even greater, as the fifty-four seats won by the opposition were divided among a number of small parties. After the 1964 National Assembly election in March, a crisis occurred that left Somalia without a government until the beginning of September. President Aden Abdullah Osman Daar, Osman, who was empowered to propose the candidate for prime minister after an election or the fall of a government, chose Abdirizak Haji Hussein as his nominee instead of the incumbent,
Abdirashid Ali Shermarke Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke ( so, Cabdirashiid Cali Sharmaarke, ar, عبد الرشيد علي شارماركي) (June 8, 1919 – October 15, 1969), also known as Abdirashid Shermarke, was Prime Minister of Somali Republic from July 12, 1960, to ...

Abdirashid Ali Shermarke
, who had the endorsement of the SYL party leadership. Shermarke had been prime minister for the four previous years, and Osman decided that new leadership might be able to introduce fresh ideas for solving national problems. In drawing up a Council of Ministers for presentation to the National Assembly, the nominee for prime minister chose candidates on the basis of ability and without regard to place of origin. But Hussein's choices strained intraparty relations and broke the unwritten rules that there be
clan A clan is a group of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of ...
and regional balance. For instance, only two members of Shermarke's cabinet were to be retained, and the number of posts in northern hands was to be increased from two to five. The SYL's governing Central Committee and its parliamentary groups became split. Hussein had been a party member since 1944 and had participated in the two previous Shermarke cabinets. His primary appeal was to younger and more educated party members. Several political leaders who had been left out of the cabinet joined the supporters of Shermarke to form an opposition group within the party. As a result, the Hussein faction sought support among non-SYL members of the National Assembly. Although the disagreements primarily involved personal or group political ambitions, the debate leading to the initial vote of confidence centered on the issue of Greater Somalia. Both Osman and prime minister-designate Hussein wanted to give priority to the country's internal economic and social problems. Although Hussein had supported militant pan-Somalism, he was portrayed as willing to accept the continued sovereignty of Ethiopia and Kenya over Somali areas. The proposed cabinet failed to be affirmed by a margin of two votes. Seven National Assembly members, including Shermarke, abstained, while forty-eight members of the SYL voted for Hussein and thirty-three opposed him. Despite the apparent split in the SYL, it continued to attract recruits from other parties. In the first three months after the election, seventeen members of the parliamentary opposition resigned from their parties to join the SYL. Osman ignored the results of the vote and again nominated Hussein as prime minister. After intraparty negotiation, which included the reinstatement of four party officials expelled for voting against him, Hussein presented a second cabinet list to the National Assembly that included all but one of his earlier nominees. However, the proposed new cabinet contained three additional ministerial positions filled by men chosen to mollify opposition factions. The new cabinet was approved with the support of all but a handful of SYL National Assembly members. Hussein remained in office until the presidential elections of June 1967. The 1967 presidential elections, conducted by a secret poll of National Assembly members, pitted former prime minister Shermarke against Osman. Again the central issue was moderation versus militancy on the pan-Somali question. Osman, through Hussein, had stressed priority for internal development. Shermarke, who had served as prime minister when pan-Somalism was at its height, was elected president of the republic.


Egal administration

The new president nominated as prime minister
Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal ( so, Maxamed Xaaji Ibraahim Cigaal, ar, محمد الحاج ابراهيم عقال) (August 15, 1928 – May 3, 2002) was a veteran Somali politician. He was the President of Somaliland from 1993 to 2002. He previou ...

Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal
, who raised cabinet membership from thirteen to fifteen members and included representatives of every major clan family, as well as some members of the rival Somali National Congress. In August 1967, the National Assembly confirmed his appointment without serious opposition. Although the new prime minister had supported Shermarke in the presidential election, he was a northerner and had led a 1962 defection of the northern SNL assembly members from the government. He had also been closely involved in the founding of the SNC but, with many other northern members of that group, had rejoined the SYL after the 1964 elections. A more important difference between Shermarke and Egal, other than their past affiliations, was the new prime minister's moderate position on pan-Somali issues and his desire for improved relations with other African countries. In these areas, he was allied with the "modernists" in the government, parliament, and administration who favored redirecting the nation's energies from confrontation with its neighbors to combating social and economic ills. Although many of his domestic policies seemed more in line with those of the previous administration, Egal continued to hold the confidence of both Shermarke and the National Assembly during the eighteen months preceding the Somali parliamentary election, 1969, March 1969 national elections. Somali parliamentary election, 1969, The March 1969 elections were the first to combine voting for municipal and National Assembly posts. Sixty-four parties contested the elections. Only the SYL, however, presented candidates in every election district, in many cases without opposition. Eight other parties presented lists of candidates for national offices in most districts. Of the remaining fifty-five parties, only twenty-four gained representation in the assembly, but all of these were disbanded almost immediately when their fifty members joined the SYL. Both the plethora of parties and the defection to the majority party were typical of Somali parliamentary elections. To register for elective office, a candidate merely needed either the support of 500 voters or the sponsorship of his clan, expressed through a vote of its traditional assembly. After registering, the office seeker then attempted to become the official candidate of a political party. Failing this, he would remain on the ballot as an individual contestant. Voting was by party list, which could make a candidate a one-person party. (This practice explained not only the proliferation of small parties but also the transient nature of party support.) Many candidates affiliated with a major party only long enough to use its symbol in the election campaign and, if elected, abandoned it for the winning side as soon as the National Assembly met. Thus, by the end of May 1969 the SYL parliamentary cohort had swelled from 73 to 109. In addition, the eleven SNC members had formed a coalition with the SYL, which held 120 of the 123 seats in the National Assembly. A few of these 120 left the SYL after the composition of Egal's cabinet became clear and after the announcement of his program, both of which were bound to displease some who had joined only to be on the winning side. Offered a huge list of candidates, the almost 900,000 voters in 1969 took delight in defeating incumbents. Of the incumbent deputies, 77 out of 123 were not returned (including 8 out of 18 members of the previous cabinet), but these figures did not unequivocally demonstrate dissatisfaction with the government. Statistically, they were nearly identical with the results of the 1964 election, and, given the profusion of parties and the system of proportional representation, a clear sense of public opinion could not be obtained solely on the basis of the election results. The fact that a single party—the SYL—dominated the field implied neither stability nor solidarity. Anthropologist Ioan M. Lewis has noted that the SYL government was a very heterogeneous group with diverging personal and lineage interests. Candidates who had lost seats in the assembly and those who had supported them were frustrated and angry. A number of charges were made of government election fraud, at least some firmly founded. Discontent was exacerbated when the Judiciary of Somalia, Supreme Court, under its newly appointed president, declined to accept jurisdiction over election petitions, although it had accepted such jurisdiction on an earlier occasion. Neither the president nor the prime minister seemed particularly concerned about Political corruption, official corruption and nepotism. Although these practices were conceivably normal in a society based on kinship, some were bitter over their prevalence in the National Assembly, where it seemed that deputies ignored their constituents in trading votes for personal gain. Among those most dissatisfied with the government were intellectuals and members of the Somali Armed Forces, armed forces and Somali Police Force, police. (General Mohamed Abshir Muse, the chief of police, had resigned just before the elections after refusing to permit police vehicles to transport SYL voters to the polls.) Of these dissatisfied groups, the most significant element was the military, which since 1961 had remained outside politics. It had done so partly because the government had not called upon it for support and partly because, unlike most other African armed forces, the Somali National Army had a genuine external mission in which it was supported by all Somalis – that of protecting the borders with Ethiopia and Kenya.


1969 coup d'état

On October 15, 1969, while paying a visit to the northern town of Las Anod, Somalia's then President
Abdirashid Ali Shermarke Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke ( so, Cabdirashiid Cali Sharmaarke, ar, عبد الرشيد علي شارماركي) (June 8, 1919 – October 15, 1969), also known as Abdirashid Shermarke, was Prime Minister of Somali Republic from July 12, 1960, to ...

Abdirashid Ali Shermarke
was shot dead by one of his own bodyguards. His assassination was quickly followed by a military coup d'état on October 21, 1969 (the day after his funeral), in which the Military of Somalia, Somali Army seized power without encountering armed opposition — essentially a bloodless takeover. The coup was spearheaded by Major General Siad Barre, Mohamed Siad Barre, who at the time commanded the army.Moshe Y. Sachs, ''Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations'', Volume 2, (Worldmark Press: 1988), p.290. Alongside Barre, the Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC) that assumed power after President Sharmarke's assassination, was led by Mohamed Ainanshe Guled, Mohamed Ainanshe Guleid, Mohammad Ali Samatar, Abdullah Mohamed Fadil, and Salaad Gabeyre Kediye, a paid KGB agent code-named "OPERATOR".Andrew, p.448 Also included in the coup leaders was Chief of Police Jama Ali Korshel. Barre was the most senior and the leader the SRC. The SRC subsequently renamed the country the
Somali Democratic Republic The Somali Democratic Republic ( so, Jamhuuriyadda Dimuqraadiya Soomaaliyeed, ar, الجمهورية الديمقراطية الصومالية ''al-Jumhūrīyah ad-Dīmuqrāṭīyah aṣ-Ṣūmālīyah'', it, Repubblica Democratica Somala) was th ...
,J. D. Fage, Roland Anthony Oliver, ''The Cambridge history of Africa'', Volume 8, (Cambridge University Press: 1985), p.478.''The Encyclopedia Americana: complete in thirty volumes. Skin to Sumac'', Volume 25, (Grolier: 1995), p.214. arrested members of the former government, banned political parties,. dissolved the parliament and the Supreme Court, and suspended the constitution.Peter John de la Fosse Wiles, ''The New Communist Third World: an essay in political economy'', (Taylor & Francis: 1982), p.279.


See also

*
Somaliland Somaliland ( so, Soomaaliland; ar, صوماليلاند ', '), officially the Republic of Somaliland ( so, Jamhuuriyadda Soomaaliland, ar, جمهورية صوماليلاند ''Jumhūrīyat Ṣūmālīlānd''), is a de facto sovereign s ...

Somaliland
*
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script The Osmanya script ( so, Farta Cismaanya 𐒍𐒖𐒇𐒂𐒖 𐒋𐒘𐒈𐒑𐒛𐒒𐒕𐒖), also known as Far Soomaali (𐒍𐒖𐒇 𐒘𐒝𐒈𐒑𐒛𐒘, "Somali writing") and, in Arabic, as al-kitābah ...

Somalia
* History of Somaliland


Notes


References


Further reading

* * {{coord, 2, 2, N, 45, 21, E, type:county, display=title 1960s in Somalia Political history of Somalia 1960 establishments in Somalia 1969 disestablishments in Africa 1960s disestablishments in Somalia Former polities of the Cold War States and territories established in 1960 States and territories disestablished in 1969