Somalia: a history of events from 1950

Somalian prime minister Abdurashid Ali Shermarke, shown on the right, with the Somalian president Aden Abdullah Osman Daar (L). In 1967, the president was defeated in elections by his former prime minister, Abdirashid Ali ShermarkePhotograph: -/AFP/Getty Images





On 15 October 1969, President Shermarke was assassinated by a member of his own police force. Mohamed Siad Barre, pictured, seized power in the subsequent coup, and in 1970 declared Somalia a socialist state, strengthening ties with the Soviet Union and subjecting the country to his ideology of ‘scientific socialism’




In 1974, Somalia joined the Arab League. In 1977-78, Somali forces invaded the Ogaden region of Ethiopia, an area inhabited by Somalis that had been the subject of border hostilities in the 1960s. The Somali troops were forced out by the Soviets and Cubans, prompting Barre to expel his Soviet advisers and strengthen ties with the US. Somalia and Ethiopia signed a peace accord in 1988










In 1991, Barre was forced out of office. The collapse of government led to ongoing feudal struggles and civil war,


resulting in the arrival of a UN peacekeeping mission, which operated in Somalia between 1992 and 1995

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