Mohamed Farrah Aidid: Wikis


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Mohamed Farrah Aidid
محمد فرح عيديد

In office
June 15, 1995 – August 1, 1996
Preceded by Ali Mahdi Muhammad
Succeeded by Hussein Mohamed Farrah Aidid

Born December 15, 1934(1934-12-15)
Mudug Region, Somalia
Died August 2, 1996 (aged 61)
Mogadishu, Somalia
Nationality Somali
Political party United Somali Congress/Somali National Alliance (USC/SNA)

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 Habar 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.

Opposition to UN intervention

As the civil war grew, with the breakdown of centralized government and no single successor to Barre's regime emerging, the term "warlord" came into use in Somalia. The tribalism of clan-based rebel organizations, and a complex web of regional and local domination elevated warlords to be de facto rulers of the country. Aidid was considered chief amongst them.[3] However, he was defeated by a rival, which led to the opportunity for UN peace keepers to be brought in.[1]

General Aidid hindered international U.N. peacekeeping forces in 1992 culminating with an attack on Pakistani peace keeping forces which resulted in 24 dead. As a result, the US put a $25,000 bounty on his head and attempted to arrest and try him for war crimes. On October 3, 1993, by the order of President Bill Clinton, a force of United States Army Rangers and Delta Force operators set out to capture several officials of Aidid's militia in an area of the Somali capital city of Mogadishu, controlled by him. Although technically successful, with the capture of several "tier-one personalities", the operation did not completely go as planned, between 500 and 1500 Somalis, as well as 18 American soldiers and 1 Malaysian soldier, died as a result in the First Battle of Mogadishu. Also, as a result of the downed Blackhawk from crash site 2, Warrant Officer-Pilot Michael J. Durant from 160th SOAR was held captive for 11 days, and he recalls in his book, In the Company of Heroes that he believed that he may have seen General Aidid behind the cameraman as he was being filmed briefly by film reporters during his captivity.

The United States withdrew its forces soon afterwards and the United Nations left Somalia in 1995.

President of Somalia

Aidid then declared himself President of Somalia in June 1995,[4] but his government was not internationally recognized. Indeed, within Somalia and even within Mogadishu, his control was fiercely fought over, especially by Ali Mahdi Muhammad. In September 1995, militia forces loyal to Aidid attacked the city of Baidoa, killing 10 Somalis and capturing at least 20 foreign aid workers.[5]


Aidid died on August 1, 1996 as a result of gunshot wounds sustained a week earlier in a fight with competing factions.


Hussein Mohamed Farrah, son of General Aidid, migrated to the United States when he was 17 years old. He stayed 16 years in the U.S. and became a naturalized citizen, and later a United States Marine who served in Somalia. Two days after his father's death, the Somali National Alliance selected him to become the new president of the Republic of Somalia.

He resigned his position in Cairo, Egypt following a peace process between the Salbalar administration and Soodare Group. Hussein Mohammed Farrah is seen by the West as making available a chance for improvement of relationships between the West and Somalia. When asked about his Marine days, he replied: "Once a Marine, always a Marine."[6]

Political offices
Preceded by
Ali Mahdi Muhammad
President of Somalia
June 15, 1995–August 1, 1996
Succeeded by
Hussein Mohamed Farrah Aidid



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