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Former Somalia President Ali Mahdi Muhammad dies in Nairobi

  Former Somalia president Ali Mahdi Muhammad has passed on at a Nairobi hospital after being hospitalized with Covid-19. Somalia Informatio...

 

Former Somalia president Ali Mahdi Muhammad has passed on at a Nairobi hospital after being hospitalized with Covid-19.

Somalia Information ministry spokesperson Ismael Omar has confirmed. Muhammad served as the President of Somalia from January 1991 to January 1997.

Muhammad began his career in business, working as an independent Mogadishu-based entrepreneur and first entered politics in 1968, competing for a parliamentary seat in Mogadishu.

After fallout from the unsuccessful Ogaden campaign of the late 1970s, the Siad Barre administration began arresting government and military officials under suspicion of participation in the abortive 1978 coup d'état. Most of the people who had allegedly helped plot the putsch were summarily executed. However, several officials managed to escape abroad and started to form the first of various dissident groups dedicated to ousting Barre's regime by force.

By the late 1980s, Barre's regime had grown considerably unpopular. The authorities became increasingly totalitarian, and resistance movements, supported by Ethiopia's communist Derg administration, sprang up across the country. This eventually led in 1991 to the outbreak of the civil war, the toppling of Barre's government, and the disbandment of the Somali National Army (SNA). Many of the opposition groups subsequently began competing for influence in the power vacuum that followed the ouster of Barre's regime. Armed factions led by United Somali Congress (USC) commanders Ali Mahdi Muhammad and General Mohamed Farah Aidid, in particular, clashed as each sought to exert authority over the capital.

 

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