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Siad Barre

Military portrait of Major General Mohamed Siad Barre.
Personal data
Date of birthOctober 6, 1919
Place of birthShilavo, Ogaden
Date of deathJanuary 2, 1995(age 75)
Place of deathLagos, Nigeria
Political partySupreme Revolutionary Council
Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party
SpouseKhadija Maalin and Dalyad Haji Hashi
3rd President of Somalia
In officeOctober 21, 1969 - January 26, 1991
PresidentMohamed Ali Samatar
Vice PresidentMohamed Ali Samatar
Succeeded byAli Mahdi Muhammad
Preceded bySheikh Mukhtar Mohamed Hussein

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Mohamed Siad Barre ( , ) (October 6, 1919 � January 2, 1995) was the military dictator and President of the Somali Democratic Republic from 1969 to 1991. During his rule, he styled himself as Jaalle Siyaad ("Comrade Siad").

At the time of independence in 1960, Somalia was touted in the West as the model of a rural democracy in Africa. However, clanism and extended family loyalties and conflicts were social problems the civilian government failed to eradicate and eventually succumbed to itself.

The Barre-led military junta that came to power after the ensuing coup d'état said it would adapt scientific socialism to the needs of Somalia. It drew heavily from the traditions of China. Volunteer labour harvested and planted crops, and built roads and hospitals. Almost all industry, banks and businesses were nationalised. Cooperative farms were promoted. The government forbade clanism and stressed loyalty to the central authorities. An entirely new writing script for the Somali language was introduced. To spread the new language and the methods and message of the revolution, secondary schools were closed in 1974 and 25,000 students from fourteen to sixteen years of age and an additional 3,000 military and civil service employees were sent to rural areas to educate their nomadic relatives.

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