The Barre Regime of Somalia

The Barre Regime of Somalia Last updated on Monday 26th April 2010

The British and Italian regions became independent on July the 1st 1960 and were merged as the Republic of Somalia. A parliamentary system was adopted in the new republic until October 21st 1969, when a group of military officers led by General Siad Barre seized power and proclaimed a socialist regime in Somalia.

In July 1976, the Front for the Liberation of Western Somalia (FLWS) initiated a military offensive in the Ogaden region supported by the Somali Government. The invasion was repelled by the Ethiopian army, supported by Cuban troops and backed by most African countries that opposed changes in colonial frontiers. The country broke off relations with Cuba and ended its military agreements with the Soviet Union.

The war against Ethiopia caused serious difficulties to Somalia’s fragile economy; prices of fuel and grain increased and a severe drought affected most of the country during 1978 and 1979 bringing the Barre Government to the verge of collapse. A group of army officers unsuccessfully attempted to overthrow the government in April 1978; in October 1980 Barre declared a state of emergency and reinstated the "Supreme Revolutionary Council" which ceased to function since 1976.

Through commercial and technical cooperation agreements between Mogadishu and Nairobi, relations between Kenya and Somalia improved since 1984 inspite of the Somali historical claims of the northern province of Kenya.

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