Barré, Muhammad Siad

   President of the Somali Democratic Republic from 1969 until 1991, and chairman of the Somali Socialist Revolutionary Party, Barré espoused an idiosyncratic Marxism that incorporated elements of nationalism and Islam, and increasingly moved away from Marxism to “Somali socialism.” Born in Lugh (Kana Dere) district in southern Somalia to a nomadic camel herder, Barré joined the police force during the British military administration of Somalia (1942–1950) becoming chief inspector. In 1950, during the Italian-administered United Nations trusteeship administration, he won a scholarship to study at a military academy in Italy and in 1954 became an officer in the Somali security forces. With the creation of the independent Somali Republic in 1960 he became a colonel and deputy commander of the army, and in 1966 he became general and commander of the army. He led the military coup of 1969 and was president of the Supreme Revolutionary Council until 1976 when he became president of the country. His time in power was marked by hostilities with Ethiopia and an increasingly autocratic rule against which a rebellion was initiated leading to his fleeing the country in January 1991.

Historical dictionary of Marxism. . 2014.

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