Name of leader          Mohamed Aidid

Full Name                         Mohamed Farrah Hassan Aidid

 

Organization                    United Somali Congress (USC)

 

Conflict country              Somalia

 

Gender                              Male   

    

Year of birth                     Officially, his birth is in 1934,

                                            but it is believed he was born around 1930.[1]  

 

Place of birth                   Beled Weyne, Somalia[2]

 

Year of death                   1996 [3]

 

 

Deceased

 

Yes, In 1996, he died from multiple gunshot wounds.

 

Birth order

 

He was the fifth child of thirteen children.[4]

 

Age at start of rebel leadership

 

He joined the USC in December 1989.[5] According to his official birthdate, he could have been 55. If his birth year was 1930, he would have been 59.

 

Leader entry method

 

He created his branch within the USC.[6]  Another source says “He was elected chairman of the USC in 1990 and it fought its way to Mogadishu during the rest of the year.”[7]

 

Powersharing

 

The USC had several branches and Aidid led only one of such branch.[8] Yet, the collective appointed Aidid the chairman of USC. [9]

 

Education (also name universities attended, if any); note any relevant experiences while a student

 

From the age of six to eight, he studied the Qur'an at a Qur'anic school. His brother taught him English from the ages of 12 to 15. In 1948, he studied English at a Somalia Youth League (SYL) school. In 1950, he completed the seventh grade at a SYL school in Mogadishu.[10] He also studied at the Police Corps of Somalia. In 1954, he trained at the infantry school at Cesano in Rome, Italy and completed the training in 1956. In 1959-1960, he received more training in Italy in an Advanced Diploma Course, studying military strategy and the humanities. He later received staff-level training at the Frunze Military Academy in Moscow, Soviet Union for 3 years.[11]

 

Ever married? If yes, age of first marriage

 

Yes, he had three wives. His first marriage was in 1951.[12] According to his official birth year, he was 17. According to his suspected birth year, he was 21.

 

Children

 

Yes, he fathered 14 children.[13]

 

Religious identification

 

He practiced Islam. [14]

 

Elite Family background

 

His father and great-grandfather were influential chiefs. In 1946, his older brother Aden Abdirahman became a police chief in Galkayo and in 1949 became the Chief of Police in Baidoa in 1949.[15]

 

Political affiliations and intellectual circles; note any relevant social connections made

 

He was a member of the Somalia Youth League party.[16] He was part of a group of military men who planned a 1967 coup attempt. Aidid was a co-chairman of the operation. Other leaders of the group were Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed Hassan and General Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed “Liiqliiqato”.[17] “Barre made him a member of the Assembly and appointed him military administrator in the president's office. But President Barre never trusted him and had him dispatched to India as Ambassador.”[18] Aidid was also named a member of the cabinet and intelligence chief while an ambassador.[19]

 

Physical and mental health

 

He suffered from blood pressure problems when he was in prison.[20]

 

Pre-militant leader occupation

 

In his youth, he was a houseboy for Commander Cramps of the British company in Somalia (1947-1949) and for the British Secretary of East Africa, Givens (1950). He was an Italian teacher in the Italian military from 1950 to 1952. He was also a store accountant in his military company.[21] Before joining the USC, he was the ambassador to India.[22]

 

Experience in a state military, and role; any relevant social ties

 

Yes, he served in several police offices and headed the Banadir division.[23] In 1960, he became aide-de-camp of Major General David Abdulle Hirsi. Hirsi was the first commander of the National Army. In 1977, he became aide-de-camp of Siad Barre.[24] Aidid led a military commission that oversaw the funeral proceedings of Premier Abdirashid Ali Shermarke.[25] He was the Chief of the Central Recruiting Center in Somalia’s Central Region and the Ogaden region. He was the Commander of the Central Recruitment Unit and Training School at Hilweyne.[26] “He joined the Italian-controlled army and in 1954 went to Italy to study at the Military Academy. After two years he was commissioned and then completed a police course. In 1958 Aideed was appointed chief of police in Mogadishu but, following another course in Rome, was appointed chief of staff of the Military Training Centre in Mogadishu. In 1963 he took a three-year course at the Soviet War Strategic Academy.”[27] 

 

Experience in a nonstate military, and role; any relevant social ties

 

Yes, he was in the USC.[28]

 

Combat experience prior to assuming resistance organization leadership?

 

Yes, a source describes him as having “an extensive warfront career”.[29] However, one source’s account of his experience in the Ogaden War does not indicate combat experience.[30] “He was elected chairman of the USC in 1990 and it fought its way to Mogadishu during the rest of the year. Apparently Aideed was usually in the front line.”

 

Held government position prior to assuming leadership?

 

He was the general manager of ASPIMA, a state agency that produces, imports, and distributes medicine and medical equipment for Somalia. He was a member of Somalia’s parliament and the Defense Committee.[31] He was the ambassador to India in 1984.[32] He was replaced as ambassador to India in 1989.[33] He was also named as a member of the cabinet and intelligence chief while ambassador.[34]

 

Lived in exile?

 

Yes, “when Somalia began to fall apart in 1988 Aideed was recalled [from India], but instead he fled and helped to set up the United Somali Congress and built an anti-Barre alliance with other clan-based movements.”[35]

 

Study abroad?

 

Yes, he studied in Italy and the Soviet Union.[36]

 

Did the leader receive military training abroad?

 

Yes, he trained in Italy and the Soviet Union.[37]

 

Did the leader have extensive work experience abroad?

 

Yes, he was an ambassador.[38]

 

Serve time in prison? Social connections during that time?

 

Yes, Barre imprisoned Aidid from November 1969 to October 1975.[39] He was incarcerated without trial.[40] His first three years in the Mandera Central Prison were spent isolated from most people. He was only able to speak with fellow prisoner Abdullahi Yusuf. During his stay at the Central Prison of Mogadishu, he was only able to meet with his family.[41]

 

In 1993, the United Nations Security Council called for the arrest of Aidid for the alleged murder of 24 U.N. peacekeepers.[42] The U.N. also declared him as a war criminal.[43]

 

Was there an assassination attempt on the leader by the state?

 

While technically not an assassination, the United States’s special forces attempted several times to capture Aidid.[44] One of the attempts led by the U.S. Joint Special Operations Task Force (JSOTF)’s goal was to capture Aidid and give him to UNOSOM forces.[45]

From June 1993 to September 1993, there were eight battles between UNOSOM II and Aidid’s forces when UNOSOM II attempted to capture Aidid.[46]

 

There may have been an attempt to poison him while he was in jail from 1969-1975.[47]

 

Cause of Death?

 

He died from gunshot wounds.[48] It is important to note that there are different stories about how he died. Some people claim that he died from a heart attack.[49] However, death by gunshot is the most accepted narrative. One source describes the shooting as an assassination by members of his own organization.[50] Another source describes the conflict as being inter-clan.[51] One source describes his death as a combination of the two stories. According to this source, he was first shot and then suffered a heart attack after the operation to address his gunshot wounds.[52]

 

Primary language, and other languages spoken as adult

 

His primary language was Somali.[53] He also spoke English and Italian.[54][55]

 

 

Image Credit: https://alchetron.com/cdn/mohamed-farrah-aidid-3247b9a5-d9ca-4e24-bfd0-5daf73ad98d-resize-750.jpeg

[1] Mohamed Haji Mukhtar, Historical Dictionary of Somalia, New Edition, (Lanham: The Scarecrow Press Inc., 2003), 155.

[2] Mohamed Haji Mukhtar, Historical Dictionary of Somalia, New Edition, (Lanham: The Scarecrow Press Inc., 2003), 155.

[3] Mohamed Haji Mukhtar, Historical Dictionary of Somalia, New Edition, (Lanham: The Scarecrow Press Inc., 2003), 155.

[4] Mohammed Farah Aidid and His Vision of Somalia, Edited by Dr. Satya Pal Ruhela, (New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House PVT LTD, 1994), 1.

[5] Kathleen Sheldon, “Aidid, Mohammed Farah (1934-1996),” In Dictionary of African Biography Edited by Emmanuel K. Akyeampong and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).

[6] Kapteijns Lidwien, Clan Cleansing in Somalia: The Ruinous Legacy of 1991, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012), 98.

[7] “Profile: How to turn a warmonger into a hero: General Aideed, top bad-guy on America's hit list,” Independent, July 17, 1993, Accessed December 8, 2018, https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/profile-how-to-turn-a-warmonger-into-a-hero-general-aideed-top-bad-guy-on-americas-hit-list-1485338.html.

[8] Kathleen Sheldon, “Aidid, Mohammed Farah (1934-1996),” In Dictionary of African Biography Edited by Emmanuel K. Akyeampong and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).

[9] “Profile: How to turn a warmonger into a hero: General Aideed, top bad-guy on America's hit list,” Independent, July 17, 1993, Accessed December 8, 2018, https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/profile-how-to-turn-a-warmonger-into-a-hero-general-aideed-top-bad-guy-on-americas-hit-list-1485338.html.

[10] Mohammed Farah Aidid and His Vision of Somalia. 4, 8-9, 12.

[11] Mohamed Haji Mukhtar, Historical Dictionary of Somalia, New Edition, (Lanham: The Scarecrow Press Inc., 2003), 155-156; Mohammed Farah Aidid and His Vision of Somalia, 15.

[12] Mohammed Farah Aidid and His Vision of Somalia. 13, 94.

[13] Shaul Shay,  Somalia: Between Jihad and Restoration, (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2008), 73.

[14] Joshua Hammer, “Trying to Break Aidid,” Newsweek 121, Readers’ Guide Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson), accessed October 6, 2017 via EBSCOhost, 22-23.

[15] Mohammed Farah Aidid and His Vision of Somalia, 1, 5, 9.

[16] Mohammed Farah Aidid and His Vision of Somalia, 9.

[17] Mohamed Haji Ingiriis, The Suicidal State in Somalia: The Rise and Fall of the Siad Barre Regime, 1969-1991, (Lanham: University Press of America, Inc., 2016), 69.

[18] “Profile: How to turn a warmonger into a hero: General Aideed, top bad-guy on America's hit list,” Independent, July 17, 1993, Accessed December 8, 2018, https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/profile-how-to-turn-a-warmonger-into-a-hero-general-aideed-top-bad-guy-on-americas-hit-list-1485338.html.

[19] “Profile: How to turn a warmonger into a hero: General Aideed, top bad-guy on America's hit list,” Independent, July 17, 1993, Accessed December 8, 2018, https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/profile-how-to-turn-a-warmonger-into-a-hero-general-aideed-top-bad-guy-on-americas-hit-list-1485338.html.

[20] Mohamed Haji Ingiriis, The Suicidal State in Somalia: The Rise and Fall of the Siad Barre Regime, 1969-1991, (Lanham: University Press of America, Inc., 2016), 330.

[21] Mohammed Farah Aidid and His Vision of Somalia. 9-11, 13-14.

[22] Kathleen Sheldon, “Aidid, Mohammed Farah (1934-1996),” In Dictionary of African Biography Edited by Emmanuel K. Akyeampong and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).

[23] Mohamed Haji Mukhtar, Historical Dictionary of Somalia, New Edition, (Lanham: The Scarecrow Press Inc., 2003), 156.

[24] Mohamed Haji Mukhtar, Historical Dictionary of Somalia, New Edition, (Lanham: The Scarecrow Press Inc., 2003), 156.

[25] Mohamed Haji Ingiriis, The Suicidal State in Somalia: The Rise and Fall of the Siad Barre Regime, 1969-1991, (Lanham: University Press of America, Inc., 2016), 49.

[26] Mohammed Farah Aidid and His Vision of Somalia. 75-76.

[27] “Profile: How to turn a warmonger into a hero: General Aideed, top bad-guy on America's hit list,” Independent, July 17, 1993, Accessed December 8, 2018, https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/profile-how-to-turn-a-warmonger-into-a-hero-general-aideed-top-bad-guy-on-americas-hit-list-1485338.html.

[28] Glenn J. Antizzo, U.S. Military Intervention in the Post-Cold War Era: How to Win America’s Wars in the Twenty-First Century, (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2010), 106.

[29] Mohamed Haji Ingiriis, The Suicidal State in Somalia: The Rise and Fall of the Siad Barre Regime, 1969-1991, (Lanham: University Press of America, Inc., 2016), 264.

[30] Mohammed Farah Aidid and His Vision of Somalia. 76-78.

[31] Mohammed Farah Aidid and His Vision of Somalia. 75, 79.

[32] Mohamed Haji Mukhtar, Historical Dictionary of Somalia, New Edition, (Lanham: The Scarecrow Press Inc., 2003), 156.

[33] Mohamed Haji Ingiriis, The Suicidal State in Somalia: The Rise and Fall of the Siad Barre Regime, 1969-1991, (Lanham: University Press of America, Inc., 2016), 264.

[34] “Profile: How to turn a warmonger into a hero: General Aideed, top bad-guy on America's hit list,” Independent, July 17, 1993, Accessed December 8, 2018, https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/profile-how-to-turn-a-warmonger-into-a-hero-general-aideed-top-bad-guy-on-americas-hit-list-1485338.html.

[35]  “Profile: How to turn a warmonger into a hero: General Aideed, top bad-guy on America's hit list,” Independent, July 17, 1993, Accessed December 8, 2018, https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/profile-how-to-turn-a-warmonger-into-a-hero-general-aideed-top-bad-guy-on-americas-hit-list-1485338.html.

[36] Mohamed Haji Mukhtar, Historical Dictionary of Somalia, New Edition, (Lanham: The Scarecrow Press Inc., 2003), 155-156.

[37] Mohamed Haji Mukhtar, Historical Dictionary of Somalia, New Edition, (Lanham: The Scarecrow Press Inc., 2003), 155-156.

[38] Mohamed Haji Mukhtar, Historical Dictionary of Somalia, New Edition, (Lanham: The Scarecrow Press Inc., 2003), 156.

[39] Mohamed Haji Mukhtar, Historical Dictionary of Somalia, New Edition, (Lanham: The Scarecrow Press Inc., 2003), 156.

[40] Mohamed Haji Ingiriis, The Suicidal State in Somalia: The Rise and Fall of the Siad Barre Regime, 1969-1991, (Lanham: University Press of America, Inc., 2016), 127.

[41] Mohammed Farah Aidid and His Vision of Somalia. 59-63.

[42] Faustin Z. Ntoubandi, Amnesty for Crimes Against Humanity Under International Law, (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2007), 146.

[43] Glenn J. Antizzo, U.S. Military Intervention in the Post-Cold War Era: How to Win America’s Wars in the Twenty-First Century, (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2010), 33.

[44] Mark Bowden, Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War (New York: Signet Books, 1999).

[45] Michael J. Durant and Steven Hartov, In the Company of Heroes, (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2003), 2.

[46] Kenneth R. Rutherford, Humanitarianism Under Fire: The US and UN Intervention in Somalia, (Sterling, VA: Kumarian Press, 2008), 136.

[47] Dr. Satya Pal Ruhela, Mohammed Farah Aidid And His Vision Of Somalia, (New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House, 1994), 179.

[48] Mohamed Haji Mukhtar, Historical Dictionary of Somalia, New Edition, (Lanham: The Scarecrow Press Inc., 2003), 156.

[49] Shaul Shay,  Somalia: Between Jihad and Restoration, (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2008), 73.

[50] Michael J. Durant and Steven Hartov, In the Company of Heroes, (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2003), 355.

[51] Kenneth R. Rutherford, Humanitarianism Under Fire: The US and UN Intervention in Somalia, (Sterling, VA: Kumarian Press, 2008), 185.

[52] “Mohamed Farah Aideed: Death of a Warlord,” PBS Newshour, August 2, 1996, http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/africa-july-dec96-warlord_8-2/

[53] Mohamed Haji Ingiriis, The Suicidal State in Somalia: The Rise and Fall of the Siad Barre Regime, 1969-1991, (Lanham: University Press of America, Inc., 2016), 254.

[54] Mohamed Haji Mukhtar, Historical Dictionary of Somalia, New Edition, (Lanham: The Scarecrow Press Inc., 2003), 155.

[55] Mohammed Farah Aidid and His Vision of Somalia. 9, 13.

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