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Anarchy


 
 
     With the departure of Barre, a fight for power broke out.  The Hawiye clan formed a movement called the United Somali Congress (USC).  Muhammad Ali Madhi, head of the USC, proclaimed himself as the interim president (27).  The plan of the USC was for Madhi to hold the presidency for two years, after which democratic elections would be held.  The new government, however, was never organized, due to a split in the USC (28)
     Ali Madhi belonged to the Abgal sub-clan of the Hawiye.  Madhi’s rival, General Muhammad Farah Aideed, of the Hawiye sub-clan Habir Gedir, proclaimed himself as the new president of Somalia.  In their clash for power, the two warlords split Mogadishu in half, killing many innocent civilians in the process (29).
“This conflict was a confused mixture of competition between factions of the USC, a personal leadership struggle between Muhammad Farah Aideed and Muhammad Ali Madhi, a fight between the two sub-clans, the Habir Gedir and the Abgal, and a desperate struggle to win public office and the financial benefits such positions promised” (30)

Muhammad Ali Madhi 
 

     Ali Madhi’s militia had control of the northern part of Mogadishu while Aideed and his followers took control of the south, including the critical areas around the airport and seaport.  With Somalia in a state of anarchy, the country gave way to lawlessness and terror.  Armed teenage gangs known as mooryaan, with no political affiliation, looted the countryside.   Members of Siad Barre’s sub-clan, the Marehan, also became targets of violence.  The ceaseless fighting inhibited food production and distribution throughout the country, putting several hundreds of thousands of Somali civilians at the risk of starvation (31).
     While the fighting went on in the south, the Somali National Movement (SNM), a group composed mostly of Issaq clan members that had fought against the repression of Siad Barre throughout the 1980’s, took control of the country’s northern region.  In May 1991, the SNM declared independence for the region composing the colonial British Somaliland.  They named this new territory the Somaliland Republic (32).
“The SNM remembered past history when after independence in 1960, the southerners had taken the premiership and all the most important ministries for their own. That time they had cooperated in the interests of Somali unity: Some members of the SNM central committee wanted to continue in the tradition of cooperation but others wanted to seize the opportunity to break away” (33).
     The new country set up a government composing of an elected two-house Parliament and President, a functioning civil police, a court system, and a municipal government (34).  This startled many of those living in the southern region of the country.  They felt that the goal of the SNM should have been to lead the entire country toward a new political structure.  Despite the fact that the Somaliland claimed independence, it still has yet to receive international recognition.
 
 

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