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Longer, analytical article.  Somalia: Chronology of events leading to the interim govít

Summary & Comment: A chronology of selected events tht lead up to the establishment of the new Somalia administration. The interim administration is expected to govern until democratic elections can be held in five-years time.

Author: IRIN, Nairobi Date Written: 6 January 2005
Primary Category: Eastern Region Document Origin: IRIN News
Secondary Category: Africa General Source URL:
Key Words: Somalia, chronology, 1960s - 2004, interim government,

Printable Version

Chronology of events leading to the interim government

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

A new president was sworn-in on 14 October, 2004, following a two-year long peace process between the various Somali political groups. The interim administration is expected to govern the country until democratic elections can be held in five-years time. The following is a chronology of recent events leading up to the establishment of the new administration.


26 June 1960: The former British Somaliland Protectorate gains independence

1 July 1960: The former Italian colony (south) becomes independent. The former British (northwest) and Italian colonies unite and form the Republic of Somalia; Aden Abdullah Osman is elected as first president

1967: Abdi Rashid Ali Shermarke beats Aden Abdullah Osman in elections for president, leading to the first peaceful transfer of power.

15 October 1969: Democratically elected President Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke is assassinated by one of his bodyguards.

21 October 1969: The army under Major-General Muhammad Siyad Barre seizes power after parliament becomes deadlocked in trying to select a new president. The army suspends the constitution, bans all 86 political parties, and promises to end corruption. Siyad Barre heads the 25-member Supreme Revolutionary Council, consisting of army and police officers


21 October 1970: The army junta declares Somalia a socialist country and adopts "scientific socialism". The security organs and intelligence networks are given greater powers

21 October 1972: A written script for the Somali language is established. A modified Roman alphabet is adopted as the official orthography for the Somali language

1974: Somalia becomes a member of the Arab League.

July 1977: A low-level war of attrition between Somali-backed insurgents and the Ethiopian army becomes an all-out battle. The war goes down in history as the fiercest Cold War battle on the continent, played out in the Ethiopian Ogaden region

8 April 1978: After the defeat of the Somali army, a group of army officers tries to topple the Siyad Barre regime. The attempted coup is crushed and Siyad Barre tightens his grip. He begins a process of putting power into the hands of his relatives, and sub-clan, the Darod Marehan.


1978-81: One of the plotters of the 1978 attempted coup, Col Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmad, a Majeerteen, helps found the first armed opposition movement against the Siyad Barre regime - the Somali Salvation Front (SSF). In 1981 the SSF becomes the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF), with Yusuf as its leader

May 1988: The Somali National Movement (SNM) mounts an offensive in the north of the country, as a result of the regime's brutal post-war policies. Siyad Barre responds by bombing the area. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are displaced, and many hundreds killed.


December 1990: Armed uprising erupts in Mogadishu

27 January 1991: Siyad Barre flees Mogadishu. Forces loyal to the Hawiye-based United Somali Congress (USC) capture the city

17 November 1991: Full-scale fighting starts between the two factions of the USC

18 May 1991: The former British Protectorate of Somaliland declares independence from the rest of Somalia, in the town of Burao

April 1992: The United Nations Operation in Somalia, UNOSOM I, begins

December 1992: The US-led Unified Task Force [UNITAF] lands in Mogadishu

4 May 1993: UNITAF hands over to UNOSOM II

March 1994: A UN sponsored peace conference brings together all Somali factions in Nairobi, Kenya, resulting in the Nairobi declaration.

August 1996: Gen. Muhammad Farah Aydid dies of gunshot wounds sustained in operations against his former lieutenant, Osman Ali Atto. His son, a former American marine, Husayn Muhammad Aydid, is chosen by the clan to replace his father

November 1996: Ethiopian government-sponsored reconciliation conference, in the town of Sodare, brings most of the factions together. But it is boycotted by Husayn Aydid

November 1997: All faction leaders meet in Cairo, but the talks collapse when the faction leaders fail to come up with an acceptable power-sharing agreement, leaving Somalia without a national leader and Mogadishu still divided and insecure


2 May: On the initiative of the Djibouti government, the Somali National Peace Conference brings together more than 2,000 participants in Arta, Djibouti. It is the first conference where the warlords do not have control of the conference agenda

26 August: A 245-strong Transitional National Assembly, based on clan representation, elects Abdiqasim Salad Hasan as the new president of Somalia

27 August: Abdiqasim Salad Hassan is sworn in at a inauguration ceremony attended by the heads of governments of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Yemen, and the host country Djibouti, along with representatives from the UN, EU, Arab league, OAU, France, Italy, Kuwait, and Libya


May: Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, the president of self-declared republic of Somaliland dies in a South African hospital and is replaced by his vice-president, Dahir Riyale Kahin

October: Reconciliation talks, sponsored by the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), due to open on 15th in the Kenyan town of Eldoret. Originally scheduled for April 2002, they have been repeatedly postponed


February: Somali talks are moved to Nairobi.


January: Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, brokers a deal that resolved contentious issues between the various factions

22 August: A 275-member transitional parliament is inaugurated

15 September: Businessman Shariff Hassan Sheikh Adan is elected as the assembly's speaker.

16 September: Fighting erupts around the town of Kismayo, as two factions battle for its control

10 October. 71 year-old Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed is elected as interim President by parliament

14 October: Yusuf is sworn-in at a ceremony attended by several African heads of state

29 October: Fighting between Somaliland and Puntland in the disputed Sool region claims the lives of over 100

3 November: Yusuf appoints Ali Muhammad Gedi as Prime Minister

1 December: Gedi announces a 78-strong government

11 December: Parliament passes a vote of no confidence in the new government

13 December: Yusuf reappoints Gedi as PM


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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer(s) and not do necessarily reflect the views of the AfricaFiles' editors and network members. They are included in our material as a reflection of a diversity of views and a variety of issues. Material written specifically for AfricaFiles may be edited for length, clarity or inaccuracies.

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