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Mohamed Farrah Aidid

Mohamed Farrah Aidid

Date of birth:


Place of birth:

Somalia, Africa

Date of death:

August 1, 1996 (gunshot wounds)

Place of death:



Military intelligence

Military University:

Trained in Rome and Moscow.

Wars fought:

Ethiopia's war against Somalia
Somalia Coup d'état
Somalian Civil War


Most responsible revolutionary general of the overthrown of Mohammed Siad Barre.

Responsible of Somalian genocide by starvation (1992-1993).

Resisted U.N. and U.S. relief efforts in Operation Provide Relief, claiming that he was the right ruler of Somalia.

One main target of Operation Restore Hope.

His son Hussein Mohammed Farrah is a former U.S. Marine.

Mohamed Farrah Aidid (1934 - August 1, 1996) was a Somali politician and the leader of the Habr Gidr clan, who hindered international famine relief efforts in the early 1990s and challenged the presence of United Nations and United States troops in the country. Aidid was one of the main targets of Operation Restore Hope, the U.N. and U.S. military operation to provide humanitarian aid and breaking the military siege in Somalia.


Aidid was educated in Rome and Moscow and served in the government of Mohamed Siad Barre in several capacities; in the end as intelligence chief. Barre suspected him of planning an overthrow and had him imprisoned for six years. In 1991, the clan of Aidid did indeed overthrow Barre, and Aidid emerged as a major force in the ensuing civil war.

Aidid hindered international food deliveries and attacked U.N. forces in 1992. As a result, the US put a $25,000 bounty on his head and attempted to capture him. In October 3, 1993 a force of U.S. Army Rangers and Delta Force operators set out to capture several officials of Aidid's militia in an area of the Somalian capital city of Mogadishu, controlled by him. The operation did not go as planned, and 18 American soldiers as well as about 350 Somalis died as a result. The events are commonly known as the Battle of Mogadishu.

America withdrew its forces soon after, and the U.N. left Somalia in 1995. Aidid then declared himself president of Somalia, but his government was not internationally recognized.

Aidid died in August 1, 1996 possibly as a result of gunshot wounds sustained a week earlier in a fight with competing factions. One day later, U.S. General William Garrison, who was responsible for the failed 1993 operation, resigned.


Hussein Mohamed Farrah, son of Aidid, migrated to the U.S. when he was 14 years old. He stayed 16 years in the nation and became a naturalized citizen, and later a U.S. Marine. Two days later after his father's death, the Habr Gidr clan selected him to become the new president of Aidid's self-proclaimed republic. Hussein Mohammed Farrah is seen by the West as a chance of improvement for the relationships between them and Somalia. When asked about his Marine days, he replied: "Once a Marine, always a Marine."


  1. Binney, Michael. Joint Close Air Support in the Low Intensity Conflict (thesis). Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School. June 2003.
  2. Lutz, David. Hannover Institute of Philosophical Research. The Ethics of American Military Policy in Africa (research paper). Front Royal, Virginia: Joint Services Conference on Professional Ethics. 2000.
  3. Bowden, Mark. Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War. Berkeley, California: Atlantic Monthly Press. March 1999.
  4. McKinley, James. How a U.S. Marine Became a Warlord in Somalia. New York: The New York Times. August 16, 1996.
  5. CNN, AP & Reuters. Somali faction leader Aidid dies. United States of America: Cable News Network. August 2, 1996.