Challenges to the Regime

Somalia Table of Contents

The SRC announced on two occasions that it had discovered plotters in the act of initiating coup attempts. Both instances involved SRC members. In April 1970, Qoorsheel, the first vice president, was arrested and charged with treason. Qoorsheel represented the more conservative police and army elements and thus opposed the socialist orientation of the majority of SRC members. He was convicted of treason in a trial before the National Security Court and sentenced to a prison term.

In May 1971, the second vice president, Major General Mahammad Ainanche, and a fellow SRC member, Soviet-trained Lieutenant Colonel Salah Gaveire Kedie, who had served as head of the Ministry of Defense and later as secretary of state for communications, were arrested along with several other army officers for plotting Siad Barre's assassination. The conspirators, who had sought the support of clans that had lost influence in the 1969 overthrow of the democratic regime, appeared to have been motivated by personal rivalries rather than by ideology. Accused of conspiring to assassinate the president, the two key figures in the plot and another army officer were executed after a lengthy trial.

By 1974 the SRC felt sufficiently secure to release Qoorsheel and most of the leaders of the democratic regime who had been detained since the 1969 coup. Igaal and four other former ministers were excepted from the amnesty, however, and were sentenced to long prison terms. Igaal received thirty years for embezzlement and conspiracy against the state.

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Source: U.S. Library of Congress