Mohammed Siad Barre was the architect of the Somali October Revolution and the third president of the young nation. At the time of independence in 1960, Somalia was touted in the West as the model of a rural democracy in Africa. However, tribalism, extended family loyalties and conflicts were social problems the civilian government failed to eridicate and eventually succumbed to itself. A bloodless coup led by Mohammed ushered Somalia in to the modern era. He brought radical positive developments including volunteer labour harvested and planted crops, and built roads and hospitals. Virtually all industry, banks and businesses were nationalised. Co-operative farms were heavily promoted. He forbade tribalism and stressed loyalty to the central authorities. He introduced Somalia's first writing script for the Somali language. This is his definitive story.
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