Somalia. Yet another year passed without visible signs
that the state power could resurface. According to
Countryaah.com, a chance for peace
emerged when warlord Muhammad Farah Aidiid, the man who
personified the UN military failure in Somalia, was killed
in early August. But he was succeeded as a militia leader by
his son Hussein, who, like his father, claimed to be
president, and the fighting continued. A peace treaty
between the chief warlords was signed in October, but was
almost immediately broken. Towards the end of the year,
Aidi's troops fought on three fronts for control of the
capital Mogadishu. Hundreds of people were killed.
Twenty-six political leaders affiliated with the ASS met in
January 1997 in the city of Sodere in Ethiopia, where, with
the support of the OAU, they decided to form a National
Savior Council, with powers to form a transitional
government. Hussein Aidid and Mohamed Ibrahim Egal who had
been re-elected as president of Somaliland in March did not
recognize this decision.
Floods in November and December 1997 isolated 230,000
people in the southern part of the country. The United
Nations launched an aid program and threw many tons of food
from the air into the Garbahari and Gedo disks near the Juba
In April 1998, a new meeting was held in Nairobi between
military chiefs Ali Mahdi Mohamed, Hussein Aidid, Osman
Hassan Ali and Mohamed Kanyere, who declared their readiness
to make peace. At the same time, the severe torment of
Somaliland suffered a further setback as Saudi Arabia
reintroduced the ban on importing cattle from Somalia.
In June, 300 tribal leaders from the northeast of the
country held a conference aimed at creating a government for
what they called Puntland, which covered the Garowe, Bari
and Galkayo areas, which are agricultural areas based on
cattle farming. The conference elected Major Abdullah Yussuf
Ahmed as president and Mohamed Abdi Hashi as vice president.
The new government was headquartered in the town of Garowe.
In August 2000, a peace conference was held in Djibouti
with the participation of the various warring factions. The
conference elected a parliament of 245 members to meet
outside the country, and as new president was elected
Abdulkasim Salat Hassan, minister of a former Barre
government. Hassan arrived under strong guard at Mogadishu
and received a brilliant reception from tens of thousands of
the city's residents at the football stage. In October, new
Prime Minister Ali Khalif Galaydh announced his new
25-member government - all men and representatives of
Somalia's various clans. The prime minister characterized
his new government as a reconciliation government.
In May 2001, a referendum was held in the northern part
of the country, which largely confirmed Somaliland's
detachment from Somalia. However, the new country was not
At the end of 2001, the United States frozen most of
Barakaat's assets. It was Somalia's largest company and was
suspected of having links with Osama bin Laden. The UN
pointed out that this was aggravating the country's already
difficult situation. It was on the brink of economic
collapse as a result of the prolonged drought and the ban on
the export of cattle.
In May 2002, Mohamed Egal died in a hospital in South
Africa. This created fears of the resurgence of old rivalry.
Dahir Riyale Kahin was named president of Somaliland. In
October, the government and the 21 warlords agreed on a
ceasefire, while new peace talks were held.
In April 2003, Dahir Riyale was elected, by narrow
majority, as president of Somaliland. At the same time, in
July, the central government resumed peace talks in Kenya.
In January 2004, warlords and central government in Kenya
agreed on the formation of a new government, which was seen
as an important step towards lasting peace.