Alert Series: Somalia Things Fall Apart   [open pdf - 71KB]

"The government of President Siad Barre was overthrown in January 1991. Several guerrilla groups that fought against Siad Barre's regime gained control over different parts of the country. In subsequent months, factionalism within these groups, lack of control by these groups over armed forces within their regions, and the emergence of new military and political groups challenging existing spheres of influence have created a situation in which few if any regions of Somalia are free from ethnic and political hostility. As a result of the fighting to overthrow Siad Barre, and the subsequent hostilities, there are an estimated 1.5 million Somali refugees in the Horn of Africa and Kenya. Since the January 1991 coup, the United Somali Congress (USC) has maintained primary control over central Somalia, including the capital, Mogadishu. However, in November 1991, a series of cease-fire agreements between two factions of the USC, one led by USC President General Mahamed Farah Aideed and one by interim Somali President Ali Mahdi Mohammed, degenerated into widespread factional fighting in Mogadishu. Between November 1991 and March 1992 an estimated 14,000 people died in Mogadishu. Even should peace be restored in the capital, fighting between the USC and other ethnic-based military forces throughout southern Somalia may continue to be a problem."

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: http://www.uscis.gov/
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