General Mohamed Farrah Aidid

General Mohamed Farrah Aidid Disasters History Social Studies Visual Arts

Aidid was the leader of the Habr Gidr, a powerful Somali clan. Historians note that he was the general most responsible for overthrowing Siad Barre.

Considering himself as the rightful ruler of Somalia, he resisted a push for power-sharing or a coalition government.

In October of 1993, Aidid was the target of a U.S. raid on Mogadishu.  Instead of being captured, his militia shot down two American helicopters, killing eighteen Army rangers.

Americans, upset with those killings, caused President Clinton to speed-up his withdrawal of U.S. troops from Somalia.  The United Nations also withdrew its assets and representatives by March of 1995.  The power vacuum in Somalia was thereafter filled by warring factions.

Aidid died, at age 62, of gunshot wounds on Aug. 1, 1996.

Media Credits

Photo, courtesy PBS - Ambush in Mogadishu.

Information, BBC Worldwide.

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