Siad Barre

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I shall respect a Somali individual as long as he deserves respect, but if he turns away from the correct path, then that is not my business.

Mohamed Siad Barre (6 October 19192 January 1995) was the president of Somalia from 1969 to 1991.


  • In our Revolution we believe that we have broken the chain of a consumer economy based on imports, and we are free to decide our destiny. And in order to realize the interests of the Somali people, their achievement of a better life, the full development of their potentialities and the fulfillment of their aspirations, we solemnly declare Somalia to be a Socialist State.
    • Siad Barre proclaims Somalia a socialist state (October 20, 1970).[1]
  • When I came to Mogadishu...[t]here was one road built by the Italians. If you try to force me to stand down, I will leave the city as I found it. I came to power with a gun; only the gun can make me go.
    • As quoted by Mohamed Diriye Abdullahi (2001), Culture and customs of Somalia, p. 41
  • As far as socialism is concerned, it is not a heavenly message like Islam but a mere system for regulating the relations between man and his utilization of the means of production in this world. If we decide to regulate our national wealth, it is not against the essence of Islam. God has created man and has given him the faculty of mind to choose between good and bad, between virtue and vice. We have chose social justice instead of exploitation of man by man and this is how we can practically help the individual Muslim and direct him to [a] virtuous life. However, the reactionaries wanted to create a rift between socialism and Islam because socialism is not in their interest.
    • Speech (1972), as quoted by Ioan Myrddin (1980), A Modern History of Somalia, Wilture Enterprises (International) Ltd.
  • Some of the colonizers do understand and quickly retreat, while some, because they are stupid, continue colonizing others, increasing the suffering, deaths, injuries, defeat and humiliation. The people colonized by Abyssinia will be free. Eritrea will be free, and they cannot refuse to let them be free. Western Somalia will be free, and they cannot refuse to grant it freedom. The numerous Abo will be free because this is history, and no one can prevent the sunshine from reaching us.
  • I did not come to power to divide Somali but to unite them, and I will never deviate from this path. I shall respect a Somali individual as long as he deserves respect, but if he turns away from the correct path, then that is not my business.
  • We should teach the foreigners and colonialists that Somalia cannot be led by other people and that the traitors who fled the country will never lead Somalia.
  • The day Kafur clans fight each other like never before will never stop ( 29 January 1994 )

Quotes about Siad Barre

  • After my talk with Siad Barre, I told Mengistu about Barre's attitude, and asked him to remain calm. I already felt bad about having invited Mengistu to Aden while there was still a powder keg situation back in his country and that in such a tense situation he was to hear out the Somalis' territorial demands. With regards to my question about the situation of the Ethiopian army, Mengistu said that there were still difficulties but that he didn't think that there was an acute danger of a coup. When the meeting started, Siad Barre immediately began speaking. Siad Barre is a general who was educated under colonialism. The revolution in Somalia is led by generals who all became powerful under colonial times. I have made up my mind about Siad Barre, he is above all a chauvinist.
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