Internal Political & Security Developments in Somali from Mid-1980 to Mid-1982

President Mohamed Siyad Barre announced a reorganization of the Government and the leadership of the ruling Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party (SRSP) on March 1, 1982, and at the same time lifted the state of emergency which had been in force since Oct. 21, 1980. The declaration of a state of emergency had been accompanied by the reintroduction of the Supreme Revolutionary Council, which had been established in 1969 following President Siyad Barre’s assumption of power.

Other major developments in the period up to July 1982 included:

The formation in October 1981 of a Somali Democratic Salvation Front (SDSF) by three opposition groups.

An alleged army mutiny and clashes between troops and demonstrators in northern Somalia in the early months of 1982

A sharp escalation of fighting on the Somali-Ethiopian border in mid-1982, between Somali forces on the one hand and SDSF guerrillas backed by substantial contingents of Ethiopian troops on the other

Declaration of State of Emergency in October 1980 -Reintroduction of SRC

President Siyad Barre declared a state of emergency on Oct. 21, 1980, the 11th anniversary of his accession to power in a bloodless coup, and asserted that opportunists were threatening the state’s stability at a time when Somalia was being menaced by neighboring Ethiopia.

Under the Constitution of the Somali Democratic Republic adopted in 1979, the President was empowered in a state of emergency to “take all appropriate measures when faced with grave matters endangering the sovereignty internal or external security of the country”. On the basis of these powers President Siyad Barre issued a decree on Oct. 24 suspending such articles of the Constitution and other laws of the land which were contrary to, or incompatible with, the state of emergency.

Mogadishu radio announced on Oct. 23, 1980, that the Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC) had been reconstituted (having been dissolved in 1976 and its powers transferred to the new SRSP to help “correct the mistakes” which had been made and to pursue the aims of the revolution.

The new SRC consisted of 17 high-ranking military officials, divided into five committees under the direction of the President as follows:
Defense and security:
Lt.-Gen. Mohammed Ali Samater, the Defense Minister, being the Chairman, and Brig.-Gen. Ahmed Suleman Abdulla, Commander of the National security Service, being the Vice Chairman
Economic, Commercial and Finance:
Maj.-Gen. Abdulla Mohammed Fadil.  Minister of Health, being the Chairmn, Col. Ahmed Mahmoud Farab being the Vice Chairman, Col. Farah Wacays Dulleh and Col. Musa Rabileh Good both serving as members.
Brig.-Gen. Ismail Ali Abokor being the Chairman, Col. Mohammed Omer Jeele, the Minister of Tourism being the Vice Chairman,  and Col. Abdel-Qadir Haji Mohammed as a member

Maj Gen. Hussein Kulmiye Afrah , the Presidential Adviser on Government Affairs,  being Chairman, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Ali Shire being the Vice Chairman, Col. Abdelrizak Mahmoud Abokor, Col. Osman Mohammed Jeele and Col. Abdi Warsama lsaq, the Minister of the Office of the Presidency) both as members.
Public Auditing:
Brig. -Gen. Mahmoud Geele Yusuf, the Minister of Ports and Sea Transport, being the Chairman, and Col. Ahmed Hassan Musa, the Minister of Agriculture being the Vice Chairman Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Shaikh Othman was appointed Chairman of the Committees’ Secretariat.

In other decrees issued following the declaration of the state of emergency included:

Permanent government, employees were awarded salary increases effective from Jan. 1, 1981
Provision was made for the establishment of Revolutionary Committees in all regions and districts of Somalia, and
Cuts were ordered in government expenditure (including the purchase of equipment from abroad and restrictions on the use of official cars).

At the end of January 1981 the Somali Salvation Front (SSF), an Ethiopian-backed opposition movement led by Col. Abdillahi Yusuf Ahmed (who had defected from Somalia with about 30 officers after an abortive coup attempt on April 9, 1978, claimed responsibility for eight explosions which had been reported in Mogadishu during the previous three weeks. Deriving its main support from the Majeerteen ethnic group in Northern Somalia, the SSF threatened on Feb. 8 to step up the bomb attacks and to assassinate leading officials in its campaign to overthrow the President.

Diplomatic sources reported on Jan. 22, 1981 that the series of bomb blasts had provoked a wave of arrests of suspected Soviet sympathizers (who were said to include a former minister). Radio Kulmis, the SSF radio station, claimed on Aug. 11, 1981 that the SSF had exploded two more bombs in Mogadishu, causing slight injuries.

A new opposition movement, the Somali National Movement (SNM), was launched in London on April 6, 1981, under the leadership of its first Chairman Ahmed Mohamed Gulaid (Ahmed Jimaale) and Spokesmanship of Mr. Hassan Adan Wadaadid (a former Somali ambassador to both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan), with the intention of organizing internal opposition and overthrowing President Siyad Barre’s regime. The SNM declared that it was trying to create a broader front than the other Somali opposition groups and insisted that it was not allied to either the United States or the Soviet Union.

The Economist (of March 6, 1982) reported that the leaders of the SNM, having previously avoided all contact with the Ethiopian Government, had held a series of discussions with the latter in the preceding three weeks, with a view to procuring bases in the Northern Ogaden from which the SNM could operate. Ahmed Ismail Abdi (Duqsi), secretary-general of the SNM and a former Minister of Planning, told The Economist in a telephone interview that the talks had been “extremely fruitful” and that a big offensive was planned for the near future.

Radio Kulmis announced on Oct. 16, 1981, that the SSF, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Somalia (DFLS) and the Somali Workers’ Party (a Soviet-backed movement established in South Yemen under the leadership of Mr. Hussein Said Jama, a former member of the SRSP’s central committee) had united to form the Somali Democratic Salvation Front (SDSF).

The formation of the SDSF followed a conference between the three organizations on Sept. 19–Oct. 5 and its objectives included the establishment of a democratic government, the introduction of a new constitution and the holding of free elections. Radio Kulmis announced on Oct. 18 that an 11-man committee was to lead the SDSF, under the chairmanship of Col. Yusuf, with Mr. Jama as vice-chairman and Mr. Ahmed Abdirahman Aydeed (the leader of the DFLS and reported to be a former chairman of the SRSP ideology bureau) as secretary for information.

Radio Kulmis reported on April 15, 1982, that in order to implement unity between the SDSF and the SNM, delegates from the two organizations had held a meeting from March 29 to April 8 at which it was agreed to appoint a working committee on unification charged with the task of putting forward concrete proposals within three months.

It was reported in the Western press on Feb. 12, 1982 that diplomatic sources and Somali dissidents were claiming that the Somali Government had crushed a mutiny in the Army after several days of fighting in the northern part of the country. However, a spokesman for the Somali Defense Ministry on Feb. 14 strongly denied reports that fighting had occurred within the country’s armed forces.

Somali dissidents claimed that elements of Somalia’s Eighth Army had mutinied in January 1982 after the summary execution of several senior officers who had been accused of collaboration with the SDSF. Western diplomatic sources, citing fragmentary accounts from the region, confirmed that fighting had taken place, but no details were given in these reports of the number of officers who had been executed. The dissidents alleged that the mutiny had involved elements in seven garrisons in northern Somalia, most notably at Burao, and that it had followed a guerrilla attack on Jan. 18 on the border town of Buhodleh. They claimed that the guerrillas had attacked army installations and had held the town for 12 hours after heavy fighting in which about 20 soldiers and policemen were killed. The dissidents further alleged that after the attack on Buhodleh 11 officers had been executed without trial for alleged collaboration with the guerrillas and that 84 people had been killed and 105 wounded in later fighting between mutineers and loyal troops (although these claims were not independently confirmed).

The guerrillas claimed that more than 200 people had fled to Ethiopia and others to Djibouti following the fighting between the mutineers and troops loyal to the Government; this claim was partially confirmed by sources from Djibouti which reported that dozens of Somalis had entered the territory since the beginning of February.

In both February and April 1982 there were reports that serious clashes had occurred between government troops and demonstrators in the northern town of Hargeisa.

Travelers arriving in Djibouti from northern Somalia reported on Feb. 22, 1982 that demonstrations had taken place outside the Hargeisa court where 37 teachers and students were facing charges of producing or distributing seditious pamphlets. At least 10 people were said to have been killed and 40 wounded when troops opened fire with automatic weapons on the demonstrators as the latter attempted to break into the building. Radio Kulmis claimed on Feb. 25 that the situation was deteriorating as more demonstrations erupted in other towns.

It was reported in The Times (of April 22, 1982) that civilians had again clashed with the security forces in Hargeisa in what was described as the “most serious outbreak of unrest so far”. This unrest reportedly occurred as a consequence of attacks on the security forces which were apparently organized by SNM supporters and resulted in the deaths of at least 12 civilians.

In the period from early 1981 to early 1982 the Somali Government announced three major amnesty measures applying to various categories of its internal and external opponents.

Amnesties were announced on Feb. 21, 1981, when it was declared that any Somali who had committed an offence against the state before Feb. 14 (whether convicted or not) and was living outside Somalia had been pardoned under a general amnesty. On Oct. 21, 1981, the President Siyad Barre decreed the release of 5,009 prisoners in a measure, which specifically excluded those who had committed crimes against the sovereignty, security and unity of Somalia, and all those sentenced to life imprisonment. And on Jan. 24, 1982, after the SRSP central committee had decided the previous day to grant an amnesty lasting three months to all those who had committed crimes against the Somali nation.

An official Somali source indicated on Feb. 14, 1982, that Mr. Mohamed Ibrahim Egal-the former Prime Minister who was first imprisoned following the 1969 coup, freed in 1975 and later rearrested for counter-revolutionary activities-had been released during the previous week under the amnesty measures.

Following an extraordinary meeting of the SRSP central committee on March 1, 1982, President Siyad Barre issued a directive lifting the state of emergency, thereby allowing SRC members to return to their former duties, and announced changes in both the party hierarchy and the Government. The new Government included several ministers who had previously served in the SRC, its principal members being as follows (with previous portfolios in parentheses):

Brig. -Gen. Mohammed Ali Samater First Vice-President and Defense
Maj.-Gen. Hussein Kulmiye Afrah Second Vice-President and Assistant to the President for Administration Affairs
Brig.-Gen. Ismail Ali Abokor Third Vice-President
Brig.-Gen. Ahmed Suleman Abdulla Planning
Col. Ahmed Mahmoud Farah Mineral Resources and Water Development
Col. Abdi Warsama Isaq (Minister at the Office of the Presidency) Labor and Social Affairs
Col. Mohammed Umar Jes (Tourism) Information and National Guidance
Col. Ahmed Hassan Musa (Agriculture) Public Works
Col. Musa Rabileh Goud Minister for the Presidency
Mr. Abdullahi Ahmed Addow Finance
Brig.-Gen. Bileh Rafleh Guled Agriculture
Mr. Osman Jama Ali Fisheries
Mr. Abderrahman Abdullah Osman Education
Dr. Abderrahman Jama Barreh Foreign Affairs
Dr. Abdullahi Osobleh Siyad Posts and Telecommunications
Maj.-Gen. Jama Mohammed Ghalib (Local Government and Rural Development) Civil Aviation and Transport
Mr. Ahmed Shire Mahmud Justice and Religious Affairs
Mr. Abdel-Qasim Salad Culture and Higher Education
Dr. Mohammed Ah Nur Livestock and Forestry
Mr. Abdi Salan Shaikh Hussein Ports and Sea Transport
Mr. Mohammed Umar Jama Commerce
Mr. Ahmed Jama Abdullah Jangeli Local Government and Rural Development
Col. Mire Awara Jama Youth and Sport

It was reported in mid-June 1982 that seven high-ranking officials including Brig.-Gen. Abokor, Mr. Omar Arteh Ghalib (the Somali Foreign Minister from 1969 until he was relieved of his post in 1976 and Mr. Mohammed Adan Sheikh (the Minister of Information and National Guidance from 1980 to 1982), had been arrested and charged with conspiracy in a plot involving an unspecified “enemy country”.

Following the reoccupation of the Ogaden by Ethiopian forces by the end of 1980 the Somali authorities alleged that Ethiopian forces had continued to carry out air raids and artillery attacks against Somali territory. Despite apparently peaceful overtures by both Somalia and Ethiopia, the most serious fighting since 1977–78 developed along the border during July 1982.

Mr. Adan Sheikh (then the Somali Minister for Information and National Guidance) claimed on June 15, 1981, that since Ethiopian military aircraft had begun attacking Somali territory in November 1979, 152 raids on 15 targets had left 196 people killed and some 400 wounded.

Mogadishu radio claimed that Ethiopian artillery had shelled Somali villages on Sept. 25 and Sept. 27, 1981, and that an Ethiopian air attack had been launched against a Somali village on Nov. 22. Somali embassy officials in Oman alleged on Jan. 19, 1982, that Ethiopian troops had launched a sudden attack, capturing the border town of Buhodleh before they were forced back, and added that “repeated aggressions” by Ethiopia “were aimed at paving the way for an invasion of Somalia”. Mogadishu radio claimed on March 27 that 58 Ethiopian soldiers had been killed when Ethiopian forces launched an air and ground attack near Borama in north-west Somalia. A Somali Defense Ministry statement alleged that Ethiopian forces had attacked a village in the Hargeisa district also in north-west Somalia on April 30 leaving 1 dead and 18 wounded.

President Siyad Barre of Somalia declared on June 29, 1981, after the OAU Heads of State and Government summit in Nairobi that he was prepared to meet immediately with Lt.-Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam, the Ethiopian head of state, to hold peace negotiations over the disputed Ogaden territory. President Siyad Barre said he would try to exert his influence over the Western Somali Liberation Front (WSLF) guerrillas, who were fighting to free the Ogaden region from Ethiopian control, and persuade them to cease hostilities. He also declared that although his Government gave “moral, political and diplomatic support” to the WSLF, Somalia did not and would not provide the guerrillas with weapons or training. President Siyad Barre added that Somalia did not seek territorial expansion and would “greatly welcome” initiatives to get negotiations going in search of a “fair, long-lasting political solution”.

In a speech on June 18, 1982, to the fourth regular plenary meeting of the central committee of the Commission for Organizing the Party of the Working People of Ethiopia (COPWE), Lt.-Gen. Mengistu criticized the “backward views” of President Siyad Barre but also said that Ethiopia was prepared to forget the past and was ready to hold peaceful talks with Somalia. A Somali Foreign Ministry Spokesman responded on June 21 that, while Somalia wanted peaceful coexistence, stability and good neighborliness in the Horn of Africa, it was unfortunate that the Mengistu regime had not responded to the goodwill shown by Somalia to find a peaceful solution. Thereafter, both Ethiopia and Somalia accused each other of being insincere about the other’s commitment to a lasting peace.

Fighting along the border broke out at the end of June 1982, and by early August it appeared that the Ethiopian-backed SDSF forces were holding positions some 20 miles inside Somalia. Conflicting claims were made as to who actually composed the “invading forces”, with the Ethiopian authorities and the SDSF claiming that it was purely an internal Somali affair, whereas the Somali Government claimed that the incursion was an act of Ethiopian aggression.

A Somali Defense Ministry statement declared that an Ethiopian Army unit had crossed the border on June 30 in the Mudug region (central Somalia), but had been halted by the Somali armed forces, and on July 8 a Mogadishu radio commentary claimed that Ethiopia had launched several “unprovoked attacks” in the past few days. Radio Kulmis claimed that the SDSF had inflicted considerable casualties on the Somali forces during the first 10 days of fighting (i.e. since June 30) and that it had captured the village of Goldogob. The SDSF further claimed on July 12 that it had attacked towns and military bases in the Mudug, Nugal and Hiiran regions, and Mr. Mohammed Abshir, the SDSF Spokesman in Addis Ababa, urged all nations to “stay neutral and leave the Somali people to settle their internal differences”.

President Siyad Barre sent a message on July 12 to President Daniel Arap Moi of Kenya, the current President of the OAU, claiming that Ethiopia was preparing for a “full-scale war” against Somalia and asking for OAU support to end the Ethiopian incursions. In response, President Arap Moi on July 14 appealed to Ethiopia to desist from any action which could plunge the entire region into war, and also appealed to both countries to accept OAU decisions concerning the dispute and to institute an immediate ceasefire.

Mr. Barre (the Somali Foreign Minister) also sent a message on July 12 to Sr. Javier Pérez de Cuellar, the UN Secretary-General, urging the UN to condemn Ethiopia’s “savage attacks” (which, he claimed, were designed to undermine Somali sovereignty) and to order their immediate cessation. However, an Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman declared on July 13 that Somali allegations that Ethiopia had violated Somali territory were not only “deceitful” but also “an attempt to cover up the chaos” that the Siyad Barre regime had brought to “the oppressed people of Somalia’ in a vain attempt designed to distract the attention of the Somali people from the country’s situation and at the same time to hoodwink world opinion”.

A US State Department Spokesman confirmed on July 24 that the United States had begun airlifting military equipment to Somalia “in connection with the recent incursion by Ethiopia and Ethiopian-backed forces”. It was later stated that this emergency military aid was limited to rifles, ammunition and communications equipment and did not include anti-aircraft guns and radar as had earlier been suggested. However, US officials indicated that deliveries of previously ordered weapons (which had included anti-aircraft guns and radar) had been accelerated [For 1980 military assistance agreement between Somalia and the United States, which included a provision that the latter would be allowed base facilities in Somalia.

The US military airlift was warmly welcomed by the Somali Government, but was condemned by Ethiopia, which claimed that the airlift was aimed at escalating the conflict; the SDSF, which said that the US decision would internationalize a “purely internal conflict”; and the Soviet Union, which warned that military support for Somalia would provoke a new escalation of the tension in the Horn of Africa and would represent a threat to both Ethiopia and Kenya.

It was also reported in late July that Italy was sending arms to Somalia which, although smaller in quantity than the US airlift, were likely to be assimilated more quickly since Somalia already possessed Italian military equipment.

Only sporadic guerrilla activity was reported in the Ogaden region from late 1981 to early 1982, with the WSLF occasionally claiming that it had inflicted some casualties on Ethiopian troops. However, in mid-1982, the WSLF again became more active, and it was speculated in the Western press that the Ethiopian-backed incursion was partly in response to the recent increase in WSLF operations.

The number of refugees entering Somalia from the Ogaden continued to increase during 1980–81 and their plight was made worse first by a prolonged drought and then by serious flooding in April 1981. Complaints were made by international aid organizations during the latter part of 1981 that not all the aid was reaching the refugees and serious doubts were expressed concerning the validity of the Somali Government’s estimates of the total number of refugees.

A sudden upsurge in the number of refugees arriving in Somalia was reported in early November 1980, when Mr. Stephen Green, the Mogadishu-based field director of the relief agency Oxfam, said that 2,000 refugees were arriving daily in north-west Somalia, 500 a day at Hiiran in the south and a further 400 to 500 daily at reception points in the south-western Gedo province. In addition to those refugees in the camps, Somali Government officials estimated that an equal number had entered the country and settled with relatives.

According to a spokesman of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), conditions in the refugee camps “threatened to become catastrophic” in early 1981 as a consequence of the worst drought for 30 years. The Somali Government responded by opening an international appeal on March 8 for 470,000 tons of food to meet projected deficiencies for 1981 and warned that it might need even more. The drought was followed by flooding, which began on April 14 when the River Shebelle (one of Somalia’s two main rivers) burst its banks, threatening the lives of many refugees. The Government stated on May 5 that 151 villages were either isolated or submerged by the floods, with some “hundreds of thousands of people” isolated in their home villages and “on the verge of starvation”.

Reports in mid-1981 indicated that the Somali authorities had begun to deal with the problem of thefts of food intended for refugees by imprisoning lorry drivers who had been caught stealing and by dismissing several government-employed camp commanders as well as regional officials suspected of misappropriation of supplies. However, other reports stated that although food was no longer disappearing on arrival in Mogadishu or on the road it was instead being stolen by armed men from warehouses and was being diverted to feed the Somali Army and the Somali-backed guerrillas fighting in the Ogaden.

The Somali Government’s official estimates of its refugee population were increasingly called into question by various agencies. Mr. Otto Hagenbuchle, the head of the Mogadishu office of the UNHCR, stated at the end of June 1981 that “for planning purposes we have arrived at a tentative figure, which is somewhere around 650,000”, whereas a report by the UN Department of Technical Co-operation for Development, whose findings were disclosed the following month, suggested that refugees in camps might number 450,000 and could not exceed 620,000. Both these estimates were substantially below the Somali Government’s official figure of 1,317,000

The economic program which the Somali Government had adopted with the support of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in February 1980 led, according to the IMF, to an improvement in economic performance and financial management, a reduction of the budget deficit and an improvement in the balance of payments. Nevertheless, “serious economic imbalances” remained, and the IMF accordingly announced on July 17, 1981, that it had approved a one-year standby arrangement for the Somali Government authorizing purchases up to the equivalent of 43,130,000 special drawing rights (SDR), about $49,000,000, in support of the Government’s economic and financial program. A further 18-month standby arrangement was approved by the IMF on July 12, 1982, authorizing purchases up to the equivalent of SDR 60,000,000 (about $65,000,000) in support of the Government’s 1982–83 economic and financial adjustment program.

The IMF noted in July 1981 that the Somali economy had in recent years suffered from low rates of growth, high rates of inflation, and a weakening balance-of-payments position stemming largely from adverse weather conditions, political developments in the area, declining levels of foreign aid, and their impact on the country’s financial policies.

The 1981 economic program involved:  a devaluation of the Somali shilling by 50 per cent in foreign currency terms for all foreign exchange transactions except for imports of specified essential goods, a discontinuation of imports requiring Somali foreign exchange, an upward revision of prices, a reassessment of the position of public enterprises, and  a significant tightening of fiscal and monetary policies, including an increase in interest rates. As a result of these measures and favorable weather conditions, the economic and financial situation, according to the IMF, improved markedly during 1981, with the rate of inflation slowing down and the balance-of-payments deficit narrowing considerably.

The important elements of the 1982–83 economic programme included further exchange rate action; the unification of the dual exchange rate system; the pegging of the Somali shilling to the SDR; an increased inflow of imports; a liberalization of pricing policies; a detailed review of the position of public enterprises; a tightening of fiscal and monetary policies; and a further increase in interest rates

It was announced on Aug. 25, 1981 that the Somali Government had decided on the previous day to break off diplomatic relations with Libya and to give Libyan embassy officials 48 hours to leave the country. Mogadishu radio reported that this decision was taken in view of the “continuous conspiracies of the Qadhafi regime against the Somali people and its participation in the constant and unjustified provocations, attacks and aggression against the Somali Democratic Republic”. According to the same broadcast, the decision was also prompted by the tripartite summit held in Aden on Aug. 17–19 between the leaders of South Yemen, Libya and Ethiopia and the subsequent communiqué issued by Col. Moamer Al Qadhafi, the Libyan leader, and Lt.-Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam, the Ethiopian head of state, manifesting “animosity against the Somali people”.

The Guardian (of Sept. 12, 1981) reported that Col. Qadhafi had emerged as the chief supplier of weapons to the SSF guerrillas fighting against the Somali Government. Mr. Hirsi Magan, a senior SSF political officer attached to a fighting unit inside Somalia, was quoted in this report as stating that Libya had begun delivering military equipment to the SSF some six months earlier and was now the SSF’s main source of weapons

Relations between Somalia and Kenya, which had deteriorated following the signing in December 1980 of a joint Ethiopian-Kenyan communiqué on “Somali expansionism”, improved in June 1981 when President Siyad Barre and President Arap Moi of Kenya signed a co-operation accord which ended several years of hostility between the two countries. Nevertheless, the activities of ethnic Somali guerrillas seeking the secession of Kenya’s North-Eastern Province continued to represent an underlying source of strain in Somali-Kenyan relations.

President Siyad Barre had bilateral talks with President Arap Moi in Nairobi on June 29, 1981, after the 18th Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the OAU. The two leaders issued a joint communiqué which spoke of “a commitment to promote better understanding and collaboration in the interest and welfare of the two nations” and added that regular meetings would be held in future to develop co-operation.

This improvement in relations between the two countries was preceded by a Somali offer of economic co-operation, made by Dr. Hussein Abdulkadir Qasim, then Somali Minister of Mineral Resources and Water Development, who was reported by Mogadishu radio on June 17 as having told Kenyan television that Somalia was prepared to participate in economic co-operation between the countries of the Horn of Africa. It was subsequently reported in early August that Somalia had offered to help Kenya control insurgents along their common border and in north-east Kenya, and further details of such joint border operations were worked out at a meeting at the border town of Mandera on Aug. 25.

It had been reported in late April 1981 that Somali guerrillas, who had been fighting a sporadic campaign against the Kenyan security forces since Kenyan independence in 1963, had for the first time organized themselves into a movement, the Northern Frontier District Liberation Front (NFDLF), which sought independence for Kenya’s North-Eastern Province followed by a referendum for the people to decide whether they wanted to join Somalia. Members of the NFDLF were reported to have visited Arab countries asking for financial assistance.

Other recent developments in Somalia’s foreign relations included: a tour of West Africa by President Siyad Barre in June 1981, which included the signing on June 5 of a cooperation agreement with Nigeria (covering economic, scientific, technical, cultural and educational fields), and visits to Benin, Ivory Coast and Sudan;  an announcement by Signor Emiho Colombo, the Italian Foreign Minister, on Aug. 6, 1981 that Italy would provide over $200,000,000 in aid to Somalia (the package including a new three-year economic and technical cooperation agreement and an increase in food aid); an announcement on Feb. 1, 1982, that Portugal and Somalia had established diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level; and the expulsion of Mr. Dimiter Yanakiev, the Bulgarian chargé D’affaires, who was given 48 hours to leave Somalia on March 28, 1982, because of his “interference in internal security”.-(Guardian – International Herald Tribune – Daily Telegraph – Times – Le Monde – New York Times – Financial Times – Economist – Africa Confidential – Africa Now – UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva – IMF, Washington – BBC Summary of World Broadcasts)

Keesing’s Record of World Events (formerly Keesing’s Contemporary Archives),
Volume 28, September, 1982 Somalia, Somali, Page 31688