Timeline: Somalia, 1972-1984


1974 – Somalia joins the Arab League. 1974-75 – Severe drought causes widespread starvation.

1977 Feb 24, Pres. Carter announced the US was cutting off all military aid to Ethiopia because of its human rights violations. The unstated reason was the US desire to cooperate with Saudi Arabia to lure Somalia from the Soviet camp, an effort which was ultimately successful.

1977 Oct 18, West German commandos stormed a hijacked Lufthansa jetliner that was on the ground in Mogadishu, Somalia, freeing all 86 hostages and killing three of the four hijackers, Palestinians of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. In 1996 Suhaila al-Sayeh was sentenced to 12 years in prison by a German court.

1977 Somalia and Ethiopia engaged in battle. The Soviet Union provided tanks to both sides. Somalia tried and failed to push into the Ogaden area of Ethiopia. The Somalis managed to reach the walled city of Harer, a center for Islam in Ethiopia. An Ethiopian counter-offensive backed by Cuban troops wrecked Somalia’s army and led to the 1991 of the Somali regime.

1977-1978 – Somalia invades the Ogaden region of Ethiopia. Ethiopia rebels and weakens Somalia’s forces. The two countries have fought on and off since 1960.

1978 Feb 7, Ethiopia mounted a counter attack against Somalia.
(HN, 2/7/99)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogaden_War)

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1979 Aug 25, Somalia adopted a 2nd constitution. The first was adopted in 1961 following independence.

1981 Apr, A group of Isaaq emigres living in London formed the Somali National Movement (SNM), which subsequently became the strongest of Somalia’s various insurgent movements. According to its spokesmen, the rebels wanted to overthrow Siad Barre’s dictatorship.

1981 Oct, The Somali National Movement (SNM) rebels elected Ahmad Mahammad Culaid and Ahmad Ismaaiil Abdi as chairman and secretary general, respectively, of the movement.
1981 Oct, The Somali Salvation Front (SSF) merged with the radical-left Somali Workers Party (SWP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Somalia (DFLS) to form the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).

1981 Northern Somalia rebelled against dictator Mohammed Siad Barre. A national civil war followed. During the civil was an estimated 40,000 people were killed and about 400,000 refugees fled to Ethiopia.
(SFC, 4/10/96, A-5)
1981 China emerged as a major arms supplier to the Siad Barre regime in Somalia.

1982 Jan 2, The Somali National Movement (SNM) launched its first military operation against the Somali government. Operating from Ethiopian bases.

1983 Feb, Siad Barre visited northern Somalia in a campaign to discredit the SNM. Among other things, he ordered the release of numerous civil servants and businessmen who had been arrested for antigovernment activities, lifted the state of emergency, and announced an amnesty for Somali exiles who wanted to return home.

1984 Feb, During a truth commission in Kenya in 2011 human rights groups and residents said up to 3,000 people died in February 1984 in a government-sanctioned operation meant to crack down on ethnic Somalis who were holding illegal weapons. The killings occurred at Wagalla airstrip, a town some 310 miles (500 km) northeast of Nairobi.
(AP, 4/12/11)


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