Briefing from ROAPE Volume 16 Number 44
Somalia: Conflicts within and against Military Regime
On 23 May 1986, President Mohammed Siad Barre sustained serious body and head injuries in a car crash and had to be flown to Saudi Arabia for 6 weeks hospitalisation. It was months before he recovered fully, though he formally resumed the duties of the presidency again in August. The accident had major political repercussions, setting off political manoeuvres within the government and the President's own clan, the Marehan. For the first time in Siad's 17 year rule, attention was focused on the succession to the more than 79-year old President. His illness revealed considerable weaknesses and divisions within the regime and a lack of consensus among the various factions and clans on who should succeed him.