The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Somali Politicians of all time. This list of famous Somali Politicians is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Somali Politicians.
With an HPI of 63.29, Mohamed Farrah Aidid is the most famous Somali Politician. His biography has been translated into 30 different languages on wikipedia.
Mohamed Farrah Hassan Aidid (Somali: Maxamed Faarax Xasan Caydiid; Arabic: محمد فرح حسن عيديد; 15 December 1934 – 1 August 1996) was a Somali general and diplomat. Educated in both Rome and Moscow, he served as a chief in the Italian colonial police force and later as a brigadier general in the Somali National Army. He would eventually became chairman of the United Somali Congress (USC), and soon after the Somali National Alliance (SNA). Along with other armed opposition groups, he succeeded in toppling President Siad Barre's 22 year old regime following the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991.Aidid possessed aspirations for presidency of the new Somali government, and would begin to seek alliances and unions with other politico-military organizations in order to form a national government.Following the June 5, 1993 attack on the Pakistanis, the SNA - and by extension Aidid, would be blamed for the death of 25 UNOSOM II peacekeepers, causing him to become one of the first "Wanted Men" of the United Nations. After the US led July 12, 1993 Abdi House raid, which resulted in the death of many eminent members of his Habr Gidr clan, Aidid would begin deliberately targeting American troops for the first time, which would lead President Clinton to implement Operation Gothic Serpent and deploy Delta Force and Task Force Ranger to capture him. The ensuing disastrous Battle of Mogadishu on October 3–4, 1993, would lead UNOSOM to finally relent in its four month long attempt to capture him.In 1995, Aidid declared himself president of Somalia. He was killed the following year in Mogadishu on August 1, 1996.
With an HPI of 62.33, Siad Barre is the 2nd most famous Somali Politician. His biography has been translated into 49 different languages.
Mohamed Siad Barre (Somali: Maxamed Siyaad Barre, Osmanya script: 𐒑𐒖𐒄𐒖𐒑𐒗𐒆 𐒈𐒘𐒕𐒛𐒆 𐒁𐒖𐒇𐒇𐒗; Arabic: محمد سياد بري; c. 1910 – 2 January 1995) was a Somali head of state and general who served as the 3rd president of the Somali Democratic Republic from 1969 to 1991. He was given the childhood nickname Afweyne roughly referring to extraversion. Barre, a major general of the gendarmerie by profession, became President of Somalia after the 1969 coup d'état that overthrew the Somali Republic following the assassination of President Abdirashid Ali Shermarke. The Supreme Revolutionary Council military junta under Barre reconstituted Somalia as a one-party Marxist–Leninist communist state, renamed the country the Somali Democratic Republic and adopted scientific socialism (with support from the Soviet Union). Barre's early rule was characterised by attempts at widespread modernization, nationalization of banks and industry, promotion of cooperative farms, a new writing system for the Somali language, and anti-tribalism. The Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party became Somalia's vanguard party in 1976, and Barre started the Ogaden War against Ethiopia on a platform of Somali nationalism and pan-Somalism. Barre's popularity was highest during the seven months between September 1977 and March 1978 when Barre captured virtually the entirety of the Somali region. It declined from the late-1970s following Somalia's defeat in the Ogaden War, triggering the Somali Rebellion and severing ties with the Soviet Union. Somalia then allied itself with the Western powers and especially the United States for the remainder of the Cold War, although it maintained its Marxist–Leninist regime and also drew close to China. Opposition grew in the 1980s due to his increasingly dictatorial rule, growth of tribal politics, abuses of the National Security Service including the Isaaq genocide and the sharp decline of Somalia's economy. In 1991, Barre’s government collapsed as the Somali Rebellion successfully ejected him from power, leading to the Somali Civil War and a massive power vacuum in its wake. Barre was forced into exile where he died in Nigeria in 1995 on the way to the hospital after suffering a heart attack.
With an HPI of 58.36, Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi is the 3rd most famous Somali Politician. His biography has been translated into 27 different languages.
Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi (Somali: Axmed Ibraahim al-Qaasi or Axmed Gurey, Harari: አሕመድ ኢብራሂም አል-ጋዚ, Arabic: أحمد بن إبراهيم الغازي ; c. 1506 – 21 February 1543) was an imam and general of the Adal Sultanate. Imam Ahmad (commonly named Ahmed Gurey in Somali, and Gura in Afar, both meaning "the left-handed" or "the southpaw"), invaded the Ethiopian Empire under the Sultanate of Adal during the Ethiopian-Adal War.
With an HPI of 57.97, Hassan Gouled Aptidon is the 4th most famous Somali Politician. His biography has been translated into 39 different languages.
Hassan Gouled Aptidon (Somali: Xasan Guuleed Abtidoon; Arabic: حسن جوليد أبتيدون) (October 15, 1915 – November 21, 2006) was the first President of Djibouti from 1977 to 1999.
With an HPI of 56.74, Ali Mahdi Muhammad is the 5th most famous Somali Politician. His biography has been translated into 24 different languages.
Ali Mahdi Muhammad (Somali: Cali Mahdi Maxamed, Arabic: علي مهدي محمد) (1 January 1939 – 10 March 2021) was a Somali entrepreneur and politician. He served as President of Somalia from 26 January 1991 to 3 January 1997. The Cairo Agreement in December 1997 designated Ali Mahdi as president once again, a position he held until being succeeded by Abdiqasim Salad in the year 2000.Muhammad rose to power after a coalition of armed opposition groups, including his own United Somali Congress, deposed longtime dictator Siad Barre. However, Muhammad was not able to exert his authority beyond parts of the capital, and instead vied for power with other faction leaders in the southern half of the country and with autonomous subnational entities in the north.
With an HPI of 56.14, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed is the 6th most famous Somali Politician. His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.
Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed (Somali: Cabdulaahi Yuusuf Axmed, Arabic: عبدالله يوسف أحمد; 15 December 1934 – 23 March 2012) was a Somali politician and former colonel in the Somali National Army. He was one of the founders of the Somali Salvation Democratic Front, as well as the Puntland State of Somalia, the latter of which he served as the first president. In 2004, Ahmed also helped establish the Transitional Federal Government, which he led as President of Somalia from 2004 until 2008.
With an HPI of 54.74, Aden Adde is the 7th most famous Somali Politician. His biography has been translated into 38 different languages.
Aden Abdulle Osman Daar (Somali: Aadan Cabdulle Cismaan Dacar, Arabic: آدم عبد الله عثمان دعر) (December 9, 1908 – June 8, 2007), popularly known as Aden Adde, was a Somali politician who served as the first president of the Somali Republic from July 1, 1960 to July 6, 1967. He previously served in the Somali Youth League In 1944. In 1946, he was named Secretary of the party's section in Beledweyne, Somalia. In 1951, the Mudug Regional Council appointed him for the Regional Council, and two years later, he became Vice President of the Regional Council. From 1954 until 1956, he was the President of the Somali Youth League. He was re-elected in May 1958, and he continued to hold this position simultaneously along with that of President of the Legislative Assembly until 1960, Succeeded by his deputy Hagi Bashir Ismail Yussuf as President of Somalia National Assembly. Osman Daar was born in Beledweyne, Somalia. He studied at government schools, and worked as a community organizer. Somalia was colonized by the Italian government from 1889 to 1941. From 1929 to 1941, Osman Daar served in the Italian Colonial Administration advocating for Somalia's independence from colonization. He was a proponent for the unity of all Somalis. In 1960, Osman Daar garnered national attention, and won the favor of the Somali people. He was formally and democratically elected as the first president of the Somalia on July 1, 1960. On July 1, 1960, the United Nations approved the Somalia's independence, and subsequently united with the former British protectorate of British Somalia, which had already obtained its independence on June 26, 1960. His administration was focused on dismantling the legacy of colonialism and fostering unity among the Somali people.
With an HPI of 52.72, Abdirashid Shermarke is the 8th most famous Somali Politician. His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.
Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke (Somali: Cabdirashiid Cali Sharmaarke, Arabic: عبد الرشيد علي شارماركي) (8 June 1919 – 15 October 1969), also known as Abdirashid Shermarke, was Prime Minister of Somali Republic from 12 July 1960, to 14 June 1964, and President of Somali Republic from 6 July 1967, until his assassination on October 15, 1969. He was the father of Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke.
With an HPI of 52.62, Nur Hassan Hussein is the 9th most famous Somali Politician. His biography has been translated into 29 different languages.
Nur Hassan Hussein (Somali: Nuur Xasan Xuseen Cadde, Arabic: نور حسن حسين; 2 February 1938 – 1 April 2020), popularly known as Nur Adde, was a Somali politician, who served as Prime Minister of Somalia from November 2007 to February 2009. He was from Mogadishu and part of the Abgaal sub-clan of the Hawiye.
With an HPI of 51.88, Muse Bihi Abdi is the 10th most famous Somali Politician. His biography has been translated into 21 different languages.
Musa Bihi Abdi (Somali: Muuse Biixi Cabdi, Arabic: موسى بيحي عبدي) (born 1948 in Hargeisa, British Somaliland, now Somaliland) is a Somaliland politician and former military officer who has been President of Somaliland since December 2017. During the 1970s, he served as a pilot in the Somali Air Force under the Siad Barre administration. In 2010, Bihi was appointed the Chairman of the ruling Kulmiye of Republic of Somaliland. In November 2015, Bihi was selected as the party's Presidential Candidate at the 5th annual central committee convention.On 21 November 2017 Muse Bihi was announced the winner of the 2017 presidential election. He officially became the President of Somaliland on 13 December 2017.
Pantheon has 30 people classified as politicians born between 1506 and 1982. Of these 30, 17 (56.67%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Muse Bihi Abdi, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, and Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. The most famous deceased politicians include Mohamed Farrah Aidid, Siad Barre, and Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi. As of April 2022, 8 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Abdulqawi Yusuf, Hussein Farrah Aidid, and Mohamed Hussein Roble.
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Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 12 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.