The Most Famous

POLITICIANS from Somalia

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This page contains a list of the greatest Somali Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 19,576 Politicians, 29 of which were born in Somalia. This makes Somalia the birth place of the 83rd most number of Politicians behind Cyprus, and Guatemala.

Top 10

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.

Photo of Mohamed Farrah Aidid

1. Mohamed Farrah Aidid (1934 - 1996)

With an HPI of 61.76, Mohamed Farrah Aidid is the most famous Somali Politician.  His biography has been translated into 30 different languages on wikipedia.

Mohamed Farrah Hassan Garad, known as General Aidid or Aideed (Somali: Maxamed Faarax Xasan Garaad, 'Caydiid Garaad'; 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 become 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 5 June 1993 attack on the Pakistanis, the SNA—and by extension, Aidid—were 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 12 July 1993 Abdi House raid, which resulted in the death of many eminent members of his Habr Gidr clan, Aidid began deliberately targeting American troops for the first time. President Bill Clinton responded by implementing Operation Gothic Serpent, and deploying Delta Force and Task Force Ranger to capture him. The high American casualty rate of the ensuing Battle of Mogadishu on 3-4 October 1993, led UNOSOM to cease its four month long mission.In 1995, Aidid declared himself president of Somalia. He was killed the following year in Mogadishu on 1 August 1996, aged 61.

Photo of Siad Barre

2. Siad Barre (1919 - 1995)

With an HPI of 60.81, Siad Barre is the 2nd most famous Somali Politician.  His biography has been translated into 51 different languages.

Mohammed Siad Barre (Somali: Maxamed Siyaad Barre, Osmanya script: 𐒑𐒖𐒄𐒖𐒑𐒗𐒆 𐒈𐒘𐒕𐒛𐒆 𐒁𐒖𐒇𐒇𐒗, Arabic: محمد زياد بري Muhammad Siad Bariy; c. 6 October 1909 – 2 January 1995) was a Somali major general, politician and revolutionary who served as the third president of Somalia from 21 October 1969 to 26 January 1991. Barre, the commander of the Somali National Army, became president of Somalia after the 1969 coup d'état that overthrew the Somali Republic following the assassination of President Abdirashid 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 spoke three languages, English, Somali and Italian. 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 the Derg in Ethopia 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 in Nigeria, where he died in 1995 on the way to the hospital after suffering a heart attack.

Photo of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud

3. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (b. 1955)

With an HPI of 60.37, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is the 3rd most famous Somali Politician.  His biography has been translated into 45 different languages.

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (Somali; Xasan Sheekh Maxamuud; born 29 November 1955) is a Somali politician who has served as the president of Somalia since May 2022. He is the founder and current chairman of the Union for Peace and Development Party. He was indirectly elected as President of the Federal Republic of Somalia on 15 May 2022, defeating the incumbent president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. He previously served as the 8th president of Somalia from 2012 to 2017. A civil and political rights activist, Hassan was previously a university professor and dean at SIMAD University, which he co-founded.In April 2013, Hassan was named in the Time 100, Time magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. His efforts at advancing national reconciliation, anti-corruption measures, and socio-economic and security sector reforms in Somalia were cited as reasons for the selection. He was born in Jalalaqsi, an agricultural town situated in central Hiran in present-day Somalia, during the trusteeship period, and comes from a middle-class background. Hassan is married to Qamar Ali Omar and has seven children.

Photo of Hassan Gouled Aptidon

4. Hassan Gouled Aptidon (1916 - 2006)

With an HPI of 58.76, Hassan Gouled Aptidon is the 4th most famous Somali Politician.  His biography has been translated into 41 different languages.

Hassan Gouled Aptidon (Somali: Xasan Guuleed Abtidoon; Arabic: حسن جوليد أبتيدون; October 15, 1916 – November 21, 2006) was the first President of Djibouti from 1977 to 1999.

Photo of Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed

5. Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed (1934 - 2012)

With an HPI of 55.41, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed is the 5th most famous Somali Politician.  His biography has been translated into 38 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.

Photo of Muse Bihi Abdi

6. Muse Bihi Abdi (b. 1948)

With an HPI of 55.08, Muse Bihi Abdi is the 6th most famous Somali Politician.  His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.

Musa Bihi Abdi (Somali: Muuse Biixi Cabdi, Arabic: موسى بيحي عبدي) (born 1948) 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.

Photo of Aden Adde

7. Aden Adde (1908 - 2007)

With an HPI of 55.08, Aden Adde is the 7th most famous Somali Politician.  His biography has been translated into 42 different languages.

Aden Abdulle Osman Da’ar (Somali: Aadan Cabdulle Cismaan Dacar, Arabic: آدم عبد الله عثمان دعر) (9 December 1908 – 8 June 2007), popularly known as Aden Adde, was a Somali politician who served as the first president of the Somali Republic from 1 July 1960 to 6 July 1967. He had 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 Speaker of the Legislative Assembly until 1960. 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, he 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 Somalia on 1 July 1960, on which date the United Nations recognised Somalia's independence, and subsequently united with the former British protectorate of British Somaliland, which had already obtained its independence on 26 June 1960. His administration was focused on dismantling the legacy of colonialism and fostering unity among the Somali people.

Photo of Nur Hassan Hussein

8. Nur Hassan Hussein (1937 - 2020)

With an HPI of 54.61, Nur Hassan Hussein is the 8th most famous Somali Politician.  His biography has been translated into 30 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.

Photo of Abdirashid Shermarke

9. Abdirashid Shermarke (1919 - 1969)

With an HPI of 52.93, Abdirashid Shermarke is the 9th 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 Sharmarke.

Photo of Ali Mahdi Muhammad

10. Ali Mahdi Muhammad (1939 - 2021)

With an HPI of 52.35, Ali Mahdi Muhammad is the 10th 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 27 August 1993. 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.

People

Pantheon has 33 people classified as Somali politicians born between 1908 and 1982. Of these 33, 18 (54.55%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living Somali politicians include Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Muse Bihi Abdi, and Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud. The most famous deceased Somali politicians include Mohamed Farrah Aidid, Siad Barre, and Hassan Gouled Aptidon. As of April 2024, 5 new Somali politicians have been added to Pantheon including Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur, Hamza Abdi Barre, and Edna Adan Ismail.

Living Somali Politicians

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Deceased Somali Politicians

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Newly Added Somali Politicians (2024)

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Overlapping Lives

Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 13 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.