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 72.35, Siad Barre is the most famous Somali Politician. His biography has been translated into 48 different languages on wikipedia.
Jaalle Mohamed Siad Barre (Somali: Maxamed Siyaad Barre; Arabic: محمد سياد بري; 1910 – January 2, 1995) was a Somali General who served as the President of the Somali Democratic Republic from 1969 to 1991. Barre, a major general of the gendarmerie, 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, renaming the country the Somali Democratic Republic and adopting 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. 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 forcing him into exile where he died in Nigeria in 1995.
With an HPI of 70.79, Mohamed Farrah Aidid is the 2nd most famous Somali Politician. His biography has been translated into 27 different languages.
Mohamed Farrah Hassan Aidid (Somali: Maxamed Faarax Xasan Caydiid, Arabic: محمد فرح حسن عيديد; 15 December 1934 – 1 August 1996) was a Somali warlord. A former general and diplomat, he was the chairman of the United Somali Congress (USC) and later led the Somali National Alliance (SNA). Along with other armed opposition groups, he succeeded in overthrowing and exiled President Mohamed Siad Barre's socialist and anti-communist regime from Somalia during the Somali Civil War that broke out in the early 1990s. In 1992, Aidid attacked United Nations troops, causing him to be named the Worlds first Wanted Man of the Unified Task Force. After UN peacekeepers withdrew in 1993, 18 American soldiers were killed by Aidid's forces, which also attacked peacekeepers, incited violence, and committed crimes against humanity at Aidid's behest.On August 1, 1996, Aidid suffered a heart attack and died at the age of 61.
With an HPI of 68.02, Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi is the 3rd most famous Somali Politician. His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.
Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi (Somali: Axmad Ibraahim al-Gaasi, Harari: አህመድ ኢብራሂም አል-ጋዚ, Arabic: أحمد بن إبراهيم الغازي ; c. 1506 – 21 February 1543) was a Somali Imam and General of the Adal Sultanate who fought against the Abyssinian empire. With the help of an army overwhelmingly manned by ethnic Somalis, supplemented with the Afars, Hararis and a small number of Ottoman Arabs and Turks. Imam Ahmad (nicknamed Gurey in Somali, "Gura" in Afar and Gragn in Amharic (ግራኝ Graññ), all meaning "the left-handed"), embarked on a conquest which brought three-quarters of Abyssinia (modern day Ethiopia) under the power of the Muslim Sultanate of Adal during the Ethiopian-Adal War.
With an HPI of 67.54, 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, 1916 – November 21, 2006) was the first President of Djibouti from 1977 to 1999.
With an HPI of 65.44, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed is the 5th most famous Somali Politician. His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.
Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed (Somali: Cabdullaahi 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, where he served as the autonomous region's 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 65.44, Nur Hassan Hussein is the 6th most famous Somali Politician. His biography has been translated into 27 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 63.93, Aden Adde is the 7th most famous Somali Politician. His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.
Aden Abdulle Osman Daar (Somali: Aadan Cabdulle Cismaan Daar, 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 Somalia from July 1, 1960 to July 6, 1967. A leader of the Mudug Regional Council, he was the first President of the Somali Republic present-day known as Somalia. 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. In 1944, he joined the Somali Youth League. 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. 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 oneness and 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 July 1, 1960. On July 1, 1960, the United Nations approved Somalia's independence, and subsequently united with the former "British protectorate" of northern Somalia, which had already victoriously 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 63.17, Ali Mahdi Muhammad is the 8th most famous Somali Politician. His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.
Ali Mahdi Muhammad (Somali: Cali Mahdi Maxamed, Arabic: علي مهدي محمد) (born January 1, 1939) is a Somali entrepreneur and politician. He served as President of Somalia from January 26, 1991 to January 3, 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 President Siad Barre. However, Muhammad was not able to exert his authority beyond parts of the capital. Power was instead vied with other faction leaders in the southern half of the country and with autonomous subnational entities in the north.
With an HPI of 62.23, Hassan Ali Khayre is the 9th most famous Somali Politician. His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.
Hassan Ali Khaire (or alternatively transliterated as Hassan Ali Khayre, Somali: Xasan Cali Khayre, Arabic: حسن علي خيري; born 1968), popularly known as Hassan Khaire, is a Somali activist and former refugee to Norway, manager, politician and is the former Prime Minister of Somalia. He was appointed on 23 February 2017 by Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed "Faarmajo" and removed from office in late July 2020. Khaire is a former oil executive. He has been a regional director of the Norwegian Refugee Council charity and served as the director of the British oil company Soma Oil and Gas.
With an HPI of 61.92, Abdirashid Shermarke is the 10th most famous Somali Politician. His biography has been translated into 25 different languages.
Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke (Somali: Cabdirashiid Cali Sharmaarke, Arabic: عبد الرشيد علي شارماركي) (June 8, 1919 – October 15, 1969), also known as Abdirashid Shermarke, was Prime Minister of Somali Republic from July 12, 1960, to June 14, 1964, and President of Somali Republic from July 6, 1967, until his assassination on October 15, 1969. He was the father of Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke.
Pantheon has 22 people classified as politicians born between 1506 and 1982. Of these 22, 12 (54.55%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Ali Mahdi Muhammad, Hassan Ali Khayre, and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. The most famous deceased politicians include Siad Barre, Mohamed Farrah Aidid, and Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi. As of October 2020, 1 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Muse Bihi Abdi.
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Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 9 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.