HISTORY. The Somali Republic came into being on 1 July 1960 as a result of the merger of the British Somaliland Protectorate, which became independent on 26 June 1960, and the Italian Trusteeship Territory of Somalia. On 21 Oct. 1969 Maj.-Gen. Mohammed Siyad Barre took power in a coup and formed a Supreme Revolutionary Council to administer the country, which was renamed the Somali Democratic Republic. After 12 years of civil war involving 5 factions, prominent amongst them the United Somali Congress (USC), the Somali National Movement (SNM) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), rebel forces had fought their way into Mogadishu by the end of 1990. Mohamed Siyad Barre fled on 27 Jan. 1991. Ali Mahdi Muhammad (USC) became president in Aug. 1991 but interfactional fighting continued. A UN-sponsored truce was signed in March 1992.
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