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British and Italian Somaliland were put together to form the Somali Republic in 1960, and the following year a democratic system was adopted, although in reality governance continued along tribal lines. In 1969 the army staged a coup, abolished parliament, established a Marxist-Leninist Supreme Revolutionary Council headed by Major General Mohamed Siad Barre – this set the stage for a variety of guerilla groups trying to push Barre out of power, which they eventually achieved in 1990.

The UN launched an International Force ( 1992 ), with troops from 20+ countries, including 30,000 from the USA, with the aim of re-establishing law and order. In 1993 the Americans decided to raid a gathering of Habr Gidr clan leaders ( led by Mohamed Farah Aideed ) in the heart of Mogadishu, so they went in by helicopter at the Olympic Hotel, on Hawlwadig Road ( one of the few paved avenues ) with disastorous results ( Black Hawk Down ).

And finally the UN pulled out completely in March 1995 leaving the country in a state of chaos.

To get an idea of the number of different factions vying for power in Mogadishu alone, named here, are but a few of the main militias groups:

the Ali Mahdi Faction
the Somali Democratic Alliance
the Somali Democratic Movement
the Midigan Faction
the Somali National Movement
the Somali Patriotic Movement
the United Somali Congress
the United Somali Front
the United Somali Party
the Tumaalis
the Somali National Front
the Somali Salvation Democratic Front

And of course the Mogadishu North Forces – Although these notes were almost certainly prepared for issue in the united Somalia to replace those used up to 1990 ( as the signers are the same ), they were released by the Mogadishu North Forces and are in virtually new condition.

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