Somali National Movement

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Somali National Movement (SNM)
Participant in Somali Civil War
Flag of Somaliland.svg
Ideology Somaliland separatism
Groups Isaaq
Leaders Ahmed Mohamed Gulaid
(Oct 1981– Jan 1982)

Sheikh Yusuf Ali Sheikh Madar

(Jan 1982– Nov 1983)

Colonel Abdiqadir Kosar Abdi

(Nov 1983– Aug 1984)

Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud

(Aug 1984– Apr 1989);

Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur

(Apr 1990– May 1991)[1]
Headquarters Dire Dawa, Hargeisa
Area of operations  Somalia
Became  Somaliland
Allies Somali Patriotic Movement
Opponents Somali National Army

The Somali National Movement (Somali: Dhaq dhaqaaqa wadaniga soomaliyeed, Arabic: الحركة الوطنية الصوماليه‎‎) was a 1980s–1990s Somali rebel group. Founded and led by Isaaq members to protect the clan's interests,[3] it was key in the formation of Somaliland, a self-declared sovereign state that is internationally recognised as an autonomous region of Somalia.[4]


In April 1981, a group of Isaaq dissidents living in east London (Whitechapel) formed the Somali National Movement (SNM), and at the end of 1981 it was announced in London, which subsequently became one of the Somalia's various insurgent movements. According to its spokesmen, the rebels wanted to overthrow Siad Barre's dictatorship.

Somali Civil War

The SPM succeeded in overrunning several government outposts in southern Somalia. The SNM-USC-SPM unification agreement failed to last after Siad Barre fled Mogadishu. On January 26, 1991, the USC formed an interim government, which the SNM refused to recognize. On May 18, 1991, the SNM declared the northwestern Somali regions independent, establishing the Republic of Somaliland. The USC interim government opposed this declaration, arguing instead for a unified Somalia. Apart from these political disagreements, fighting broke out between and within the USC and SPM.


The SNM was extremely influential in the establishment of Somaliland, a self-declared sovereign state that is internationally recognised as an autonomous region of Somalia.[5] Many former SNM members would be key in the formation of the government and constitution.


  2. Tekle, ed. by Amare (1994). Eritrea and Ethiopia : from conflict to cooperation (1. print. ed.). Lawrenceville (N.J.): the Red sea paper. p. 150. ISBN 0932415970. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Helen Chapin Metz, Somalia: a country study, Volume 550, Issues 86-993, (The Division: 1993), p.xxviii.
  4. Lacey, Marc (June 5, 2006). "The Signs Say Somaliland, but the World Says Somalia". New York Times. Retrieved February 2, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. The UK Prime Minister's Office Reply To The "Somaliland E-Petition"