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Salaad Gabeyre Kediye (Somali: Salaad Gabeyre Kediye, 1933 – 3 July 1972), also known as Salah Gaveire Kedie,[1] was a Somali senior military official and a revolutionary.

Salaad Gabeyre Kediye
Harardhere, Italian Somaliland
Died3 July 1972(1972-07-03) (aged 38–39)
Mogadishu, Somalia
Allegiance Somalia
Service/branchSomali National Army
Years of service1956-1971
Battles/wars1964 Ethiopian-Somali Border War


Kediye was born in Harardhere, Somalia. A career army man, he received military training at the Frunze Military Academy in Moscow (Военная академия им М. В. Фрунзе), an elite Soviet institution reserved for the most qualified officers of the Warsaw Pact armies and their allies.[2] He later rose to the rank of General in the Somali National Army (SNA).[1]

On October 15, 1969, while paying a visit to the northern town of Las Anod, Somalia's then President Abdirashid Ali Shermarke was shot dead by one of his own bodyguards. His assassination was quickly followed by a military coup d'état on October 21, 1969 (the day after his funeral), in which the SNA seized power without encountering armed opposition — essentially a bloodless takeover. The putsch was spearheaded by Major General Mohamed Siad Barre, who at the time commanded the army.[3][4]

Alongside Barre, the Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC) that assumed power after President Sharmarke's assassination was claimed to be led by Gen. Kediye and Chief of Police Jama Korshel. Kediye officially held the title of "Father of the Revolution," and Barre shortly afterwards became the head of the SRC.[5] The SRC subsequently renamed the country the Somali Democratic Republic,[6][7] arrested members of the former civilian government, banned political parties,[8] dissolved the parliament and the Supreme Court, and suspended the constitution.[9]

A power struggle eventually ensued at the SRC's leadership. In 1971, Kediye and then Vice President Muhammad Ainache were charged with attempting to assassinate President Barre. Both men were shortly afterwards found guilty of treason, and along with Colonel Abdulkadir Dheel, were publicly executed the following year.[1][5]

Allegations as KGB SpyEdit

In 2005, Cambridge historian Christopher Andrew published The World Was Going Our Way, a comprehensive account of KGB operations in Africa, Asia and Latin America co-authored with the late KGB Major Vasili Mitrokhin. Based on documents drawn from the Mitrokhin Archive, it alleges that Kediye had been a paid KGB agent codenamed "OPERATOR". Ironically, the KGB-trained National Security Service (NSS), the SRC's intelligence wing, had carried out Kediye's initial arrest.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Andrew, p.448
  2. ^ Ahmed III, Abdul. "Brothers in Arms Part I" (PDF). WardheerNews. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 May 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  3. ^ Moshe Y. Sachs, Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations, Volume 2, (Worldmark Press: 1988), p.290.
  4. ^ Lipschutz, pp.285-286
  5. ^ a b Adam, p.226
  6. ^ J. D. Fage, Roland Anthony Oliver, The Cambridge history of Africa, Volume 8, (Cambridge University Press: 1985), p.478.
  7. ^ The Encyclopedia Americana: complete in thirty volumes. Skin to Sumac, Volume 25, (Grolier: 1995), p.214.
  8. ^ Metz, Helen C. (ed.) (1992), "Coup d'Etat", Somalia: A Country Study, Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, retrieved October 21, 2009CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link).
  9. ^ Peter John de la Fosse Wiles, The New Communist Third World: an essay in political economy, (Taylor & Francis: 1982), p.279.


External linksEdit