Somali Patriotic Movement

The Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM, Somali: Dhaqdhaqaaqa Wadaniga Soomaaliyeed, Arabic: الحركة الوطنية الصومالية‎) is a political party and paramilitary organization in Somalia, and a key faction in the Somali Civil War.[1] Commanded originally Ahmed Omar Jess then by Aden Abdullahi Nur Gabyow (a defence minister under former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre), it was based in the southwestern area of the country, and had considerable influence in the leaderless country.

Somali Patriotic Movement
Participant in Somali Civil War
ActiveUnified: 1989–1992
SPM-Ogadeni: 1992–2004
SPM-Harti: 1992–2003
Group(s)Ogaden (SPM 'Ogadeni') and
non-Ogaden (known as SPM 'Harti')
LeadersColonel Shukri Weyrah kaariye
SPM-Ogadeni (SPM-SNA):


Area of operationssouthern Somalia
AlliesSSDF Before split: United Somali Congress (USC)
Opponent(s)SPM-Harti: Juba Valley Alliance (JVA)
SPM-Ogadeni: joined Somali National Alliance (SNA)

Begun by a group of affected mainly Ogadeni or Absame privates led by colonel Bashir Bililiqo, with an area of operations centered on the Jubaland region and the Kenyan border (mid and Lower Jubba). They were early allies of the UNC in operations against Siad Barre. A key accomplishment was the seizure of Bale-Dogle air base in the days prior to Barre's flight from Mogadishu.[2]

However, after Barre's flight, when Ali Mahdi's Manifesto Group announced the formation of an "interim government" without consulting SPM leadership, a crisis ensued. After fighting broke out between the Manifesto Group supporters and the SPM, the SPM was accused of suddenly reversing direction and allied itself with Barre, who was seeking to reestablish his regime. This reversal was angrily resisted by many of the original Ogadeni, who split off into their own faction.

The SPM thus sundered into two tribal-oriented factions:

On August 12, 1992, the SPM mainly Absame faction joined General Aidid to form the Somali National Alliance. The SPM fractured along tribal lines, and massacres and ethnic cleansing began between the two rival factions, as well as their external enemies.

In 1998, the SPM (Harti/Absame) under General "Morgan", based out of Kismayo, founded the autonomous state of Jubbaland. They were strenuously opposed by the Allied Somali Forces, which later became the Jubba Valley Alliance. The SPM and ASF/JVA contended over the control of south Somalia until the JVA proved victorious, driving General "Morgan" into exile.

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  1. ^ The Fall of Siad Barre and the Descent into Civil War Nations Encyclopaedia
  2. ^ The Liberation Movements of Somalia Archived 2006-12-10 at the Wayback Machine Jack L. Davies, 27 August 1994