Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party

The Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party (SRSP, Somali: Xisbiga Hantiwadaagga Kacaanka Soomaaliyeed, XHKS, Arabic: الحزب الاشتراكي الثوري الصومالي, al-Ḥizb al-ishtirākī at-thawrī as-ṣūmālī, Italian: Partito Socialista Rivoluzionario Somalo) was the ruling party of the Somali Democratic Republic from 1976 to 1991.

Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party
Somali nameXisbiga Hantiwadaagga Kacaanka Soomaaliyeed
Arabic nameالحزب الاشتراكي الثوري الصومالي
Italian namePartito Socialista Rivoluzionario Somalo
AbbreviationSRSP (English)
XHKS (Somali)
PSRS (Italian)
General SecretarySiad Barre
FounderAbdulrahman Dhabdhable
Founded26 June 1976 (1976-06-26) (founding congress)[1]
1 July 1976 (1976-07-01) (election of first Central Committee)[1]
Dissolved26 January 1991 (26 January 1991)
Membership (1990)20,000
IdeologyScientific socialism[2]
Colours    Blue and red
Party flag

History Edit

SRSP poster showing Ogaden as part of Greater Somalia

SRSP was created by the military regime of Siad Barre under Soviet guidance. A founding congress was held in June 1976. The congress elected a Central Committee, with Barre as the party general secretary. A five-member politburo, consisting of Barre, Lt. General Mohammad Ali Samatar (vice president), Major General Hussein Kulmiye Afrah (2nd vice president), Brig. Ahmad Sulaymaan Abdullah and Brig. Ismail Ali Abukor (who was later replaced by Brig. Ahmad Mahamuud Faarah) was constituted. Party cadres also included prominent socialists such as Abdi Hashi Abdullahi, Abdulrahman Aidiid, Mohamed F. Weyrah and (a well known socialist economist) and Abukar Sh. M Hussien.

During a brief period, prior to the escalation of conflict with Ethiopia in 1977, the SRSP developed relations with foreign communist parties, such as the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) and Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED). CPSU initiated a programme of assistance for the SRSP party school. After relations with the Eastern Bloc were ruptured, a group including SRSP CC member broke away to form splinter groups. This was even further accelerated by the failed military coup of April 9, 1978, popularly known as "Nova Aprile". In 1981 dissident factions would emerge as the Democratic Front for Salvation of Somalia.

When Barre's regime fell in 1991, the SRSP dissolved. In the same year the Somali National Front was organized by Barre loyalists.

SRSP poster

Organisation Edit

The SRSP was supposed to function as a political force transcending clan lines, but in reality there was little change in political practice. Power was concentrated to three clans. The party developed an intelligence branch, Baadhista xisbiga, which worked parallel to state intelligence and paramilitary groups. At most SRSP had around 20,000 members. The SRSP held its 3rd Congress in November 1986. A major reshuffle of the Central Committee took place.

Role in Somali government Edit

SRSP poster

The Seventh Article of the 1979 constitution of the Somali Democratic Republic clarified the role of the SRSP:

Authority and Leadership of the Party

  1. The Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party shall be the only legal party in the Somali Democratic Republic; no other party or political organisation may be established.
  2. The Somali Revolutionary Socialist party shall have supreme authority of political and socio-economic leadership in the Somali Democratic Republic.

Congresses Edit

No. Date Location
1st 27 June–3 July 1976 Mogadishu
Extraordinary Congress January 1979
2nd August 1982
3rd November 1986

Electoral history Edit

Presidential elections Edit

Election Party candidate Votes % Result
1980 Siad Barre 171 100% Elected  Y
1986 4,887,592 99.97% Elected  Y


After the 1979 election, the People's Assembly elected Barre President on 26 January 1980.

People's Assembly elections Edit

Election Party leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Result
1979 Siad Barre 3,982,532 99.95%
171 / 177
  171   1st Sole legal party
1984 4,207,977 99.89%
171 / 177
    1st Sole legal party

Notes Edit

References Edit

Citations Edit

  1. ^ a b Mukhtar, Mohamed Haji (2003-02-25). Historical Dictionary of Somalia. Historical Dictionaries of Africa (Revised ed.). Scarecrow Press. p. 237. ISBN 978-0-8108-6604-1.
  2. ^ The Historical Evolution of the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party. Xisbiga Hantiwadaagga Kacaanka Soomaaliyeed, 1984. p. 18

Bibliography Edit