Shot on the road to Mogadishu airport, apparently mistaken for somebody else, as he was reporting with a colleague on the withdrawal of UN troops. He was caught up in the country’s "banana war" for control of the banana industry, which led to clashes between rival warlords.
- Somalia - Since 1960: Political chaos
Somalia has been plagued by coups, clan fighting and humanitarian disasters since it became independent in 1960. After President Ali Shermake was murdered in 1969, Gen. Mohammed Siad Barre took over but clan wars continued to tear the country apart and drought in 1974 and 1975 caused nationwide famine. Civil war broke out in 1977, involving neighbouring Ethiopia and drawing in Cuba, the Soviet Union and the US. Peace was made with Ethiopia in 1988 but the political situation continued to be tense and fighting increased until 1991, when Siad Barre left Mogadishu and Gen. Mohamed Farah Aideed took over. Fierce faction fighting in 1991 and 1992 killed thousands while famine killed 300,000 others. The US launched Operation Restore Hope in 1992 but this failed to bring peace and even increased the violence. The United Nations also intervened. Political fragmentation and lack of effective central authority divisions have broken up the country and caused the secession of the Puntland and Somaliland regions.