Somalia: Death of a President

Since the Somali Republic became independent in 1960, it has never experienced a coup—military or otherwise. There have been political killings aplenty, however. In last March's national elections, at least five officials of the ruling Somali Youth League were assassinated, and 16 persons died in a scuffle at Las Anod, a remote settlement in the nomadic grazing lands of the north. Last week Las Anod's bloody reputation was reinforced. As President Abdirashid Ali Shermarke, 49, stepped from his car in Las Anod on the last stop of a ten-day tour of the drought-stricken north, he was shot dead by...

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