Salaad Gabeyre Kediye
|Salaad Gabeyre Kediye
صالاد غابييري خيدييي
|Service/branch||Somali National Army|
|Years of service||1956-1971|
|Battles/wars||1964 Border Conflict|
Kediye was born in Somalia to an Abgaal Hawiye family. A career army man, he received military training at the Frunze Military Academy in Moscow (Военнаяакадемия им М. В. Фрунзе), an elite Soviet institution reserved for the most qualified officers of the Warsaw Pact armies and their allies. He later rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Somali National Army (SNA).
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.
Alongside Barre, the Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC) that assumed power after President Sharmarke's assassination was led by Lieutenant Colonel 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. The SRC subsequently renamed the country the Somali Democratic Republic, arrested members of the former civilian government, banned political parties, dissolved the parliament and the Supreme Court, and suspended the constitution.
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.
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.
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