Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party

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Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party

Somali: Xisbiga Hantiwadaagga Kacaanka Soomaaliyeed
Arabic: الحزب الاشتراكي الثوري الصومالي
Italian: Partito Socialista Rivoluzionario Somalo
General SecretarySiad Barre
FounderAbdulrahman Dhabdhable
Founded1976 (1976)
Dissolved1991 (1991)
Membership (1990)20,000
IdeologyIslamic socialism
Scientific socialism
Somali nationalism
Political positionFar-left
ReligionSunni Islam
Colours     Red      Blue

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


XHKS 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 Muhammad Ali Samatar (vice president), Major General Husseen Kulmiye (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, XHKS 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 Soviet 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, SRSP disappeared. In the same year the Somali National Front was organized by Barre loyalists.


XHKS poster

The SRSP was in theory a Marxist–Leninist party, but also included Islamic socialism, scientific socialism, Somali nationalism and pan-Somalism teachings in its ideology. It was dissolved when Mohamed Siad Bare was ejected from power in late 1991.


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. XHKS held its 3rd Congress in November 1986. A major reshuffle of the Central Committee took place.

Role in Somali government[edit]

XHKS poster

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

See also[edit]