Mohamed Siad Barre (Somali: Maxamed Siyaad Barre, Arabic: محمّد سياد بري) (b. October 6, 1919 – January 2, 1995) was the military dictator and President of the Somali Democratic Republic from 1969 to 1991. During his rule, he styled himself as Jaalle Siyaad ("Comrade Siad").
At the time of independence in 1960, Somalia was touted in the West as the model of a rural democracy in Africa. However, clanism and extended family loyalties and conflicts were societal problems the civilian government failed to eradicate and eventually succumbed to itself.
The new Barre-led military junta that came to power after the ensuing coup d'état said it would adapt Scientific Socialism to the needs of Somalia. It drew heavily from the traditions of China. Volunteer labor harvested and planted crops, and built roads and hospitals. Almost all industry, banks and businesses were nationalized. Cooperative farms were promoted. The government forbade clanism and stressed loyalty to the central authorities. An entirely new writing script for the Somali language was introduced. To spread the new language and the methods and message of the revolution, secondary schools were closed in 1974 and 25,000 students from fourteen to sixteen years of age were sent to rural areas to educate their nomadic relatives.