HARGEISA (Somalilandpress) — The missing corpse of Hassan Saleban Mohamed, the first SNM commander was recovered in the village of Bali Abane, 60 km south of the capital, Hargeisa, after 27 years on Monday.

According to the mayor of the village, Mr. Hassan Shillin, the first commander of Somali National Movement (SNM) was beheaded in 1983 by members of the Somali national army (SNA) under the orders of Somalia’s totalitarian dictator, Mohamed Siad Barre and Defense Minister, Mohamed Ali Samater, who currently resides in Virginia, United States.

He added that after they hacked the head of his lifeless body, the Somali army, hanged his head from a tree above their military camp in the village in a move to humiliate SNM and to create fear among the locals. Mr. Shillin said they hid the rest of his body else where and has been missing ever since.

A local elderly man, who witnessed the event on that day in 1983, said: “Mr. Hassan and his forces launched a raid on the military camp in the village that lasted from dawn through to dusk, a bullet striked him in the evening and the Somali forces recovered his body on a pick-up truck and took him to their military post.”

The corpse was unearthed by HALO Trust, a non-political NGO, specialising in the removal of hazardous debris of war including landmines and heavy weapon systems. HALO Trust also successfully dismantled 175 mines consisting of anti-personnel and anti-tank minebelts.

Somaliland minister of resettlement, Mr. Mohamed Yusuf Osman, said his administration plans to give the late commander, a divisive figure, the honour of national burial in Hargeisa in the coming days. The family of the commander, including the former minister of commerce and industry, Mr. Mohamed Saleban Mohamed (brother), have been informed.

Neil Ferrao, the director of HALO Trust Somaliland, praised the findings as well as the donor nations however he said there is more to be done and more funds were needed. Mr Ferraro said a large number of minefields remain in the country that were laid during the 1964 and 1977 – 78 Somali-Ethio conflicts and between 1981 and 1991, when SNM waged an armed struggle against the Somali dictator. The fields exist along the Somaliland-Ethiopia border and vast number of them in farmlands and private properties.

Last week, two employees of HALO were killed in the Togdher region when their Land Rover carrying four staff was striked by a landmine while driving back to their camp in the village of Daba-gorayale. Until now it is not clear, how this has occurred because the agency has previously marked the road clear of mines. This is the first time someone from HALO trust was killed in Somaliland since it’s operations began ten years ago. HALO has since issued a press statement vowing to investigate the matter with the collaboration of “the police and the Somaliland Mine Action Centre” (see The HALO Trust: Press release).

The Somali National Movement (SNM), which waged an armed insurrection against the regime of Mohamed Siad Barre, was found in the streets of Jeddah in 1981 by a small group of prominent Somalilanders. Few months later, it’s most powerful branch and financial body was established in London. It’s core mission was to remove the Somali dictatorial regime from Somaliland and restore the national constitution. By the following year, it transformed its national base to the Ethiopian city of Dire Dawa, where it conducted a number of successful raids inside Somaliland with the backing of Ethiopian small arms.

By 1988 SNM was able to operate inside Somaliland and captured a number of towns from Siad Barre of which he responded with indiscriminately shelling of major Somaliland urban towns (Hargeisa, Burao and Berbera) with the support of Rhodesian fighter jets. At least, 500, 000 civilians were massacred. In 1991, SNM drove the last SNA pockets from the country, the Siad Barre central government in Mogadishu collapsed, and SNM declared the independence of Somaliland. Today, Somaliland is democratic but unrecognized and SNM remains an important part of it.

Photo: History in the making- HALOs first ever female demining section in Somaliland

Somalilandpress, 22 April 2010


  1. We found everyday the bodies of our fallen comarates, either unearthed by the rain or de-mining organizations, but we still welcome the children and families of those who did this, because they do not have anywhere else to go.

    This shows the real & humanly attitute of our people "Ahlu Baid" who don't take revenge of any sort. The future governments of Somaliland should take the required steps to safeguard the children they left [our fallen heroes] and those that are maimed or decabitated by the war of libration.

  2. We have not only recovered our rightful nation, constitution, freedom and education but also the bits and parts of our fallen heroes. This is also a clear message to all that we have not forgotten anyone and that even Mr Hassan's rips and fingers will be recovered and given proper burial in our country.

    Thank you HALO and even the dead deserve to be treated with love and in a humane way unlike the old Somalia where they beheaded even the lifeless. See the difference?

  3. First May The Almighty rest his Soul in peace and grant him the Paradise.

    It's a memorial day for Somalilanders to see those who sacrificed whatever they have to create a better life and future for their beloved ones, it's the Cause that led people to come together from every corner and every walks of life to fight what was violating their humanity but also their existence, its the spirit that we all shared weather we were in abroad watching those vidoes of the War or weather we were at the centre of the BATTLE, Scene was not different so the Spirit of SNM.

    May the Almighty bless Somaliland & its PEOPLE.

  4. RIP, you did the ultimate sacrifice and today the nation of Somaliland stands by those that you left behind and your family. Today many kids, 27 years later have learned the name of their first brave commander.

  5. I know that I can’t express my feeling in this moment ,but what I’m sure about it is that I respect
    SNM simply because they sacrifice the best and most expensive thing have this life
    in order that we can live today in freedom and dignity .

  6. My name is Nadia and am the daughter of this great man, may Allah SWT have mercy on him and forgive his sins. Am so amazed and grateful to every single person for their love, respect and prayers to my father…May Allah SWT reward all of you for your dua's…Jasaka'Allahu Khayr.

    • Hello Nadia,

      Let me say you are very brave girl and compassionate, not many people are able to move on and forgive like you have.

      No words can descripe the ultimate sacrifice your father and thousands of others made fors to grow up in a world free of terror and indiscriment killings. There is no way we can repay them but know we appreciate and we stand with him and his family as is with all the brave soldiers.

      Keep up Nadia.

    • Nadia,
      Thank you so much for sharing your comments with us! In replying to your posting, Kayse summed up all my emotions exactly. I went back to Somaliland for the first time in decades last year and I want to let you know that your father and other SNM heroes made it possible for me to visit my loved ones and marvel in the peace and tranquility they enjoy today. Your father and other brave SNM men and women will never be forgotten. My thoughts are with your family.

  7. I cant believe the way in which u people keep insistin that these men are heros….they are a group of men who carried out the orders of our nations enemy while not knowing are seeing the bigger picture, go to 'Somaliland' and see that they have been pushed aside since there service s no longer needed many became alcoholics and junkies. the development of Berbera port will not help somaliland as much as it will help Ethiopia the main enemy. VIVA SOMALIA

    • Shame on you. How pathetic are you commenting like that on a dead person. Maybe you're from the south and lived in mogadishu but us northerners faced real hardships, discrimination and even killing from this 'brilliant' government of yours. I think the reason southerners cannot get to terms with Somaliland is because they did not experience the same hardship from that government.

  8. We shouldn't forget what SNM had done for people of Somaliland, it becaues of SNM Somaliland what is today.they are really heroes of our beautiful country.

    Long live SNM and Somaliland

  9. What you might consider Heroes, are bloody Murders in my state of Awdal. So called SNM sneaked into my home town with Ethopians and took the life many innocent people, including my Father….

    • Good .That is because your people from awdal starting killing somalilanders for false promises because the intention was to wipe out the shiek Issacs tribe and take their land 750,000 were killed from every side just for been Issacs, and then you dump people would have been next even a child can work that work that out. sell outs