Somalia: Who's Who

He dresses in business suits, was educated in the United States, was even an American citizen a decade ago, but for many of his opponents, the ghosts of his lineage continue to haunt Hussein Aideed. The son of Mohammed Farah Aideed, the former U.S. Marine is known to bristle when he is called a "warlord" like his late father. But he still carries his father's gold-tipped walking stick and his father's reputation for blocking his country's trysts with democracy. After a comfortable life in the United States, Aideed returned to his war-torn country in 1992 as part of a growing force that aimed to restore hope to Somalia. But his refusal to acknowledge the administration of President Adbulkassim Salat Hasssan and his rejection of the Djibouti peace process have put him at odds with many Somalis desperate to bring order to the country. On his part, Aideed maintains that the Somali people were never consulted about the decision to put Hassan in power and he contends that the Hassan administration is a "project controlled by [neighboring] Djibouti." In the fractious politics of Somalia, it is difficult to judge how much support Hassan and Aideed enjoy among Somalis.

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