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  • Yousuf v. Samantar: Does the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act Protect Individual Government Officials From Liability?

    In 1969, nine years after gaining its independence from a long history of colonial rule, the Somali Republic faced a serious internal threat. With the support of officers from the Somali National Army, Major General Mohamed Siad Barre led a socialist coup overthrowing the civilian leadership in Somalia. Following the successful coup, a new governing body called the Supreme Revolutionary Council ("SRC") (composed of the Army officers who helped stage the coup) appointed Siad Barre President of a new Democratic Republic of Somalia. The SRC began their governance by banning political parties, suspending the constitution, and eradicating the National Assembly. Over the next two decades, domestic opposition to Siad Barre‘s authoritarian regime increased. Between 1980 and 1990, in an attempt to quell opposition forces, the Somali military "intensified [its] political repression, using jailings, torture, and summary executions of dissidents and collective punishment of clans thought to have engaged in organized resistance."