During the 1980s, General Samantar presided over an increasingly repressive military that committed horrific atrocities with particular harshness in the northern part of Somalia, and particularly against people who were of Isaaq heritage. In response to this brutality, a pro-democracy resistance movement emerged, calling itself the Somali National Movement, or the SNM. The SNM drew its strength from the Issaq. Though the SNM also committed human rights violations, the overwhelming number of atrocities were committed by Somali government soldiers.
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