By late 1960s, signs of growing tensions came to the surface in Somalia becoming a lot more evident between 1967 and 1969. Much of the hope with which Somalis greeted independence in July 1960 had evaporated: too little had changed for the better. Successive Somali governments focused their attention on the conflict with neighbouring countries, relegating social and economic problems to the bottom of their priorities list. Somalia’s major foreign policy was to unite under its flag the million Somali speaking people living in Ethiopia, Kenya and French Somaliland. This policy provoked years of costly guerrilla activities and savage retaliation.
The presidential election of June 1967 brought about the appointment as Prime Minister, Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal, a thirty-eight years old hailing from the former Protectorate of Somaliland, a politician with the reputation of pragmatism who believed that the interest of Somalia was better served by his own brand of detent with the neighbouring countries.