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Lets Map Somalia....

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I think one should not promote the existing political/tribal maps on Somalia that are available until some fair, accurate ones are produced because all those maps are so far bias and far from the truth.

4.5? I think this formula should be dropped as it is a taboo.


Brothers and sisters, please yeysan caadifadda qabiilku na jiidan, isjiidjiidkana naga dhaafa hana laga fekero sidii waddada loogu xaari lahaa in la abuuro khariidad cilmiyeysan oo ka fog eex iyo sadbursi dalka iyo dadkana u horseedda horumar.

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Abwan bro there is no escaping the qabiil factor as it’s in your face everywhere you go including ofcouse the politics section where people hide behind big words. I’m for dialogue and finding out what we are all about. So when talking about Somalis, qabiil is not far away and its embedded so deep that the only way forward is to address its vulnerabilities and ofcouse weaknesses. We have to make sure we get new ways of addressing Somalis at large and maybe provide an alternative to it like policies and developmental principles than what many hold so dear and yet so destructive.


We should look at this as a learning process rather than what some like Abwan are thinking and milling around.

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Abwaan walaalkiis aniga waan la socday markii la bilaabay this thread runtiina inaan wax ka faa'iidaystay mooye wax xumaan ah maku arag sida aan u arkana waa aqoon is waydaarsi loo baahan yahay in mararka qaakood discussion laga sameeyo.


QL brother excellent job please do continue.

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100 BC: Land of Punt (Myrreh/Incense)


600s - Arab tribes establish the sultanate of Adel on the Gulf of Aden coast.


800s - Somali people begin to migrate from Yemen.


1500s - Sultanate of Adel disintegrates into small states.


1875 - Egypt occupies towns on Somali coast and parts of the interior.



Foreign rule


1860s - France acquires foothold on the Somali coast, later to become Djibouti.


1887 - Britain proclaims protectorate over Somaliland.


1888 - Anglo-French agreement defines boundary between Somali possessions of the two countries.


1889 - Italy sets up a protectorate in central Somalia, later consolidated with territory in the south ceded by the sultan of Zanzibar.


1925 - Territory east of the Jubba River detached from Kenya to become the westernmost part of the Italian protectorate.


1936 - Italian Somaliland combined with Somali-speaking parts of Ethiopia to form a province of Italian East Africa.


1940 - Italians occupy British Somaliland.


1941 - British occupy Italian Somalia.




1950 - Italian Somaliland becomes a UN trust territory under Italian control.


1956 - Italian Somaliland renamed Somalia and granted internal autonomy.


1 July 1960: The former Italian colony becomes independent. The former British (northwest) and Italian (south) colonies unite. Aden Abdullah Osman Daar elected president.


1963 - Border dispute with Kenya; diplomatic relations with Britain broken until 1968.


1964 - Border dispute with Ethiopia erupts into hostilities.


1967 - Abdi Rashid Ali Shermarke beats Aden Abdullah Osman Daar in elections for president.



Drought and war


1969 - Muhammad Siad Barre assumes power in coup after Shermarke is assassinated.


1970 - Barre declares Somalia a socialist state and nationalises most of the economy.


21 October 1972: A written script for the Somali language is established. A modified Roman alphabet is adopted as the official orthography for the Somali language


1974 - Somalia joins the Arab League.


1974-75 - Severe drought causes widespread starvation.


13 November 1977: Somalia expels about 6,000 of Russian, Cuban and other Soviet allies, after the Soviet Union switched sides and allied itself with the Ethiopia


1977 - Somalia invades the Somali-inhabited ****** region of Ethiopia.


1978 - Somali forces pushed out of ****** with the help of Soviet advisers and Cuban troops.


8 April 1978: After the defeat of the Somali army, a group of army officers try to topple the Siyad Barreh regime. The attempted coup is crushed and Siyad Barreh tightens his grip further. He begins a process of putting power into the hands of his relatives, and sub-clan, the ***** *******. He also empowers the related Dulbahante and ******i sub-clans.


1981 - Opposition to Barre's regime begins to emerge after he excludes members of the Mijertyn and **** clans from government positions, which are filled with people from his own ******* clan.


1988 - Peace accord with Ethiopia.


May 1988: The Somali National Movement (SNM) mounts an offensive in the north of the country, as a result of the regime's brutal post-Ethiopian war policies. Siyad Barreh responds by bombing the area. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are displaced, and many killed. It is the first real challenge to Siyad Barreh's rule, and the beginning of the proliferation of armed opposition to the regime




May 1990: A manifesto is published in Mogadishu calling for an all inclusive national reconciliation convention to avert protracted civil war. It is signed by 144 people, including politicians, religious leaders, professionals and business people, representing all Somali clans


December 1990: Armed uprising erupts in Mogadishu


1991 - Opposition clans oust Barre who is forced to flee the country. Forces loyal to the ****** -based United Somali Congress (USC) capture the city


1991 - Former British protectorate of Somaliland declares unilateral independence.


28 January 1991: The Manifesto Group of USC appoints an hotelier, Ali Mahdi Muhammad, as president. The military wing of USC, led by General Muhammad Farah Aydid, rejects the appointment.


17 November 1991: Full-scale fighting starts between the two factions of the USC


3 March 1991: A ceasefire comes into effect between the warring factions in Mogadishu


1991: Fighting erupts in the northeast region between the Al-Ittihad Islamic fundamentalists and militia loyal to the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF), lead by Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmad


18 May 1991: The former British Protectorate of Somaliland declares independence from the rest of Somalia, in the town of Burao


July 1991: A conference was held in Djibouti, in which Ali Mahdi in which was chosen as interim president


April 1992: The United Nations Operation in Somalia, UNOSOM I, begins work in Somalia


1992 - US Marines land near Mogadishu ahead of a UN peacekeeping force sent to restore order and safeguard relief supplies.


December 1992: UNITAF forces under American leadership land in Mogadishu February 1993: A three month conference in Borama seeks a new leader for the self-declared state of Somaliland. Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, a former prime minister, is elected in May


March 1993: The next serious attempt at peace talks. An Ethiopian initative evolves into a joint UN-Ethiopian sponsored reconciliation conference held in Addis Ababa


4 May 1993: UNITAF hands over to UNOSOM II


5 June 1993: 23 Pakistani peacekeepers are killed by Aydid loyalists


12 July 1993: American helicopter gunships kill over 50 unarmed Somalis holding a meeting in a private house in Mogadishu, increasing local hostility to the international intervention forces


3 October 1993: American-led forces looking for Aydid's senior aides are involved in a shoot-out, which leaves 18 Americans and hundreds of Somalis dead. The body of a dead American is dragged through the Mogadishu streets, and, caught on camera, sparks an international outcry


1995 - UN peacekeepers leave, having failed to achieve their mission.


1996 - Warlord Muhammad Aidid dies of his wounds and is succeeded by his son, Hussein.

November 1996: Ethiopian government-sponsored reconciliation conference brings most of the factions together. But it is boycotted by Aydid's son


1997 - Clan leaders meeting in Cairo agree to convene a conference of rival clan members to elect a new national government.


2 May, 2000: On the initiative of the Djibouti government, the Somali National Peace Conference brings together more than 2,000 participants in Arta, Djibouti. It is the first conference where the warlords do not have control of the conference agenda


2 May, 2000: On the initiative of the Djibouti government, the Somali National Peace Conference brings together more than 2,000 participants in Arta, Djibouti. It is the first conference where the warlords do not have control of the conference agenda


26 August, 2000: A 245-strong Transitional National Assembly, based on clan representation, elects Abdiqasim Salad Hasan as the new president of Somalia


27 August, 2000: President Abdiqasim Salad Hassan is sworn in an inauguration ceremony attended by the heads of governments of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Yemen, and the host country Djibouti, along with representatives from the UN, EU, Arab league, OAU, France, Italy, Kuwait, and Libya.


2000 October - Hassan and his newly-appointed prime minister, Ali Khalif Gelayadh, arrive in Mogadishu to heroes' welcomes.


2000 October - Gelayadh announces his government, the first in the country since 1991.


2001 January - Somali rebels seize the southern town of Garbaharey, reportedly with Ethiopian help.


2001 February - The French oil group, TotalFinaElf, signs an agreement with the Somali transitional government to carry out oil exploration in the south of the country.


For those of you who have more to add on please do so so we can round up whatever little we know about whats happening. This would be more like asmall diary of happenings in as far as Somalia is concerned.

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Originally posted by QUANTUM LEAP:



For those of you who have more to add on please do so so we can round up whatever little we know about whats happening. This would be more like asmall diary of happenings in as far as Somalia is concerned.

On Ahmed Guray :




326 High Holborn London W.C.I

Library Press, Lowestoft 1929




No sooner had the Portuguese mission left the shores of Abyssinia than the prosperous and comparatively peaceful position of the country, which had so strongly influenced King Lebna Dengel in adopting the unfortunate course of letting them go without achieving any definite result, began to be threatened. The Turks and the Moslem nations bordering on Ethiopia had been alarmed by the possibilities of the alliance between the Portuguese and the byssinians to which da Lima's mission had seemed to point, and had determined on combined action to conquer Abyssinia, and to close to Europeans the entrance to the Red Sea in order to facilitate their attack on India. Egypt and the Yemen had already been conquered; now the Christian pilgrim caravans to Jerusalem too were massacred, Zeila was occupied, arms were distributed to the Adals, the age-long foes of Abyssinia, and to the Emir ofarar. They found a ready ally in the person of a most remarkable Somali, Ahmed Gran~ by name. Born about 1506, he had been an ordinary soldier in the troop of the Emir of Harar, and by his gifts of leadership and fanatical zeal for the Moslem faith, had rapidly carved out a leading position for himself at the early age of twenty, by which time he had already become the recognised leader of the more daring warriors of Harar. He had carried out a series of successful raids and forays intoAbyssinia on an ever-increasing scale, until in 1527, when only twenty-one years old, he won a really substantial victory at Eddir over the emperor's brother-in-law, Degalhan, who was returning from a successful expedition into Adal. Gran~ was so named (Gran~ means "left") from his habit of using his sword with his left hand. He was no mere marauder; he was a skilful general and aborn leader of men; his religious fanaticism led him to endeavour to subjugate Abyssinia, and though cruel and severe he was eminently just, displaying many generous sentiments and being personally entirely disdainful of money. The vast amount of gold and other rich booty obtained from pillaging the churches and monasteries of Abyssinia he divided fairly amongst his followers, not forgetting those whose duties prevented their taking part in the actual pillaging; a share was always laid aside for the "public treasury," and when Gran~ thought all had enough he burnedthe rest. He himself taught the Koran to the children of his followers. His wife, Batya del Wambara, who plays an important part in the story of Abyssinia and who is described later on, was the daughter of the celebrated Arab chief, Mahfuz, who after twenty-five years of successful raiding into Abyssinia, during which time he drove off whole villages of men, women and children to be sold as slaves in Arabia and India, was defeated and killed by Lebna Dengel in 1517. Roused by Gran~'s success, Lebna Dengel determined to crush his new enemy, and to repeat his victory of ten years previously; he collected a large army and marched westwards to the attack. But the fates were now against him, and the good fortune which had smiled on the first nineteen years of his reign had left him to return no more. Firearms had been introduced into Arabia in 1515, Moslem merchants had brought them over to Zeila, and Gran~ was able to obtain some of these for his Somals, besides reinforcements of Turkish matchlockmen from Zebid and Arab mercenaries. Guns had not then reached Abyssinia (two were first brought in by Arabs in 1530), and consequently the relative fighting strength of the Moslems was much greater than that of their Abyssinian adversaries, a disproportion which was further increased by Gran~'s real skill as a general.


Lebna Dengel gained a preliminary victory at Samarna, but on March 7th, 1529, the Abyssinians suffered a crushing and overwhelming defeat at Shembera-Kourey, when thousands of their best men were slain, and an enormous amount of booty fell into the hands of Gran~.


The effects of this battle were decisive; for over a decade the Moslems pillaged and ravaged the unhappy kingdom from end to end, defeating the king and his forces whenever they met them, until the wretched monarch, hunted like a wild beast from one refuge to another, had hardly a mountain to in his country where he could call himself safe. One son was captured in 1539; another was killed in battle in the same year; his wife and remaining children were shut up in the impregnable Amba or mountain fortress of Debra Damo; and the crowning blow fell in 1539, when the royal Amba of Geshen, on which were incarcerated all royal princes except his immediate family, and the vast accumulated treasures of genrerations of kings, was captured by treachery, the entire population massacred, and the incalculable wealth stored therein during ceturies was carried off.


Beginning in th south, province after province fell before Gran~; Shoa, Fatagar (Arsi), Angot (North Shoa), Begemdir, Lasta (North Wello), Endegibtan (South Wello), Amhara (Gojam),Bahr-Nagast (Eritrea), Sabamaib (Tigre), Damot (East Wellega), Dawarro (Harar), Sigumo (Sidamo), Bizamo (West Wellega), Bali (Bale), Bizume (Gomu-Gofa), Enerraya (Illubabor/Keffa), were all in turn overrun by the Moslems. Time and again the king himself was almost captured; his adventures and hair-breadth escapes as recounted in the Abyssinian and even in the Arab chronicles read like a romance. On one occasion he was being chased round Lake Tana; he and his followers were crossing a narrow defile leading to the passage of the Ghion (Abai), just below where it issues from the lake, when Gran~ himself, leading the pursuit, came up with them and got right in among the King's men. Gran~ was pressed so tightly amongst them that he could not use his drawn sword, and thus just missed killing or capturing the king, who almost alone escaped by the fleetness of his horse.


The desolation wrought by this period of pillage is almost impossible to describe. Crops could not be cultivated, whole peoples starved; it was unsafe even to light a fire, lest a marauding party should be attracted thereby, and on this account it is alleged the Abyssinians then began the practice, which obtains today, of eating their meat raw. Their wonderful monasteries and churches were sacked and burned, irreplaceable old manuscripts, as well as vast stores of wealth accumulated in the sacred buildings, were destroyed or stolen. Even the ancient monastery of Debra Libanos in the south, the seat of learning, and the wonderful old church of Axum in the north, the crowning place of the monarchs for centuries, shared the common fate, and the loss to the country and indeed to the world may be measured by the descriptions given by the Moslem chronicler who accompanied Gran~ of the wealth that was scattered abroad.


Detailed accounts are given of the sacking and burning of over fifty of the principal churches and monasteries, some of them centuries old, all of them enriched with the accumulated wealth of years which had been placed there for safe-keeping. The pillage of the church of Mekana Selassie may be quoted as a typical example. Regarding this act of vandalism the chronicler says: "He himself (i.e. Ahmed Gran~) arrived at Mekana Selassie, and penetrated into it with admiration. He entered with his companions, and in contemplating it they almost lost the power of vision. It was ornamented with sheets of gold and silver on which had been placed incrustations of pearls: the leaf of a wooden doorway was ten cubits long and four wide: it was covered with sheets of gold and silver, and over the gold had been placed incrustations in various colours. the church was 100 cubits long; its width as much as its height, over 150 cubits; the ceiling and the interior courts were covered with sheets of gold and ornamented with golden statues. The Moslems were amazed at this work.....they crowded in and he [i.e. Gran~] said to them: 'What any man takes shall be for himself excepting the sheets.' They set to work with a thousand axes tearing down the gold and the incrustations which were in the church, from mid-afternoon until night; each man took as much gold as he wanted and was rich forever; more than a third of the gold was burned with the church."


The church of Atronsa Maryam was pillaged from midday until the following morning. The Moslems tore out rich brocaded velvets and silks, gold and silver in heaps, gold cups, dishes and censers, a "tabot" (ark of the covenant) of gold on four feet, weighing more than a thousand ounces, an illuminated Bible bound in sheets of gold, and countless other riches, until they were tired of carrying their loot and loading it up. Much still remained, so they set fire to the church and the store-houses and burned everything. So stricken with grief were some monks at the destruction of their church and its accumulated treasures that they threw themselves into the flames and perished there, an event quoted by the Moslem chronicler with grim satisfaction, and the pleasant addendum, "May God fight them." Such examples could be multiplied indefinitely.


The fiendish delight in destruction, as well as the thirst for loot, is evident from the foregoing extracts. And the fanaticism of the invading hordes is no less apparent from the writer's description of the battles. The Christian Abyssinians are always described as "infidels" or "polytheists"; when one of them is killed in battle "god hurled his sould into hell," and the kindly epithet, "May God's curse be on him," is generally appended to any reference to a prominent leader. Thousands of Abyssinians are always killed in every battle, though the Moslem losses are either nil or almost negligible; when a Moslem of note does happen to be slain "God hastened his soul to Paradise - what a happy ending," is the description.


The effects of all these years of ruthless massacre and pillage can hardly be over-rated - indeed it is probable that they have lasted until today, forthe country was permanently impoverished, the population decimated, and its whole development and progress thrown back for centuries.


But in spite of all these crushing and overwhelming disasters the Abyssinian king refused to yeild or to make terms with Gran~, and maintained a sort of guerilla warfare among the mountains. By 1538, when he was almost at the zenith of his misfortunes, Gran~, according to the old Ethiopian chronicler, sent messengers to Lebna Dengel saying: "Give me your daughter to wife, and let us make peace; if you do not as I bid you, there is nowhere where you may lay your head."


But the sturdy king, battered as he was by fortune, would listen to no overtures, and his uncompromising answer was full of dignity: "I will not give her to you, for you are an infidel: it is better to fall into the Lord's hands than into yours, for his power is as great as his pity. It is he who makes the weak strong and the strong weak."


He still hoped for help from Portugal, whither he had despatched Bermudez in 1535, and in 1540 he heard the news that an expedition was on its way. But he was not destined to see it, for worn out by the ten years of hardship, disaster and tribulation, national and personal, he died a fugitive among his mountains in September 1540, a few months before the arrival of his allies.









This is a painting of a Muslim warrior, Ahmed Gran, who was probably the fiercest Muslim warrior to battle the Christians in Ethiopia. He was a 16th Century warrior whose valor was undisputed and whose powers were said to be miraculous. He was impervious to bullets, and his huge sword could severe a tree. He was killed by a combined Portuguese-Ethiopian army.


Portrayed in this painting, in the upper left-hand corner, are Portuguese soldiers with rifles, in modern uniforms, and Ethiopian soldiers with white headbands, sword fighting the Muslims who are in green. Also pictured is a tree which Ahmed Gran has sliced with his sword. He claimed bullets would not kill him. As you can see, there are bullet wounds and blood streaming from him. He was killed by the combined Portuguese-Ethiopian soldiers after he devastated much of the highlands of Ethiopia. He invaded several Ethiopian churches and subjected many of the Christian Ethiopians to indignities of all kind.

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Im hoping perhaps as we collect all these facts, We may just come up with our own conclusions about our existence, culture, behaviour and origins. Below is a semblance of history about somalis and their immigrations.






Shaykh Abdulaziz Mosque, ninth century, Mogadishu

Courtesy R.W.S. Hudson


A paucity of written historical evidence forces the student of early Somalia to depend on the findings of archeology, anthropology, historical linguistics, and related disciplines. Such evidence has provided insights that in some cases have refuted conventional explanations of the origins and evolution of the Somali people. For example, where historians once believed that the Somalis originated on the Red Sea's western coast, or perhaps in southern Arabia, it now seems clear that the ancestral homeland of the Somalis, together with affiliated Cushite peoples, was in the highlands of southern Ethiopia, specifically in the lake regions. Similarly, the once-common notion that the migration and settlement of early Mus,lims followers of the Prophet Muhammad on the Somali coast in the early centuries of Islam had a significant impact on the Somalis no longer enjoys much academic support. Scholars now recognize that the Arab factor--except for the Somalis' conversion to Islam--is marginal to understanding the Somali past. Furthermore, conventional wisdom once held that Somali migrations followed a north-to-south route; the reverse of this now appears to be nearer the truth.


Increasingly, evidence places the Somalis within a wide family of peoples called Eastern Cushites by modern linguists and described earlier in some instances as Hamites. From a broader cultural-linguistic perspective, the Cushite family belongs to a vast stock of languages and peoples considered Afro-Asiatic. Afro-Asiatic languages in turn include Cushitic (principally Somali, Oromo, and Afar), the Hausa language of Nigeria, and the Semitic languages of Arabic, Hebrew, and Amharic. Medieval Arabs referred to the Eastern Cushites as the Berberi.


In addition to the Somalis, the Cushites include the largely nomadic Afar (Danakil), who straddle the Great Rift Valley between Ethiopia and Djibouti; the Oromo, who have played such a large role in Ethiopian history and in the 1990s constituted roughly one-half of the Ethiopian population and were also numerous in northern Kenya; the Reendille (Rendilli) of Kenya; and the Aweera (Boni) along the Lamu coast in Kenya. The Somalis belong to a subbranch of the Cushites, the Omo-Tana group, whose languages are almost mutually intelligible. The original home of the Omo-Tana group appears to have been on the Omo and Tana rivers, in an area extending from Lake Turkana in present-day northern Kenya to the Indian Ocean coast.


The Somalis form a subgroup of the Omo-Tana called Sam. Having split from the main stream of Cushite peoples about the first half of the first millennium B.C., the proto-Sam appear to have spread to the grazing plains of northern Kenya, where protoSam communities seem to have followed the Tana River and to have reached the Indian Ocean coast well before the first century A.D. On the coast, the proto-Sam splintered further; one group (the Boni) remained on the Lamu Archipelago, and the other moved northward to populate southern Somalia. There the group's members eventually developed a mixed economy based on farming and animal husbandry, a mode of life still common in southern Somalia. Members of the proto-Sam who came to occupy the Somali Peninsula were known as the so-called Samaale, or Somaal, a clear reference to the mythical father figure of the main Somali clan-families, whose name gave rise to the term Somali.


The Samaale again moved farther north in search of water and pasturelands. They swept into the vast ****** (******** ) plains, reaching the southern shore of the Red Sea by the first century A.D. German scholar Bernd Heine, who wrote in the 1970s on early Somali history, observed that the Samaale had occupied the entire Horn of Africa by approximately 100 A.D.

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Somalia (Geopgraphy)


Size: Land area 637,540 square kilometers; coastline 3,025 kilometers; sovereignty claimed over territorial waters up to 200 nautical miles.


Topography: Flat plateau surfaces and plains predominate; principal exception rugged east-west ranges in far north that include Shimbir Berris, highest point at 2,407 meters.


Climate and Hydrology: Continuously hot except at higher elevations in north; two wet seasons bring erratic rainfall, largely April to June and October and November, averaging under 500 millimeters in much of the country; droughts frequent; only Jubba River in somewhat wetter southwest has permanent water flow. Shabeelle River, also in southwest, flows about seven months of year.

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Originally posted by Muad:


Adal was a sixteenth century sultanate located in East Africa north of Ethiopia, in modern Eritrea and Djibouti. At its height, the country controlled large portions of Ethiopia and Somalia.



hmm..Eritrea? I don't know if this is accurate. From what I remember reading, Adal Kingdom was located in the somali Area south-west of the gulf of Aden and stretched into what is modern day Somaliland, Djibouti and Ethiopia. The two main cities were Zeila and Harer. The kingdom consisted mostly of Somalis and Danakils and the populations of modern day Eritrea are not descendants of either of these ethnicities to my understanding.(except for the minority Afar in Eritrea)

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I second that. All the sources I've read in relation to the Adal Empire had Zeila (Seylac) as a major trade/government city.


The piece on Ahmed Guray was excellent tho!

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Lander, Wind - I agree with your point. thanks for the correction.


you can't trust some of these so called "online encyclopedia"!

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The beauty of discussions is that you find a lot of things that may otherwise be taken for granted and if one doesn’t do their research well, one ends up with the wrong information. Now too many here, the information provided through this discussion are new and quite frankly educational. I for one didn’t know a lot about my country other than the negative part of it which has so blighted any good intentions and ofcouse exchange of facts. Now this should be a stepping stone for us to find more and more about ourselves and to make sure we try to teach both Somalis and others about what Somalis are, their origins, beliefs, culture (which is pretty much complicated) and ofcouse see the differences in ways of life lived in different corners of Somalia.


At the moment there is a lot of information that is provided and we as Somalis need to do follow ups and try to learn and correct what is not correct.


I would also like to know how the different clans came into prominence within the confinements of the country.


Lander thanks for the correction and keep up the good work too.

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As you all inspirred me to learn more about the History of Somalia I have been searching books and on the net about Somali History and so far this is what I found.


The struggle for independence Era: 1920-1960


Modern political organization in the inter-riverine area has it origins in a Philanthropic movement that appeared in the in the 1920s under the name of al-jam'iyyah al- khayriyah al-wataniyah (the National Benevolent Organization). In 1947, the Jam'iyyah was transformed into a political party, Hizbia Dighil-Mirifle (HDM)(Dighil Mirifle party). By 157, it had changed its name to Hisbia Dastur Mustaqbil al- Somal (HDM) (Somali Independent Constitutional Party). For more than 20 years (1947-19680, especially before independence in 1960, HDMS was the true opposition party in the country, given the fact that the dominant nationalist movement, the Somali youth league, worked closely with British Military Administration in the 194s and later with Italian Trusteeship authorities in the 1950s. During this period, it raised several important issues for Somali political development, including the necessity of undertaking a census of the Somali population as a basic step toward to democratic government, and demanded the adoption of a federal system of government as the only way of creating a harmonious Somali state. The HDMS call for decentralization and a federal system of government was motivated by fear, later justified, that the powerful nomadic Clans would dominate the Somali state.


The Somali Youth League rejected a Proposed census in 1956, because of fear in might show the Dighil and Mirifle population outnumbered the (Q Name) who claim to be the largest clan in the country. Indeed, Somalia has never carried out a proper census of its population. The HDMS was clearly disenchanted in 1956, when the victorious Somali Youth League formed the first Somali cabinet consisting of three (Q Name)(including the prime mister), two (Name) and one (Name) . Though twenty of the sixty elected members of the legislative assembly were Reewin they received not one ministerial portfolio. The HDMS therefore had no choice but to call for decentralization. In fact, the party Boycotted the general elections of 1959



By Mohamed Haji Mukhtar

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The Somali History


The plight of the Agro-pastoral Society of Somalia.


By Mohamed Haji Mukhtar PhD Savannah State University, GA, USA.


Despite advances in modern communication and the proliferation of information, there remain areas of the world about which little is known. One such place is Somalia. The informed public is aware of a political 'meltdown' and consequent chaos there, but few comprehend the causes of this tragic crisis. Unless and until there is greater understanding of the basic issue involved, Somalia will continue to suffer mayhem and chronic disorder. This Article assesses some of the factors involved in the current civil war in Somlia, especially as they pertain to the to the inter-riverine region of south. Particular emphasis is placed on the Digil/Mirifle clans in that region


In contrast to the single causes analysis that attributes all to Siad Barre's dictatorship, which is adopted by nearly every Somali scholar and politician, the article investigates the social causes of the worst civil war in the modern history of the country. The single causes analyses is inadequate because it is not so much scientific as ideological, and represents the desire of nomadic groups to impose cultural and political hegemony on the settled agro-pastor list groups in and around the inter-riverine region in the south. The basic tenet of this hegemonic ambition is an invented homogeneity which presents Somalia as one of the few culturally homogeneous countries in Africa, if not the world. The Somalia people are said to have a single language and to share a mono-cultural. In fact, Somalia has always been divided into southern agro-pastoral clans and northern nomadic clans, which have distinctively different cultural, linguistic, and social structures. The mono-cultural about which most students of Somalia speak is extrapolated mainly from study of the northern part of the country, where most of the research into Somali culture was undertaken. The assumptions and extrapolations of these northern-based studies were later applied to other parts of the country without any scientific basis.


The myth of Somali homogeneity played a major role in the rise of nomadic clans to political predominance, and the appropriation of resources from the less warlike and Intensely religious agro-pastoral groups in and around the inter-riverine region. A major factor in the Somali conflict is the struggle among clans for control of limited and increasingly scare resources, especially land and water. More specifically, it is a violent competition between the (Q Name) and (Q Name) clan families for political and economic dominance of the inter-riverine region.

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Originally posted by Wiilo:

During this period, it raised several important issues for Somali political development, including the necessity of undertaking a census of the Somali population as a basic step toward to democratic government, and demanded the adoption of a federal system of government as the only way of creating a harmonious Somali state. The HDMS call for decentralization and a federal system of government was motivated by fear, later justified, that the powerful nomadic Clans would dominate the Somali state.

The HDM Party saw the faults in a centralized system of governance long before any other political organization. Somalis in the early post-colonial years were too busy "uniting" the country that they didn't even listen to the wisdom in the HDM's federalist outlook. I wonder if the living Somali politicians from the '60s era now recognize the HDM's political wisdom that promoted self-governance and self-sufficiency at the tribal level. Unitary governance was always the wrong choice for Somalia. History has proven this.

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