WARARKA BARAAWEPOST jimce 14 march 2008
SOMALI HISTORY WILL HELP US UNITED!
Continuously inhabited for the
last 2,500 years by numerous and varied ethnic groups, some of Oromo or other Kush.itic
ancestry, and the majority Somalis. From the 1st century numerous ports
including Hafun and Mosylon-Bandar Gori were trading with Roman and Greek
The northwest was part of the
Aksumite Empire from about the 3rd century to the 7th but between 700 AD and
1200 AD Islam became firmly established, especially with the founding of Mogadishu in 900.
The period following, 1200 AD to
1500 AD, saw the rise of numerous Somali city-states and kingdoms. In
northwestern Somalia, the Sultanate of Adal (a multi-ethnic state comprised of
Afars, Somalis and Hararis) with Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi as their leader in
1520, successfully conquered three-quarters of Ethiopia before being defeated
by a joint Ethiopian-Portuguese force at the Battle of Wayna Daga on February
The Ajuuraan Sultanate. flourished
from the 14th to the 17th centuries. Following the collapse of Adal and
Ajuuraan in the 17th century, the region saw the emergence of new city states such as the Sultan.ates of
eastern Sanaag, of Bari, of Geledi-Afgoye, of Gasar Gudde-Lugh Ganane, of Mogadishu and the Benadir coast, and of Hobyo.
Competition between the Somali clans that lived in these states persisted
through the colonial period, when various parts of the region were colonised by
Britain and Italy. This era began in the year 1884,
the end of a long period of comparative peace. At the Berlin Conference of
1884, the scramble for Africa started
the long and bloody process of the imperial partition of Somali lands. The
French, British, and Italians came to Somalia in the late 19th century.
The British signed treaties with the clans in what was known after as British Somaliland which was a protectorate in 1886
after the withdrawal of Egypt. Egypt sought to prevent Europe.an colonial expansion in Northeast Africa. The southern area, was colonised by Italy in 1889, became known as Italian Somaliland.
Mohammed Abdullah Hassan. (Maxamed Cabdulle Xasan, Sayyid), born in the north of the Somali peninsula, was a religious, nationalist
and controversial leader. Known to the British as the "Mad Mullah",
he spent 20 years leading armed resistance to the British, Italian, and
Ethiopian forces in Somalia. Born into the Ogaden. sub-clan of the Darod, he belonged to the Salihiyah. sect.
Between 1900 and 1907, the Italian leaders tried several times to negotiate a
land deal with the Geledi.
Sultan based in ASfgoye and his Biyo-maal and Digil warriors. In 1905 more than 1,000 Biyo-maal and Tunni warriors, along with a large
number of Italians, were killed when the Italian army attacked in an attempt to
gain their objectives. Though many Somali warriors were killed during the war,
they still defeated the enemy and succeeded in protecting the Benadir coast.
After a long and bloody battle, the Italian leaders allied with other Somali
tribes and their combined strength finally destroyed the Sultan's forces.
Sheikh. Uways al-Barawi. of the
Tunni. sub-clan of the (Digil and Mirifle) in Barawa, lived at the
same time as Hassan and led the Qadiriyyah. sect. He resisted the Italian
occupation in a non-violent. method. He was murdered in Biyoley, in today's
Bakool. region, by the Dervish. in 1920 as Hassan was seeking
to recruit forces from Italian Somaliland. This was after the British used aircraft to destroy Hassan's base in
Taleex. Sheikh Aweys rejected violence and Hassan's ways
were based on violent resistance.
As a result of Hassan and his followers being chased by the followers of Sheikh al-Barawi, Hassan had to escape
through the thick forest along the Jubba River. until he reached Imi, Ethiopia, where he died of influenza, and,
reportedly, wounds inflicted on him during his escape.
To this day the annual pilgrimage to Sheikh al-Barawi's grave in
Biyoley is held where people of the Qadiriyyah sect and admirers of al-Barawi
Sheikh Hassan Barsane. of the Gugundhabe, a sub-clan of the Hawiye, and a member of the
Ahmadi, was another Somali religious leader who resisted the Italian rule in a
non-violent manner. He, like al-Barawi, rejected Hassan's approaches.
In March 1924, Sheikh Hassan Barsane, a leader of the Shabelle valley movement
known as the Barsane Revolt, convoked a Shir (meeting of elders) where the
participants, inflamed with millenarian zeal, denounced the Governor’s order.
On behalf of the Shir, Barsane wrote the following to the Governor:
In the name of Allah, most gracious,
most merciful ... I have received your letter and understood its contents, but
must advise that we cannot obey your orders and join with you in a covenant . .
. Your government has its laws, and we have ours. We accept no law other than
ours. Our law is the law of Allah and his Prophet . . . We are not like other
people, none of us has ever enrolled in the Zaptie (colonial forces), never! ...
and if you come to our land to fight against us, we will fight you with all
possible means ... The world is very close to its end, only. We don’t want to
stay in this world. It is better to die while defending our laws.
World War II
Fascist Italy, under Benito Mussolini. attacked Abyssinia (now Ethiopia), with an aim to colonize it, in
1935. The invasion was condemned by the League of Nations, but little was done to stop it or
to liberate occupied Ethiopia.
On August 3. 1940, Italian troops, including Somali colonial
units, crossed from Ethiopia to invade British Somalia. and by August 14. succeeded in taking of Berbera. from the British.
A British force, including Somali troops, launched a campaign in January 1942. from Kenya to liberate British Somaliland and Italian-occupied Ethiopia and conquer Italian Somaliland. By February, most of Italian Somaliland was captured and in March, British Somaliland was retaken from the sea. The British Empire. forces operating in Somaliland
comprised three divisions of South African, West and East African troops. They
were assisted by Somali patriot forces led by Abdulahi Hassan. with Somalis of the Isaaq, Dhulbahante, and Warsangali clans.
Following the war the United Nations. gave Somalia as a protectorate to Italy in 1949. The Ogaden. province of Somalia was given to the re-established
Ethiopian government by the British Empire, which kept British
its protection/rule. The French. also kept Djibouti. under colonial administration, until eventual independence in 1977.
The State of Somalia
Though Somalis and other Africans fought hard on the Allied side. in World War II, they were re-subjugated soon after the conflict. The
bitterness of lost hope strengthened the long struggle against colonialism, and
in most parts of Africa, including Somalia, independence. movements began.
The major political parties that fought for Somalia's independence were Somali Youth
Club (SYC) which later became Somali Youth
League. (SYL); Hizbia Digil Mirifle Somali (HDMS) which later
became Hizbia Dastur Mustaqbal Somali HDMS; and the Somali National League
The independence of the British Somaliland Protectorate from the United Kingdom. was proclaimed on 26 June. 1960. and unification with the former Italian Somaliland took place 5 days later. Now most of
the Somali clans were independent and the country of Somalia was formed, albeit within boundaries
drawn up by Italy and Britain.The beginning of the Somali
nation after independenceThe dawn of the Somali
nation-state in 1960The making of a Somalia state
A government was formed by Abdullahi Issa? with Aden Abdullah Osman Daar. as President,Aden Abdullah Osman the
founding fatherThe founding father of SomaliaA tribute to the Somalia
founding father, its president in 1960s and Abdirashid Ali Shermarke. as Prime Minister, later to become President ( from 1967-1969).
However inter-tribal rivalry persistedThe making of Somalia,
SomalilandThe beginning of the Somalia
stateThe dawn of the Somali
nation-state in 1960 with many clans claiming to have been forced
into the state of Somalia. In 1967, Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal. became Prime Minister, appointed by Shermarke (Egal was later to become
President of the breakaway independent Somaliland).
In late 1969 following the assassination of President Shermarke a military
government assumed power in a coup d'état. led by General Siad Barre. and Chief of Police Jama Korshel. Barre became President and Korshel
vice-president. The revolutionary army established large-scale public works
programmes and successfully implemented an urban and rural literacy? campaign, which
helped dramatically increase the literacy rate from 5% to 55% by the mid-1980s.
However, struggles continued during Barre's rule. At one point he assassinated
a major figure in his cabinet, Major General Gabiere, and two other officials.
It was in July 1976 when the real dictatorship of the Somali military commenced
with the founding of the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party. (Xisbiga Hantiwadaagga Kacaanka Soomaaliyeed, XHKS). It was the single
party that ruled Somalia until the fall of the military
government in December 1990 - January 1991. It was violently overthrown by the
combined armed revolt of the Somali Salvation Democratic Front. (Jabhadda Diimuqraadiga Badbaadinta Soomaaliyeed, SSDF), United Somali
Somali National Movement. (SNM), and the Somali Patriotic
Movement. (SPM) together with the non-violent political
oppositions of the Somali Democratic Movement. (SDM), the Somali Democratic Alliance. (SDA) and the Somali Manifesto Group (SMG).
The Ogaden War
In 1977 and 1978 Somalia fought with its neighbour Ethiopia in the Ogaden War, in which Somalia aimed to liberate and unite the
Somali lands that had been divided and subjugated under colonialism and to win
the right of self-determination for ethnic Somalis in those countries. Somalia first engaged Kenya and Ethiopia diplomatically, but this failed
while Somalis were being expelled from Ogaden province in Ethiopia. Somalia, already preparing for war,
supported the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF, then called the Western
Somali Liberation Front, WSLF) and eventually sought to capture Ogaden. Somalia acted unilaterally without
consulting the international community, which was generally opposed to
redrawing colonial boundaries, while the Soviet Union. and the Warsaw Pact. countries, refused to help Somalia, and instead, backed Communist. Ethiopia. For most of the war, Somalia appeared to be winning in most of
Ogaden, but with Somali forces at the gates of Addis Ababa, Soviet and Cuba.n forces and weapons
came to the aid of Ethiopia. The Somali Army was decimated and Somalia sought the help of the United States. Although the Carter Administration. originally expressed interest in helping Somalia he later declined, as did American
allies in the Middle
East and Asia. The Americans perhaps did not want
to engage the Soviets in this period of détente.