Somalia: Current situation of Darood (Darod)-Absame-Bartire, including their home territory, alliances and clan structure (1998 - June 1999)
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||1 June 1999|
|Citation / Document Symbol||SOM32056.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Somalia: Current situation of Darood (Darod)-Absame-Bartire, including their home territory, alliances and clan structure (1998 - June 1999), 1 June 1999, SOM32056.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aafe2b.html [accessed 19 May 2013]|
For information on the home territory of the Bartire, as well as their traditional allies and their links to the Absame, please see SOM24854.E of 8 October 1996, SOM24776.E of 10 September 1996 and SOM19022.E of 30 November 1994. In addition, the Report on the Nordic Fact-Finding Mission to Central and Southern Somalia, produced by the Danish Immigration Service and available in Regional Documentation Centres, states that the Bartire are a sub-clan of the Ogaden in the Lower Juba region and that "despite being closely related [as Darod], the Ogaden and Majerteen clans have fought one another with particular violence in the Kismayo area. The SPM [Somali Patriotic Movement] is mainly an Ogaden-based militia movement. ... The Harti clans, especially the Majerteen, are linked with the SSDF [Somali Salvation Democratic Front] movement, which is the dominant political movement in north-eastern Somalia" (1997, 14-15).
The following brief chronology, beginning in 1998, may be of interest in highlighting events involving the Absame and/or Bartire clans. On 21 February 1998, The Indian Ocean Newsletter reported that the outcome of the "Cairo Agreement", was "seen as a 'Hawiye peace agreement by various clans of this family ... [and] had the perverse effect of bringing closer together clans in the Darod family (Harti, Majertine, Marehan, Ogadeen) who closed ranks against the 'allies' Osman Ato, Ali Mahdi, and Hussein Aydid" (4). The Ethiopian Review also reported on Darood opposition to the Cairo conference and that it had "pulled together the two major Darood clans" in the SSDF and the SPM (30 June 1998).
However, in April 1998 there were reports of fighting in the port city Kismayo between the Darood clans Marehan and Majerteen, (AC 17 Apr. 1998, 6; AFP 28 Apr. 1998). AFP reported that "elders from the 'neutral' Absama clan had organized a meeting aimed at securing a ceasefire (ibid.).
According to the Somali newspaper Ayaamaha, the Darood and the Hawiye clans signed a peace agreement in September 1998 that "specifies that the two communities should work towards peaceful coexistence" (12 Sept. 1998).
On 31 October 1998, The Indian Ocean Newsletter reported that following the emergence of autonomous administration in Puntland, the Majerteen leader "announced his intention of creating an autonomous region for Jubaland, around the port of Kisimayo" and that this sparked renewed clashes within the Darood (7). Africa Confidential stated that this leader, Mohamed Siad 'Morgan', was working with the "Absame/Ogaden" leader of the SPM in "organising preliminary meetings of elders" in order to produce a "constitutional conference in the new year" for an "administration for Lower and Middle Juba" (23 Oct. 1998, 8). However, this source also reported on the desire of the Marehan and Harti for control of Kismayo, is still under the command of Morgan (ibid.).
On 4 November 1998 the Somali newspaper Mogadishu Times claimed that the Ogaden attacked the Marehan in southwest Somalia and that the "heavy fighting .... is linked to the current fighting in Kismaayo." AFP stated that "fresh fighting" had occurred in Kismayo between the "Ogadeni Somali Patriotic Movement" and the "advancing Marehan's clan Somali National Front (SNF)" (8 Nov. 1998). According to The Indian Ocean Newsletter, in response to the fighting in the city, the new president of Puntland, colonel Abdullahi Yussuf Ahmed declared that "all military action against Kisimayo was a declaration of war against Puntland" (21 Nov. 1998, 6). The Indian Ocean Newsletter stated that:
...Yussuf sees himself as the leader of Mejertein, Dolbahante and Wasangeli clans of north-eastern Somalia which all make up the Harti group which includes members of general Morgan's partisans. His partisans are allied with Absame (Ogaden) in defending Kisimayo. Harti and Absame are Darod just like the Marehan but many of the latter are partisans of Somali National Front (SNF) of Omar Haji Masaleh who has undertaken to retake control of Kisimayo from the hands of general Morgan with the support of Hawiye (especially Abr Gedir clan) militia from Mogadiscio. The two principal warlords in Mogadiscio, Hussein Mohamed Aideed and Ali Mahdi Mohamed, support this attempt to reconquer Kisimayo for starting out with the new administration of Banaadir Region (Mogadiscio and its region) which they are trying to put in place with the support of Egypt and Libya, they hope to extend their support to the rest of Somalia (ibid.)
Fighting was reported as continuing during the weekend of December 12-13, 1998, but that Morgan continued to hold Kismayo while the Marehan clan "held areas outside of the city" (ARB Dec. 1998, 13377; AC 18 Dec. 1998, 7).
On 12 December 1998 The Indian Ocean Newsletter reported:
The Absame clan (one of the three most important of the Darod Tribe) which, allied with the Harti of general Said Mohamed Hersi aka Morgan, controls the port of Kisimayo, has just ended a convention which assembled five hundred delegates. At the end of the meeting, general Aden Abdullahi Noor 'Gabiyow', a former defence minister in the regime of the late president Siad Barre, was named leader of this clan faction.
An executive committee of 55 persons was designated during the convention, which sees itself as an act preparatory to the constitution of a federal state of Jubaland in the south of the country, on the lines of Puntland, created in the north-east. Two deputies have been named for general Gabiyow, generals Bile Rafle and Abdirahman Khalif.
The Indian Ocean Newsletter reported on 23 January 1999, that 3 freed SPM militiamen claimed that eleven other SPM members had been killed by their SNF (Marehan) captors (7). The article referred to "the leaders of Kisimayo, imam Sheikh Abdirahman (Absame, one of the biggest Darod clan), general Said Mohamed Hersi (aka Morgan, a Harti, chief of the forces which defend the town) and his deputy colonel Ahmed Hashi (an Ogaden)" and that the SNF "benefited from the military support of Somali National Alliance (Abr Gedir) of a warlord of Mogadiscio Hussein Mohamed Aideed" (ibid.).
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.
Africa Confidential [London]. 18 December 1998. Vol. 39, No. 25. "Somalia: No Nation, New Regions."
_____. 23 October 1998. Vol. 39, No. 21. "Somalia: Somersaults."
_____. 17 April 1998. Vol. 39, No. 8. "Somalia: Fighting Over Peace."
Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series [Oxford]. December 1998. Vol. 35, No. 12. ""Somalia: Factions Battle for Port."
Agence France Presse (AFP). 8 November 1998. "Fresh Fighting Flares in Somalian Port." (NEXIS)
_____. 28 April 1998. "Eight Killed in Faction Fighting in Southern Somalia." (NEXIS)
Ayaamaha [Mogadishu, in Somali]. 12 September 1998. "Darod, Hawiye Clans Reportedly Sign Peace Agreement in Addis Ababa." (BBC Summary 15 Sept. 1998/NEXIS)
Danish Immigration Service. 1997. Report on the Nordic Fact-Finding Mission to Central and Southern Somalia. Copenhagen: Danish Immigration Service.
Ethiopian Review. 30 June 1998. Faisal Roble. "Broken Hopes: The Case of Somalia." (Ethnic NewsWatch/NEXIS)
The Indian Ocean Newsletter (ION) [Paris]. 23 January 1999. No. 842. "Somalia: Tension Mounts in Kisimayo."
_____. 12 December 1998. "Abdullahi aka Gabiyow (Somalia)." (NEXIS)
_____. 21 November 1998. No. 834. "Somalia: Puntland to the Rescue of Jubaland."
_____. 31 October 1998. No. 831. "Somalia: Battle for Jubaland."
_____. 21 February 1998. No. 808. "Somalia: Peace Crash-Lands Again."
Mogadishu Times [in Somali]. 4 November 1998. "Fighting Between Marehan and Ogaden Clans Erupts Near Kenyan Border." (BBC Summary 6 Nov. 1998/NEXIS)