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Somalia: Information on the Bari Regional Autonomy, including its funding, responsibilities and administration

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 March 1997
Citation / Document Symbol SOM26313.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Somalia: Information on the Bari Regional Autonomy, including its funding, responsibilities and administration, 1 March 1997, SOM26313.E, available at: [accessed 17 December 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


According to a historian specializing in Somali politics at Savannah State College in Savannah, Georgia, the Bari Regional Authority (BRA) is an organization run exclusively by the Darod in Bari (11 Mar. 1997).  The BRA is a grassroots organization that aims to set up a  "civic infrastructure" in Bari, Mudug, and Galguduud (ibid.). Revenue to finance BRA's projects comes from the port of Bosasso (ibid.). This source explained that Bosasso is one of the major ports linking Somalia to India and the Arab world (ibid.). 

A researcher specializing in Somali politics at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, DC, concurred that BRA is a grassroots organization that seeks regional authority within the broad framework of a Somali nation (11 Mar. 1997). He also agreed that BRA's finances come from the port of Bosasso (ibid.). However, he explained that the Darod and Marjeteen clans form the majority population in the BRA  while the Leelkase are in the minority (ibid.). He explained that the area is under the control of  the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF), which represents Majerteen interests (ibid.). He stated that the SSDF, with the help of the UN, created regional councils to administer the area in 1992-93 (ibid.). This source further stated that there is currently a struggle for leadership between the leaders of the various Majerteen subclans (ibid.). Abdullahi Yusuf represents the Umar Mohammed subclan while Mohamed Abshir represents the Issa Mahamud subclan (ibid.).

He explained that BRA's relationship with Mogadishu is complicated by the fact that Abdullahi Yusuf  was a close friend of the late General Mohamed Aidid while Mohamed Abshir is closely allied with Ali Mahdi, and that both men claim to be chairmen of the SSDF (ibid). He further stated that in 1993, Abdullahi Yusuf and the late General Aidid signed a peace agreement, a development that "infuriated" the UN (ibid.). For additional information on the peace agreement, please refer to Reponse to Information Request SOM17338.E of 20 May 1994.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB 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.


Historian specializing in Somali politics, Savannah State College, Savannah, Georgia.  11 March 1997. Telephone interview.

 Researcher specializing in Somali politics, U.S. Institute of  Peace, Washington, DC. 11 March  1997. Telephone interview.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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