Explorations in History and Society

Exploring and Collecting the History of the Somali clan of Hawiye.

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The List of the Somali Cabinet Ministers from 1960-64

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July 22/1960 Golahii Wasiirada ee ugu horeeyey uu Ra’iisulwasaare Cabdirashiid Cali Sharmarke uu magacaabo iyo beelaha ay ka soo jeedeen:

Aadan Cabdulle Madaxweyne Hawiye Ujejeen Hiraan
Cabdi/shid Cali Sharmarke Ra’iisul wasaare Daarood Majeerteen Bari
Cabdi Xassan Buuni Ra’isulwasare kuxigeen Gadabursi Samaron Awdal
Axmed Xaji Ducale Wasiirka Beeraha Isaaq H/Jecel Sanag
Maxamed Ibrahim Cigal Wasirka Difaaca Isaaq H/Awal W/galbeed
Cali Garad Jamac Wasirka Tacliinta Darood Dhulbahante Sol
Abdikaadir (Zoobe) Wasiirka Maaliyadda Raxweyn Disow Bay
Abdullahi Ciise Maxamud Wasiirka A/Dibadda Hawiye Habar gedir Mudug
Sheikh Cali Jimcale Cafimaadka & Shaqada Hawiye Xawadle Hiraan
Sheikh Cabdule Maxamud Warshadaha & Ganacsiga Darood Mareexaan G/Gaduud
Cali Maxamed Hirawe Wasiirka Warfaafinta Hawiye Abgal Sh/Dhexe
Cabdi/saaq Xaaji Xusseen Wasirka A/Gudaha Darood Majeerteen Mudug
Mohamud Axmed Maxamed Wasiirka Caddaaladda Hawiye Abgaal Sh/Dhxe
Cabdi Nuur Maxamed Xussen A/Bulshada & Isgarsiinta Raxweyn Bay
Cusman Maxamed Ibrahim Wasirka Arimaha Soomaalida (Saddaxda maqan) NFD. Jabuti Ogadenya Drood Ogaadeen J/Hoose

July 20/1961, waxaa si aqlabiyad buuxda leh lagu doortay Axdigii joogtada ahaa ay ku dhaqmi laheyd dowladda la dooran doono. Waxaa dhamaaday halkii sanno oo xukuumadii  kumeelgaarka ahayd, waxaa loo dareeray doorasho diimoqaraadiyad aheyd, waxaa gobolada iyo degmooyinka dalka laga soo doortay 121 xildhibaan (Dibutaate) oo noqday Golaha Barlamaanka.

July 11,1961, waxay mar labaad xubnaha barlamaanka Madaxweynaha Jamhuuriyadda Soomaaliya u doortaan mudane Aadan Cabdulle Cusmaan oo hal cod kaliya kaga adkaaday mudanihii la tartamaayey ee Sheikh Cali Jimcaale, oo isagan Hawiye ahaa.

Madaxweyne Aadan Cadde, waxuu markale Ra’iisul wasaare u magacaabay Cabdirashiid Cali Sharma’arke.

Cabdirashiid waxaa laga sugayey inuu soo magacaawo Gole Wasiiro oo ka kooban 12 xubnood.

July 27/1961 Golihii wasiirada ee labaad uu Ra’iisul wasaare Cabdirashiid Cali Sharmarke uu magacaabay, magacyadooda iyo beelaha ay ka soo jeedaan:

Aadan Cabdule Cusmaan Madaxweyne Hawiye Ujeejeen Hiiraan
Abdi/shid Cali Sharmarke Ra’iisul wasaare Darood Majerteen Bari
Ali Garad Jamac Wasiirka Beeraha Darood Dhulbahante Sool
Sheikh Cali Cusmaciil Wasiirka Difaaca Isaaq H/yoonis Togdheer
Maxamed Ibrahim Cigaal Wasiirka Tacliinta Isaaq H/awal W/galbeed
Cabdulkhadir (Zoobe) Wasiirka Maaliyadda Raxweyn Disow Bay
Cabdullahi Ciise Maxamed Wasirka A/Dibadda Hawiye Habar Gidir Mudug
Sheikh Cali Jimcale Cafimaadka & Shaqada Hawiye Xawaadle Hiiraan
Sh. Cabdullahi Maxamud Warshadaha&Ganacsiga Darood Mareexaan G/Gaduud
Cali Maxamed Hiraabe Wasiirka Warfaafinta Hawiye Abgaal Sh/Dhexe
Cabdi/saq Xaaji Xusseen Wasiirka A/Gudaha Daarood Majeerteen Bari
Maxamud Axmed Maxamed Wasiirka Caddaladda Hawiye Abgaal Sh/Dhexe
Cabdi Nur Maxamed Xussen Wasiirka A/Bulshada & Isgaarsiinta Raxweyn Raxweyn Bay

Golihii wasiirada ee la magacaabay July 1961-kii, ayaa qilaaf, isqabqabsi iyo qabiil qancin darteeda laysuga shaandheeyey.

November 19,1962, ayaa hadana Gole wasiirada oo cusub uu magacaabay Ra’iisulwasaare Cabdirashiid Cali Sharmarke

Aadan Cabdule Cusmaan Madaxweyne Hawiye Ujejeen Hiiraan
Abdi/shid Cali Sharmarke Ra’iisul wasaare Darood Majerteen Bari
Ali Garad Jamac Wasiirka Beeraha Darood Dhulbahante Sool
Hilowle Macalin Max’ed W. Gaashandhigga Darood Ogadeen J/hoose
Yusuf Cusmacil Samatar W. Waxbarashada Isaaq Habar Awal Waqoyi Galbed
Abdi/dir M. Adan Zope Wasirka Lacagta Raxweyn Disow Baay
Abdulahi Ise Mohamed W. Arimaha Dibadda Hawiye Habar Gidir Mudug
Maxamud Axmed Mohamed W.Shaqalaha&Caafimadka Hawiye Abgaal Sh/Dhexe
Xaji Ibrahim Cusman Fod W.Ganacsiga&Warshadaha Isaaq Habar Yonis Waqoy Galbed
Cali Maxamed Hirabe Wasiirka Warfaafinta Hawiye Abgal Sh/Dhexe
Mohamud Abdi Nur(Juuje) W. Arimaha Gudaha Dir Qubeys Baay
Axmed Geele Xassan Wasirka Cadaalada & Arimaha Diinta Hawiye Xawadle Hiiraan
Cabdirisaq Xaji Xussen Wasirka Isgaarsiinta & Arimaha Bulshada Darood Majeerten Mudug
Golahan wasiirada ee cusub waxaa lagu soo daray:
Hilowle Macalin Maxamed Wasarada Difaaca…………………………Darood (Ogadeen)
Yusuf Cismacil Samatar Wasarasa Tacliinta………………………….Isaaq(Habar Awal)
Maxamed Axmed Maxamud Wasada Shaqaalaha iyo Caafimaadka …….Hawiye (Abgaal)
Axmed Geele Xassan wasiirka Cadaalada & Arimaha Diinta…………..Hawiye (Xawaadle)
Cabdirisaaq Xaaji Xussen Wasirka Isgarsiinta iyo arimaha Bulshada……Darood(Majerteen)

Waxaa Xilalkoodii waayey:
Maxamed Xaaji Ibrahim Cigal (Isaaq)
Sheikh Cali Cusman (Isaaq)
Sheikh Cali Jimcale (Hawiye)
Maxamud Axmed Maxamed (Hawiye)
Cabdinur Maxamed Xusen oo (Raxweyn) booskiisa Cabdirisaq Xaji Xuseen aa lagu bedalay!960-1964-kii Wasiir Ku-xigeenadii uu magacaabay Ra’iisulwasare Cabdirashid Cali Sharmarke
Cabdullahi Xaaji Maxamed (Insani) Ku-xigeenka Tacliinta Dir/Agon Baay magacabay July 22/60
Sheikh Maxamed Isaaq Ku-xigenka Arimaha Gudaha Hawiye/Jejele Baay July 22/60
Mohamed Ossoble Adde Ku-xigenka Isgarsinta& Arrimaha Bulshada Hawiye/Murasade Galgaduud July 22/60
Sheikh Cali Cusmancil Garsorka & Arimaha Diinta Isaaq/Habar Yonis Togdheer July 22/60
Xassan Caliyow Mursal Ku-xigenka Golaha Wasiirada Raxweyn/Elay Baay Julay 22/60
Maxamed cali Daar Ku-xigenka Arimaha Dibada Darod/Majeerten Nugaal Aug.14/61
Xussen Cumar Xassan Ku-xigenka Beeraha & Xanaada Xoolaha Darood Ogaaden Somali Galbeed Aug.14/61
Maxamed Cali Dhore Ku-xigeenka Tacliinta Hawiye/Habar gidir Galgadud Aug.14/61
Mohamed Sh. Maxamed Dahir Ku-xigenka Difaaca Raxweyn/Yantar Baay Aug.14/61
Aadan Shire Jamac Ku-xigenka Arimaha Gudaha Darood/Marexan Galgadud Nov.19/62
Abdiraxman Xaji Mumin Ku-xigenka Xanaanada Xolaha Hawiye/galjacal Hiraan Nov.19/62
Maxamed Sh. Maxamed Dahir Ku-xigenka Golaha Wasirada Raxweyn/yantar Baay Nov.19/62
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Written by daud jimale

March 1, 2010 at 2:56 pm

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Electoral Distribution of the Somali Republic (1960-1969)

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Electoral Distribution of the Somali Republic (1960-1969)

Majertinia Region
Town MP MC
Alula 1 15
Bereda 11
Bender Muranyo 11
Berder Beila 1 15
Bosaso 2 21
Kandala 1 15
Eil 2 15
Gardo 2 15
Garawe 2 15
Isku-Shuban 2 15
Bargal 11
Total 13 159
Mudug Region
Town MP MC
Dusa Mareb 3 15
Adado 11
El Bur 2 15
El Dher 2 15
Galkayo 2 21
Jiriban 2 15
Hobyo 2 15
Harardere 11
Total 13 118
Hiran Region
Town MP MC
Belet Weyne 5 21
Bulo Burti 7 15
Jalalaqsi 11
Total 12 47
Benadir Region
Town MP MC
Adale 2 15
Aden Yabal 1 15
Afgoi 2 21
Audegle 11
Balad 1 15
Brawe 3 15
Koriole 1 15
Jowhar 3 21
Mhadey Weyne 11
Hawadley 11
Merca 2 21
Mogadishu 2 25
Wanla Weyne 1 15
Total 18 211
Upper Juba Region
Town MP MC
Baidoa 6 21
Bur-Hakaba 6 21
Bardera 2 15
Dijuma 11
Saco 11
Dinsor 2 15
Kansah-Dere 11
Lugh-Ganane 2 15
Dolo 11
El-Wak 11
Huddur 4 15
Tigieglo 11
Wajit 11
Total 12 179
Lower Juba Region
Town MP MC
Afmadow 4 15
Kismayo 3 21
Jilib 2 21
Jamame 3 21
Total 12 78
Northwest Region
Town MP MC
Berbera 5 21
Borama 3 15
Gebileh 1 15
Hargeisa 6 21
Zeila 2 15
Total 17 87
Northeast Region
Town MP MC
Buhodle 2 15
Burao 5 21
Erigabo 2 15
Garadag 1 15
Las Anod 3 15
Las Khorey 2 15
Odweyne 1 15
Total 16 111
MP MC
Grand Total 123 990
Source: The Somali News (The Government Weekly News Paper)

Written by daud jimale

January 5, 2010 at 11:22 am

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The Hintire between 1880-1910

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The Hintire

Like the nearby Geledi, the Hintire were a clan of mixed pastoralists and farmers. They occupied a compact stretch of territory flanking the Shabeelle River town of Mereerey.

Although the Hintire were considered raaciye (“followers”) of the Geledi sultan from the early nineteenth century and had supported him in the Baardheere campaign of 1843, they themselves claim that their ancestors never accepted the religious supremacy of the Gobroon shaykhs. In the middle of the nineteenth century, the recognized leader of the Hintire was Shaykh Madow Mahad.

According to Hintire traditions, it was this higher education that enabled Madow to surpass even the Gobroon shaykhs in knowledge of the mystical arts. The religious rivalry between Shaykh Madow and Shaykh Ahmed Yusuf of Geledi—who is also said to have studied at Baraawe as a young man—is the subject of numerous anecdotes, some in the form of Sufi stories extolling the superior insight of one or the other.

Although the Hintire could not hope to match the warrior strength of the Geledi, Madow’s religious esteem proved helpful to the Geledi, at least initially. When Ahmed Yusuf became sultan of Geledi in 1848, Madow is said to have given him some land as a sign of friendship and a token of their school days together at Baraawe.

And the Hintire claim that the prestige of their shaykh aided Ahmed in regaining the loyalty of many clans that had defected after the Biimaal victory over his father in 1848.

However, at the same time, Madow was acquiring a religious following of his own, notably among the Hober clan of Daafeed, a district where the Gobroon shaykhs had been dominant for several generations.

Limited political cooperation between these neighboring clans thus did not prevent competition between their leaders for spiritual ascendancy. Without some awareness of this traditional religious rivalry, the particular response of the Hintire to the colonial occupation would be less understandable.

Madow was succeeded as head shaykh of the Hintire by his eldest son Ashir, who from all accounts was every bit as gifted as his father. Ashir was truly a man of religion; where his father had combined the roles of shaykh and islao  (politico-military head), Ashir gave the responsibilities of managing day-to-day affairs to one of his kinsmen, though he continued to be regarded by outsiders as spokesman for the Hintire.

(Until very recently there had existed among the Hintire both an islao and a head shaykh. In 1970 the revolutionary government abolished honorific titles, replacing them with the more egalitarian term Aw, a word signifying “respected elder”.)

Ashir had little sympathy for the military exploits of his Geledi neighbors; when Sultan Ahmed Yusuf tried to mobilize a large army to attack the Biimaal in 1878-79, Ashir refused to allow his people to participate.

This refusal appears to have marked the end of whatever cooperation had existed between the two clans. During the last two decades of the century, there occurred a number of skirmishes between the warriors of the Hintire and Geledi. The verdicts were mixed, although the Hintire won a last-minute victory in a battle in 1903-4, which proved to be the last between these riverine rivals.

The Geledi themselves admit losing the battle of Axad Mereerey (“the Sunday [year] of Mereerey”) because one of their warrior contingents attacked prematurely. The dating of a year by the battle suggests that it was one of the more important events that year (1903)

This background of antagonism toward the Geledi influenced the initial Hintire response to the “Italian problem.” Immediately after the battle of Lafoole in 1896, the Wacdaan sent a courier to Mereerey to solicit Shaykh Ashir’s support in their continuing struggle with the colonials. The courier asked Ashir to use his spiritual influence to help defeat the infidels. The Hintire leader refused on the grounds that the Wacdaan had assisted the Geledi in earlier battles with his clan. Ashir abruptly spurned the Wacdaan’s conciliatory offer of a gift of one hundred cows; the messenger is said to have ridden off without a parting word.

Shaykh Ashir’s position toward the colonials remained consistent throughout his lifetime and gives the lie to all simplistic views of Somali resistance. He felt that the Hintire, as good Muslims, should go to war only if their territory were invaded.

This policy he had applied in his dealings with other Somali clans as well. He had declined to participate in Sultan Ahmed’s aggressive campaigns against the Biimaal. He had counseled patience when his militant son and other kinsmen wanted to raid Geledi herds and seize land in dispute between the two clans. And as late as 1904, when acts of open resistance were becoming commonplace in the Benaadir, a colonial informer reported that Ashir refused to join the resisters: it was claimed that the shaykh would encourage his followers to take up arms only if the Italians moved inland and directly threatened Mereerey.

While Ashir sought to avoid endangering the lives of his kinsmen, he nonetheless wanted nothing to do with the infidels. He consistently rebuffed messengers sent to him by the Italian authorities.

Even his Somali enemies praised his nonaccommodating stance. A poet of Afgooye, recording the attitudes of the various southern clans toward the foreign invaders, said

Ashir Madow Alin Mahad refused to take the road to damnation [By receiving the infidels].

Yet Ashir was aging, and his sons had begun jockeying for succession to his position of authority. At his death in May 1907, the three sons of his youngest wife decided to take a stance that was openly hostile to the Italians.

These three sons did not enjoy as much influence in Hintire clan councils as did Ashir’s older children. It is also possible that they had been excluded from Ashir’s political inheritance, for his eldest son, Muhyeddin, had become head shaykh of Mereerey while the second oldest, Isma’il, had assumed the leadership of the Hober at Daafeed. As a result, the three junior sons may have sought increased prestige and power by taking an independent stand on the colonial issue. The three began cooperating actively with the ever-growing group of Benaadir resisters, and Mereerey soon became a major center for the gethering of dervish recruits. Those Hintire who chose to fight still invoked the name of their deceased leader: oral accounts recall how one warrior rose during a shir   and vowed that he would never offer an infidel the hand he had used to greet Shaykh Ashir.

At the news of his father’s death, another son, Abokor—soon to become the most famous—returned to Mereerey from the upper Shabeelle, where he had been assisting some kinsmen in their struggle against Ethiopia’s imperial armies. Already at this time Abokor was a declared dervish; nonetheless, he counseled his kinsmen to observe his late father’s dictum and refrain from following the example of the three younger brothers. Only when the Italians began to march inland in August 1908 did Abokor and his brothers reach an accord: they decided to oppose the occupation with arms. The town of Mereerey was one of the few places along the Shabeelle which met the Italians with a united show of force. More than seventy Hintire perished in a field outside the town, which was later burned to the ground. Several of those involved in the fighting were self-proclaimed supporters of the northern dervish leader Sayyid Muhammad Abdullah Hassan, among them Hussein Muhammad Yahiyow, nephew of Abokor Ashir, and Ibrahim Sha’ayb, who fired the first shot with a newly acquired musket.

A local poet recalled the battle some years later:

Abokor Ashir Madow said, I will not hoist the [infidels’]   flag;   The Hintire preferred death to disgrace.   When the infidels came thundering into Mereerey,   We saw many young men confront the barrels of guns;   They were fired upon and silenced forever.   We saw many people wearing mourning cloths,   And many children who became orphans.

References;

Lee Cassanelli “The shaping of Somali society”

 

Beautiful appearance & ugly substance, beautiful substance & ugly appearance.

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“There are three things of beautiful appearance and ugly afterwards; and three things of ugly appearance and beautiful afterwards. What are the three things of beautiful appearance and ugly afterwards? The young Guggundabo, the cow with large shoulders, the mature woman: they have a beautiful appearance and are ugly afterwards. — The young Guggundabo carries the shield, a beautiful lance with threads wrapped around, and a mat for prayers. Then he comes to the tree under which they throng for the assembly. Then it would be necessary that he speak. He finds nothing to say. It is said: ‘Let us go to spend the night in the house of this clever young man.’ Then he says: ‘No! No! I have nothing!’ He cries out. The man of handsome appearance is ugly afterwards, so it is-

The young Guggun-dabo is perhaps elegant in appearance, but he is neither eloquent nor hospitable.

-What is the cow with large shoulders? When it is pregnant and in its belly there is milk and it is pregnant, it is said: ‘This is a cow of great beauty.’ Then this cow that had been called nice delivers a little one. Then for two days it does not drink water; it becomes empty (of milk). Then it looks like a dog. It leaves its offspring. Then it is ugly afterwards.

The cow with large shoulders produces little milk, contrary to its appearance.

“A woman who has given birth to three or four children and who is neither young nor old is called mature. When she is free and is not married, she wears an elegant veil, a beautiful kerchief on her head, a double gown. Whoever sees her says: ‘Who will take her [in marriage]? She is elegant.’ Then one marries her. She becomes pregnant. The excrement and the urine of the child spread over her. Then you say: ‘Oh! This one stinks! Is she a slave?’ Once she was elegant, here is one who is ugly afterwards.

“The three things of ugly appearance and beautiful afterwards, what are they? The young Hawâdlä, the camel with large shoulders, and the virgin girl. — You see the young Hawadlä, he carries an old shield, a rusty lance, and a box of tobacco-

Traditionally the Hawâdlä are known as tobacco chewers

-Tied here near the male organ. When he comes to the tree of the assembly, the people are surprised. They say: ‘What does he want?’ Then he speaks in fine words: ‘It is to be done this way! It is to be done this way! This is how it is!’ Then it is said: ‘He is a clever man! Let us spend the night in his house.’ When they have gone to his house, he says: ‘Sit here.!’ He takes a male camel, slaughters it, and milks a she-camel. Then the people satiate themselves. They are satiated with meat, milk, durra. Then it is said: ‘This man is not as I though yesterday.’ Here is one who is beautiful afterwards-

The young Hawâdlä, careless about his clothing, is, on the other hand, eloquent and hospitable

— The she-camel with 216   large shoulders, when it has its little one in the womb for twelve months, if you take it to pasture, you say: ‘It will not give birth soon.’ It is thin and hungry. When the twelve months have elapsed, it instead will give birth. When it has given birth, you obtain much milk. If you are thirsty and there is dry weather, you will not be disturbed. You squeeze out the milk that it is full of. Then it is beautiful afterwards-

The she-camel with large shoulders, which needs care during the twelve months of gravidity (it also refers to the difficulty of pasturage for the camels during dry weather), on the other hand gives milk in abundance after the delivery.

-What is the virgin girl? She is a girl with the tonsure. Her appearance is ugly when one marries her. When the man spends the night [with her], and he sees her heart troubled, she then, very sad, runs away nto the woods. At night she does not come home-

During the first days of marriage the girl is easily overcome by melancholy and mourns for her free life.

-Then you say: ‘Who is this slave?’ The veil is wrapped around her head in an ugly way. And she wears cotton that is cheap and all dirty-

The very young wife does not yet know how to dress well or to adorn herself

Then when she becomes pregnant, her relations with her husband are good and they are in accord. It is said: ‘She puffs out the sides of her hair. She makes herself elegant. She is a clever woman! Remember how she was before?’ Here is what is beautiful afterwards”

The girl who is not experienced about men does not know how to make her charms appreciated, but once she is accustomed to the new life, she is much more preferable than the mature woman.

 References

Enrico Cerulli “How a Hawiye tribe use to live”

Italian imperialism and Benaadir resistance prt 4

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5:The Storm of the Banadir Resistance gathers strength

As became clear from the NY times report (see part 4) on the ‘Lafole Massacre’, the Italian minister of Foreign Affaires commented on the ‘Lafole Massacre’ that the Italian government would take ‘energetic measures’ to punish the Somalis who were ‘guilty of the outrage’.

Now let us discuss these ‘energetic measures’ the Italian government wanted to take, and see whether they could stem the coming tide of the monsoon storm of resistance headed towards the Benadir coast region. As mentioned in part 3, the Italian foreign minister immediately appointed Commander Giorgio Sorrentino as royal commissioner extraordinary for the Benadir. His mission was as Robert L. Hess writes in his book ‘Italian colonialism in Somalia’:

”Sorentino was instructed ‘above all to provide for the security and tranquillity of the region’ After a complete investigation of the causes of the attack at Lafolé, he was to take whatever steps should appear indispensable for our dignity and for the security of the colony’’

This investigation would be completed within ten days which was around February 1897 (see part 4). The conclusion Sorrentino drew from the investigation was as follows:

”Within ten days he had determined that Lafolé was neither the precursor of a general urprising against the Italians nor an Ethiopian ambush but an isolated case of action by Wadan tribesmen and the tribes of Geledi; who had been spurred to the act by two Arabs from Mogadishu’’ (Robert L. Hess)

The conclusion Sorrentino drew was that the guilty ones were Wacdaan tribesmen and the tribes of Geledi, which meant that these tribesmen would be punished as the Italian foreign minister said in the NY Times report. Also Sorrentino believed that these tribesmen have been spurred to the act by two Arabs from Mogadishu. These Arabs were Abu Bakr Bin Awod, Filonardi’s interpreter and a certain Islam bin Muhammed.

The first thing, Sorrentino did was arresting Abu Bakr, while Islam bin Muhammed disappeared from the Banadir coast. The second thing, Sorrentino did was to plan a punitive expedition against the Somalis who were ‘guilty of the outrage’. For this he had ordered two companies of Eritrean askaris. In the meantime, Sorrentino, researched the conditions prevailing in the Benadir, where he discovered the widespread practice of slavery and domestic servitude. But he could not do something about it, since obviously this meant distrubting the whole plantation economy of the South.

”Under the circumstances-the already difficult relations with the interior tribes- Neither Dulio nor Sorrentino could act immediately against slavery. Such action would have committed the Italians to a costly undertaking of doubtful outcome, a risk that Sorrentino had been ordered not to take.’’ (Robert L. Hess)

Sorrentino and Dulio, the Benadir Company’s commissioner, had to content themselves with the expected punitive expedition against the tribes in the interior. Sorrentino was pleased at the prospect of this punitive expedition as he thought of the Somalis as: ”liars, thieves, and murderers”. A clear grudge from the ‘Lafole massacre’. He wrote in his book Ricordi del Benadir: ”We’ve got a nasty cat to skin!, May God protect us!”

In March the reinforcements of the two companies of Eritrean askaris finally arrived, and the Italians completed their plans for the punitive expedition against the Wacdaan and Geledi.

On April 20, almost 5 months after the Lafole attack, Sorrentino led his expedition inland and burned first Lafole and then several other villages associated with the Geledi and Murusade clan. The religious settlement of Nimow from where Sheekh Axmed Xaaji preached his religious message, was also bombarded by an Italian warship.

”The Italian bombardment of the small coastal village of Nimow in retaliation for Cecchi’s death marked the first such colonial action against a Somali civilian population.’’( Lee V. Cassanelli).

The Italians were joyful about these ‘energetic measures’ against the Somalis who were found guilty. Surprisingly, the Italians thought that these measures would solve everything and concluded that the Sorrentino expedition was a success:

”With Abu Bakr arrested, the Ethiopians in voluntary retreat, Lafole avenged, and leaders of Somali opposition deported, Sorrentino had virtually accomplished his mission by the end of April’’ (Robert L. Hess)

The deported leaders were Hussein Dera of Mogadishu and other Somalis for collaboration with the Ethiopians and instigation of Somali attacks on trading caravans between Lugh and the Coastal towns. Although these punitive expeditions looked impressive, they had no lasting effect, as it further antagonized the Wacdaan and Geledi clans. Also, it became clear that the two Arabs had no influence whatsoever on the clans of the interior, and thus were not the source of opposition to the Italian presence.

”The impression made by the punitive expedition after Lafolé could hardly have been called lasting” (Robert L. Hess)

This seems to be the case, since the Italians retreated to the coastal cities after the expedition.

”In the decade following the Lafoole incident, the Italians remained at the coast, their colonial policy marked by uncertainty and indecision. Their only major venture into the interior was the establishment of a garrison of Arab soldiers at Baardheere in 1902’’ ( Lee V. Cassanelli).

Also, in the book ‘Italian colonialism in Somalia’ of Robert L Hess, it becomes clear that the punitive expedition to avenge the Lafole attack was not followed by other expeditions into the interior.

”We make no expeditions against tribes guilty (of hostilities) but arrest individuals of that tribe who happen to be in town; (this policy) has persuaded the Bimal and the Somali of Mogadishu that we are not strong”

It thus becomes clear that the Italians retreated back to the Coast, and only were visible in the cities of Merca, Mogadishu, Barawe and Warsheekh.

In Somali Sultanate, Virginia Luling also talks about the consequences of Lafole attack, in which she writes: ”On the Italian side, though the repercussions of the disaster delayed by three years the formation of the Benadir Company, in the long run it reinforced the conviction that it was necessary to take military control of the hinterland.’’

What made the punitive expedition not effective on the long run? Why did the Italians retreated to the Coast? To answer these questions we need to know how the different Somali groups in Benadir responded to the Lafole attack.

”It is clear from colonial reports and from Somali oral recollections that Lafoole precipated a response from all the districts of the hinterland” ( Lee V. Cassanelli).

————-

-To start with the Geledi Sultanate,

The Sultan of Geledi, Sultan Osman, as already discussed in the previous parts, wanted to accommodate the Italian presence on the Banadir coast. Cecchi apparently went to conclude a treaty with the Sultan, in order to penetrate the interior of the Banadir region. The Lafole episode came suddenly, and the Italians mounted their revenge expedition. As a consequence, Sultan Osman quickly succumbed to the Italian pressure and signed a treaty of peace with the Italians.

”The encounter with the Italians subdued the sultan of Geledi, who quickly signed a treaty of peace and pledged obedience to the Italian government” (Robert L. Hess).

This however did not mean that the Geledi people supported the Italian penetration of the Banadir coast, or accepted the Sultan’s treaty with the Italians. The young people of Geledi were fiercely opposed to the Italians and also played a role in the Lafoole attack.

”Acting-Governor Dulio felt that the young men of Geledi were fiercely opposed to the Italian presence, whereas their elders wanted some sort of accommodation” ( Lee V. Cassanelli).

Besides the young men, the uncle of Sultan Osman, and others felt that if the sultan wavered in his resistance, Gobroon authority would be weakened for good. This was true, since many from Adawiin lineage, whose religious prestige among the Geledi was second only to the Gobroon, preached a policy of non-accommodation. The reasons why the Sultan of Geledi succumbed to the Italians were varied. One of them was that Sultan Osman himself considered the possibility of shoring up his waning power through an alliance with the Italians.

The only articulated fierce opposition to the Italians from the Geledi was from the leader of a jamaaca (religious settlement) of the Ahmediya. This leader was Shaykh Abiker Ali Jelle, a member of the sultan’s own Gobroon lineage.

”When Abiker began to preach outright opposition to the colonials sitting threateningly on the coast, he was forced by the Geledi elders to leave the district’’( Lee V. Cassanelli).

This shows on which side the elders stood, and how they along with the Sultan were hesitant to join the resistance and thought accommodation was the best option for the group’s interest. We will see in later instalments whether this actually was the case.

-The Wacdaan response:

As already discussed in the previous parts, the Wacdaan were from the beginning fiercely opposed to the Italian penetration of the Banadir. This fierce opposition culminated in the attack of Lafole, in which mainly Wacdaan warriors along with a few Murusade and Geledi warriors, attacked the Cecchi expedition and killed all but three men.

The Italians directed their anger and revenge on mainly this group, by burning Lafole to the ground and bombarding the coastal village of Nimow from the sea. The Sorrentino expedition, with the Italian troops already based in the Banadir port-cities and the reinforcements of the two Eritrean Askari companies, was also mainly directed at punishing the Wacdaan and their allies.

These punitive measures however did not subdue the Wacdaan. Instead the Wacdaan remained harassing Italian presence on the Banadir coast by conducting guerrilla warfare tactics i.e. attacking caravans to the Banadir port-cities, organising blockades of the caravan routes that went through their territory to Mogadishu, and persecuting Somalis working with the Italians.

”Now the Wacdaan were beginning to blockade the caravan routes that ran through their territory to the coast” ( Lee V. Cassanelli).

The Italians sought to divide the Wacdaan and persuade sections of the group to submit peacefully. As said earlier the most numerous and militarily strongest section of Wacdaan, the Abubakar (Abukar?) Moldheere were lead by the famous Hassan Hussein, the fierce anti-‘infidel’ leader who along with Sheekh Axmed Xaaji articulated the opposition to the Italian penetration of the Banadir coast. This section of Wacdaan could not be persuaded, and continued to fight the Italians to the bitter end. The other section, the Mahad Moldheere, began slowly to depart from the rest of Wacdaan. They too participated in the Lafole attack, but started to move to the side of the Geledi. This was not surprising since they inhabited the territory contiguous to Afgooye and the fertile lands around Adadleh.

”Their interests coincided more with those of the agricultural Geledi. However, their smaller numbers gave them less influence in Wacdaan clan councils, which came to assume greater importance for policymakers as the Wacdaan began to act independently of the Geledi. While the Mahad Moldheere apparently cooperated in the Lafoole siege, their leader Abiker Ahmed Hassan subsequently struck an independent diplomatic stance.’’ ( Lee V. Cassanelli).

When in 1899 the Italians demanded forty hostages to be surrendered to the authorities in Muqdisho as a sign of Wacdaan submission, only the Mahad Moldheere responded. Their leader Abiker became a stipend official, which enhanced his standing among those of pacific persuasion.
The Abubakar Moldheere refused to send the twenty representatives demanded of them and for some years remained openly defiant of Italian authority.

”They continued to attack caravans and occasionally to boycott the market of Muqdisho. There is some evidence to suggest that feuding within the Wacdaan increased after this rift between the two major lineages’( Lee V. Cassanelli).

The Biyamaal response:

The Biyamaal were one of the first group to express their support for the Wacdaan in the lafole attack. They boycotted the markets of Merca, and the northern Biyamaal even collaborated with Hassan Husein of the Wacdaan. This collaboration led to the Biyamaal becoming also a target of punitive expeditions.

”After the Lafoole episode, several Biimaal sections boycotted the market of Marka to express their support for the Wacdaan action. The northern Biimaal collaborated with Hassan Hussein of Lafoole in cutting off land communications between Muqdisho and Marka.” ( Lee V. Cassanelli).

The Italians also targeted the Biyamaal for their support to the Wacdaan. In this they seized Jeziira, 13 miles south of Mogadishu.

————-
These were the immediate responses of the Italian colonialists and the different Somali groups to the Lafole episode.

These actions and reactions would accelerate in the coming years, as the Italians were determined to colonize the Banadir coast and its hinterlands as the springboard for the eventual colonization of the rest of Southern Somalia. In this, the Italians would target the two most fierce resistance groups in the Banadir: the Wacdaan and Biyamaal, who were already allied in their economic sanctions and operations to disturb the lines of supplies and communication of the Italians in Mogadishu. As will become clear in the next instalments the Italians would target the very foundation of the Wacdaan and Biyamaal power: their means of production and thus means of power–>the plantation economy of the Banadir coast.

In the next instalment the plantation economy of the Benadir coast and Southern Somalia will be discussed and the Italian strategy to undermine this by their anti-slavery campaign.

This strategy of directly targeting the foundations of the Banadir agricultural society and thus the power of the two most fierce resistance groups against Italian penetration of the Benadir coast would trigger the monsoon Storm of Resistance that struck the Banadir coast region.

 references;

Italian imperialism and Benaadir resistance prt 3

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4. The spark that lit the Banadir Resistance: Lafoole 25-26th of November 1896

Lafoole as explained earlier was within Wacdaan territory. It lay in an area with thick brush and scrub grass, a suitable spot for a well-prepared ambush. The Wacdaan were waiting for this moment, as Cecchi was despised by all Somali groups in the Banadir region, since he embodied colonial aggressiveness which became evident by his plans to ‘tap into the rich resources of Somalia’.

Also, the Wacdaan were from the beginning fiercely opposed to any compromise with the ‘infidels’. This attitude was persistent in the culture of the Wacdaan as explained earlier. Another impulse to this fierce anti-infidel attitude was the coming of Sheik Axmed Xaaji, the sheikh that found it intolerable to coexist with the ‘infidels’ in Mogadishu (see part 2). He lived among the Wacdaan, set up a jamaaca (religious school) and became the sheikh of the Wacdaan (religious leader). His ideas have apparently influenced the leader of the largest subgroup of Wacdaan (Abubakar Moldheere): Hassan Hussein.

Hassan Hussein, together with Sheikh Axmed Xaaji were instrumental in articulating the opposition to the Italian presence in Banadir. As already explained this too had its consequences for the political geography in Banadir, mainly the cooling of the alliance between Geledi and Wacdaan. Within the Geledi, the people wanted to resist the Italian expansion but the Sultan and the ones with authority choose for accommodation. In this the Wacdaan were slowly moving away from Geledi, and moving towards the Biyamaal, their erstwhile enemy.

The clash at Lafoole:

On 25th of November in 1896, the moment arrived in which the Italian government gave the approval to venture into the interior, thus effectively leaving the garrisons in Mogadishu. Cecchi too was waiting for this moment since he was eager to sign treaties with the Sultan of Geledi, which he still thought was powerful enough to be instrumental in the Italian plans for Somalia. What he didn’t know however was that the Sultan did not represent the feelings of the people, who were fiercely opposed to Italian expansion. Cecchi and the others in the expedition would find out too late about this fierce anti-infidel attitude of the Somalis.

This expedition consisted of Antonio Cecchi, Commander Ferdinando Maffei of the Staffetta, Commander Franscesco Mongiardini of the Volturno, and fourteen other Italians. In the evening when the expedition force set their camp at Lafoole, they were attacked in which a fierce fight followed. Apparently, this attack was not decisive enough to finish off the expedition. The next morning a renewed attack followed which successfully finished off the expedition, with only 3 survivors to tell the story.

”With government approval, Cecchi prepared for an expedition into the interior. By November 25, he was ready to move; his caravan consisted of seventy askaris, Commander Ferdinando Maffei of the Staffetta, Commander Franscesco Mongiardini of the Volturno, and fourteen other Italians, for the most part members of the crews of the two ships. That very night their encampment at Lafolé, some twelve miles inland, was attacked. In the early morning hours, as the caravan once more got under way, it was attacked again. By eight-thirty in the morning of November 26, all but three sailors were dead or dying.” (Robert. L Hess)

Who were these groups that attacked the Italian expedition?

In the Shaping of Somali Society, (Lee V. Cassanelli) it becomes clear that the group that attacked the Italians were of mainly Wacdaan warriors, accompanied by Murursade and Geledi warriors.

”In November 1896, he and a score of Arab askaris set out to meet with the presumably influential sultan of Geledi. It was the first colonial attempt to penetrate the interior with a military contingent, and it ended disastrously for the Italians. Cecchi’s expedition was besieged and most of it destroyed at a place called Lafoole, along the Muqdisho-Afgooye road by Somali warriors of the Wacdaan clan.”

In another passage the author reveals more about the composition:

”Geledi’s long-time allies the Wacdaan had apparently acted independently at Lafoole; and they had been assisted by a handful of warriors from the Murursade, also Geledi allies”

Virginia Luling instead talks about Wacdaan and others, which thus means Murursade and Geledi warriors, since the alliance consisted of these three groups:

”…Antonio Cecchi, famous as an explorer and one of the most enthusiastic and influential advocates of Italian colonisation, set out from Muqdisho for Geledi with a party of soldiers in Novermber 1896, intending to negotiate with Sultan Cusmaan Axmed.
They were surprised and attacked while camping in Wacdaan territory, at Laafoole at the edge of the deex, where the white earth meets the black, and the thorny bush gives way to more open country. Out of the seventeen Italians, only three survived.

The assailants were from the Wacdaan and perhaps other clans.”

Virginia Luling further sheds light on the location of Laafoole:

”It must be a particularly suitable place for surprise attacks, for fourteen years earlier, Révoil’s caravan had been attacked by Wacdaan at the same spot, and its name ‘place of bones’, comes from a much earlier slaughter, supposedely of the ‘gaalo madow’. ”

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Reactions to the clash:

The ‘Lafoole Massacre’ as the Italian press called it, came less than a year after the humiliating Italian defeat at Adowa in Ethiopia. It was a severe physiological damage to Italian colonial ambitions.

For Somalis, it was a great day, which send a shockwave throughout the Banadir region. The ‘Lafoole Massacre’ which already severely shocked the Italian colonialists, was immediately followed by sporadic incidents along the whole Banadir coast.

In Mogadishu 100 or more Italians were wounded in a general uprising. In Marka, a young Somali, Omar Hassan Yusuf, assassinated the Italian resident, Giacomo Trevis. According to local accounts, Omar emerged after praying in the small mosque of Shaykh Osman ‘Marka-yaalle’ and knifed the ‘infidel’ Trevis as he walked along the beach. Giacomo Trevis was a hated man in Marka for a lot of reasons, besides been an unwanted colonialist, he was also hated for his policy of compulsory labor. In Warsheekh, a government askari was confronted as he stepped outside the garrison. In Baraawe, the well-known and influential Haji Shaykh Abbas railed against his Somali compatriots and called them ‘woman’ for allowing the Italians free movement there. ( Lee V. Cassanelli).

The Italians in Banadir were shocked, and when the news reached Rome, the foreign minister immediately appointed Commander Giorgio Sorrentino as royal commissioner extraordinary for the Banadir. Initially, the Italians thought that Lafoole was an Ethiopian ambush since Ethiopians were besieging Lugh at that time and since there were rumours of an Ethiopian invasion of Banadir region. When Sorrentino landed in Mogadishu, on 26th of January 1897, he immediately started the investigation of Lafole.

”Within ten days he had determined that Lafolé was neither the precursor of a general urprising against the Italians nor an Ethiopian ambush but an isolated case of action by Wadan tribesmen and the tribes of Geledi; who had been spurred to the act by two Arabs from Mogadishu’’ (Robert L. Hess)

This was a gross understatement of the Lafoole incident, and of the attitude of the Benadir groups to the Italian presence.

Throughout the Banadir, from Warsheekh to Baraawe, 1896-97 is remembered as Axad Shiiki ( the ‘Sunday year of Cecchi’). The Biyamaal date the beginning of their twelve-year resistance at Axad Shiiki. ( Lee V. Cassanelli).

The clash at Lafoole is immortalized by this shirib:

Shiin digow Sheikh Axmed Xaaji
Shiiki sheydaan mooho?

Translation:

Writer of (the Koranic verse) shiin, Sheikh Axmed Xaaji
Is not Cecchi a devil?

Sheikh Axmed Xaaji is the well-known religious leader of the Wacdaan who had established the jamaaca to teach Quran, religon etc

—————————————-

The Italians have misinterpreted the signs of the coming storm which would engulf the Banadir region.

In the coming part, we’ll explain the immediate consequences of the clash at Lafoole. How the Italians reacted to the ‘Lafoole Massacre’ and how the different Somali groups in Banadir reacted to the event and the wider issue of Italian presence in the Banadir coast. Slowly on from there we will arrive at the heroic struggle of the Biyamaal and their allies, amongst which their erstwhile enemy Wacdaan, against the Italian expansion.

SOMALIS TO BE PUNISHED.

___________

For the Murder of Italians at Magadoxo, Africa.

Rome, Dec. 3.—In the chamber of Deputies today the Marquis Visconti Venosti, Minister of Foreign Affaires, confirmed the reports from Zanzibar of the murder of the Italian Consul, Signor Cecchi, the Captains, and a number of officers of the Italian warships Volturno and Staffeta, and the wounding of 100 or more other Italians by Somalis at Magadoxo. The men had fallen into an ambuscade and were attacked without warning.
The Government , the Minister said, would take energetic measures to punish the Somalis who were guilty of the outrage.
The Marquis said that the confirmatory reports showed that fourteen Italians had been killed, together with a number of the escorts of the Italians whose caravan was attacked during the night. Twenty-seven bodies were recovered by a rescue party when hurried to the scene from Magadoxo when the news of fighting reached there. The rescuers arrested a number of the Somalis who participated in the massacre and punished them appropriately. Many of the Somalis tribesmen were also killed by the Italians in the fight that followed the attack on the caravan.

The New York Times
Published: December 4, 1986

references; Italian Colonialism in Somalia, Robert L. Hess 1966

Written by hawiye1

May 21, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Italian imperialism and Benaadir resistance prt 1

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Axad Shiiki

Introduction

”With government approval, Cecchi prepared for an expedition into the interior. By November 25, he was ready to move; his caravan consisted of seventy askaris, Commander Ferdinando Maffei of the Staffetta, Commander Franscesco Mongiardini of the Volturno, and fourteen other Italians, for the most part members of the crews of the two ships. That very night their encampment at Lafolé, some twelve miles inland, was attacked. In the early morning hours, as the caravan once more got under way, it was attacked again. By eight-thirty in the morning of November 26, all but three sailors were dead or dying.” ”First Adowa, then Lafolé; the future of Italian colonialism in the Horn of Africa looked very unpromising at the end of 1896” Italian Colonialism in Somalia, ( Robert L. Hess , 1966)

 ———————–

This event sparked one of the longest resistance struggles in Southern Somalia (Banadir) against Italian penetration and occupation of Somalia. This long resistance is only second to the heroic struggle of Sayyid Muhammed Abdulle Hassan and his darawish army.

What happened on that day of November 25-26th in 1896? Who was this Cecchi guy? Who were these mysterious warriors that swiftly defeated this first Italian imperialist penetration of the hinterland of Banadir? Why is this event put in the same line as the humiliating defeat of the Italians by Ethiopians in Adowa? And last but not least, what were the consequences of this event in Lafole?

This episode in Somali history is perhaps the least known, although it had crucial impact on the future of Somalia. Instead, most Somalis are not aware of this event while the Italians had built a monument for Antonio Cecchi in Lafole which still stands in the bush unvisited, while throughout the Banadir 1896 is remembered in the count of the years as Axad Shiiki, the ‘Sunday Year of Cecchi’.

To present an elaborate account of this event, we need to start with the context. Who were the main groups in the Banadir region? Who was Antonio Cecchi and what was his role in the Italian expansion into Somalia? And what were the consequences of this event both for the Somali groups and Italy?

In a number of series we’ll present the complete story, and show why this event and the shockwave it send throughout Banadir and Southern Somalia is still relevant to this day.

1: Backrgound on Banadir region

Banadir region consists of the four Banadir ports of: Warsheekh, Mogadishu, Merca and Baraawe. These four port-cities were inhabited by Somali groups along with Arabs and people of mixed origins (Persian, Indian etc) and traders from the Indian Ocean. The authority of Mogadishu for example was nominally under Omani rule, but the city had two real administrations, one in Xamarweyne and the other in Shangaani. These four Banadir ports were the linkages between the Somali hinterlands of the Horn region and the Indian Ocean trade. Caravan trade flourished in these hinterlands, connecting trade centre’s of Harar and elsewhere in Abyssinia to the Banadir ports, through the trade towns of Lugh, Baardheere and Geledi (present-day Afgoye). In the hinterland of Benadir diverse groups existed and to this day exist, like Geledi, Hintire, Wacdaan, Biyamaal, Murusade, Abgal, Silcis, Shidle, Moobleen, Hilibi etc.

 The relevant groups in this discussion of Axad Shiiki are: Geledi Sultanate, Wacdaan, Biyamaal and Murusade.

 The Geledi Sultanate

The Geledi Sultanate was a sultanate that came into existence when the clans of Geledi and Wacdaan made an alliance against the Silcis group who then ruled the Shabelle Valley. After this successful revolt, the two clans lived together and linked their future which gradually led to the formation of the Geledi Sultanate. For two centuries or so the Geledi and their Wacdaan allies had formed a small independent state, that prospered by trade, which they attempted to control, and had for a time held together a much wider clan ‘empire’. In spite of the differences between them in way of life, language and traditions, Geledi and Wacdaan formed a close and lasting alliance. They were joined later – sometime early in the 19th century – by a section of another Hawiye clan, the Murursade. (Virginia Luling 2002)

The Wacdaan

The Wacdaan is a Mudulood group that settled in Lower Shabelle as early as the 18th century. They were allied with Geledi and Murursade, and lived between Afgoye and the coast region around Mogadishu.

The Biyamaal

 The Biyamaal arrived in the Lower Shabelle around the end of 17th century and established control over Merca and the hinterlands. The Biyamaal were in constant war with the Geledi Sultanate, and even killed 2 Sultans of Geledi through out the war.

The Murusade

The Murursade joined the alliance between Wacdaan and Geledi and were granted land northeast of Geledi town, where they established four villages. references; Italian Colonialism in Somalia, Robert L. Hess 1966

Written by hawiye1

May 21, 2009 at 2:02 pm