Version 4

September 1999

Country Information and Policy Unit




1.1 This assessment has been produced by the Country Information & Policy Unit, Immigration & Nationality Directorate, Home Office from information obtained from a variety of sources.

1.2 The assessment has been prepared for background purposes for those involved in the asylum determination process. The information it contains is not exhaustive, nor is it intended to catalogue all human rights violations. It concentrates on the issues most commonly raised in asylum claims made in the United Kingdom. It represents the current assessment by the Immigration & Nationality Directorate of the general socio-political and human rights situation in the country.

1.3 The assessment is sourced throughout. It is intended to be used by caseworkers as a sign-post to the source material, which has been made available to them. The vast majority of the source material is readily available in the public domain.

1.4 It is intended to revise the assessment on a 6-monthly basis while the country remains within the top 35 asylum producing countries in the United Kingdom.

1.5 The assessment will be placed on the Internet ( An electronic copy of the assessment has been made available to the following organisations:

Amnesty International UK

Immigration Advisory Service

Immigration Appellate Authority

Immigration Law Practitioners' Association

Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants


Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture

Refugee Council

Refugee Legal Centre

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees



1.1 - 1.5


2.1 - 2.3


Independence 1960

Rule of Siad Barre

Ogaden War & Opposition to Barre

Collapse of Central Government 1991

United Nations Intervention

Events Following UN Withdrawal

Moves Towards Peace

Cairo Declaration 1997

Republic of Somaliland 1991 to Date

Puntland State of Somalia 1998 to Date

Unified Benadir (Mogadishu) Administration

Conflict in Gedo

Clashes in Kismayu 1998-99

RRA Advances & Ethiopian Incursions

3.1 - 3.68

3.1 - 3.6

3.7 - 3.8

3.9 - 3.15

3.16 - 3.23

3.24 - 3.33

3.34 - 3.35

3.36 - 3.37

3.38 - 3.41

3.42 - 3.49

3.50 - 3.55

3.56 - 3.58

3.59 - 3.61

3.62 - 3.63

3.64 - 3.68


Political System:

- Puntland (North-eastern Somalia)

- Somaliland (North-western Somalia)

- Mogadishu (Benadir Region)

- Central & Southern Somalia

The Judiciary

4.1 - 4.37

4.1 - 4.33

4.3 - 4.8

4.9 - 4.13

4.14 - 4.19

4.20 - 4.33

4.34 - 4.37




Human Rights Organisations in Somalia

5.1 - 5.4

5.1 - 5.2

5.3 - 5.4




Somali Clans

Ethnic Minorities

5.5 - 5.24

5.5 - 5.9


5.11 - 5.13

5.14 - 5.24


Freedom of Assembly

Freedom of Speech and of the Press

Freedom of Religion

Freedom to Travel/Internal Relocation (Internal Flight)

Prison Conditions

5.25 - 5.40

5.25 - 5.26

5.27 - 5.31

5.32 - 5.33

5.34 - 5.38

5.39 - 5.40









2.1 Somalia has an area of 637,657 sq km and lies in the `Horn of Africa', bordering Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. In 1993 the United Nations (UN) estimated the population to be 8.95 million. The largest city is the capital Mogadishu (population approximately 500,000). Other important towns are Hargeysa (capital of the self-declared independent "Republic of Somaliland" in the north-west), Kismayu, Berbera, Bossaso, Garowe (the "Puntland" capital), Merca and Brava. Principal languages are Somali, Arabic, English and Italian. [1][2]

2.2 With the exception of small minority communities, Somalis form a single ethnic unit but are divided genealogically into six main clan-family lineage groups, with many subsidiary clans and sub-clans, based on descent from common ancestors, which are to some extent geographically distinct. Large numbers of ethnic Somalis also live in Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti. The population is overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim. (See also Sections 5.11 - 5.24 & Annex B, Somali Clan Structure) [3][4]

2.3 Somalia's climate is hot and dry with an annual rainfall of less than 430mm. The economy is primarily agricultural and is based on breeding livestock, which accounted for over 38% of export earnings in 1988. Many of the population are pastoral nomads. In the fertile area between the Juba and Shebelle rivers in the south bananas are the principal cash crop. Since 1991 both civil war and unfavourable weather have devastated the economy, with agricultural output in 1996 37% lower than it had been before the civil war. [1][2]



For history prior to 1960 refer to the Europa World Yearbook (source [1]) or Annex A: Chronology


3.1 Modern Somalia was formed by the independence and merger in 1960 of British Somaliland in the north-west and the Italian-administered UN Trust Territory of Somalia. [1][2]

3.2 The Somali Youth League (SYL), founded in 1943 and led by the Prime Minister, Seyyid Abdullah Issa, won elections in the UN Trust Territory in 1959. The SYL advocated a single state embracing all Somali-populated areas, including parts of Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti. [1][2]

3.3 British Somaliland became independent on 26 June 1960 and merged with the UN Trust Territory on 1 July 1960 to form the independent Somali Republic. Dr Aden Abdullah Osman became the new republic's first President. The two dominant parties in former British Somaliland joined with the SYL to form a coalition government. Dr Abd ar-Rashid Ali Shermarke, SYL, a member of the Darod clan-family, became Prime Minister following Seyyid Abdullah Issa's resignation. [1][2]

3.4 The Somali Republic became increasingly dependent on Soviet aid during the 1960s. Relations with neighbouring countries deteriorated as Somalia pursued territorial claims against them, which led to clashes with Ethiopia in 1964. [1]

3.5 Although the SYL comfortably won the 1964 elections, a split within the party's Darod leadership led to the appointment of a new Darod Prime Minister, Abd ar-Razak Hussein, who formed an all-SYL cabinet. The SYL remained divided, culminating in the election by the National Assembly in June 1967 of Dr Shermarke as President. He appointed a new cabinet led by Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, former Prime Minister of British Somaliland and a member of the northern Isaaq clan-family. [1][2]

3.6 Reflecting a trend towards traditional clan divisions, over 1,000 candidates, representing 68 mostly clan-based political parties, contested 124 seats in the March 1969 elections. The SYL won the elections and Egal was re-appointed Prime Minister, although the government no longer reflected Somali society in general. [2]



3.7 President Shermarke was assassinated on 15 October 1969 by a soldier in a private feud. The army, led by Commander-in-Chief Major-General Mohamed Siad Barre, seized power in a bloodless coup d'etat on 21 October 1969 and pledged itself to eliminate corruption and clanism. Initially popular, the coup marked the beginning of 21 years of persistent political repression and human rights violations. Barre abolished political parties, dissolved the National Assembly and suspended the 1960 Constitution. The Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC), chaired by Barre, formed a government and proclaimed the Somali Democratic Republic. In October 1970 Barre declared a socialist state and embarked upon his "scientific socialism" programme of national unification and social and economic reform. Banks, transport, utilities and schools were nationalised and in 1975 the state took control of land. Subsequent efforts to recover nationalised land became a major factor in inter-clan fighting from 1991. [1][2][4]

3.8 Power was transferred in 1976 from the SRC to the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party (SRSP), led by Siad Barre. Despite Barre's avowed intention to eliminate clanism, his regime became more divided along clan lines over the years as he favoured his own Marehan clan, part of the Darod clan-family, over others. His family and clan became increasingly dominant in government, prompting several clan-based insurgencies. [1][2]



3.9 Somalia pursued its claim to Ethiopia's Somali-populated Ogaden district by arming the Western Somali Liberation Front (WSLF). The Ogaden, a clan of the Darod clan-family and the clan of Barre's mother, were a key element of Barre's support. Somalia invaded Ethiopia in July 1977 in support of the WSLF and quickly overran the Ogaden district. However, Ethiopian forces, assisted by Cuba and the Soviet Union, which had switched its support from Somalia to Ethiopia, retook the area by March 1978. Large numbers of refugees moved into Somalia from the Ogaden district and Ethiopian-backed opposition groups became established. [1][2]

3.10 Barre officially became President in 1980. In 1982 Barre's Marehan clan, supported by the Darod Ogaden and Dulbahante clans, increased its influence in government at the expense of the northern Majerteen (also Darod) and Isaaq clans, from which the main insurgent groups opposed to Marehan hegemony drew their support. Prominent politicians from northern clans were arrested in June 1982. A mutiny took place in the northern regions in February 1983 with rioting later in the year. Barre assumed all powers of government in November 1984 and was the sole candidate in a presidential election in December 1986. Attacks on military targets by insurgents increased during 1987. [1][2]

3.11 In October 1981 the Somali Salvation Front, some of whose members had staged an unsuccessful military coup in 1978 in which hundreds died, formed the Democratic Front for the Salvation of Somalia (DFSS), later renamed the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF), with two other opposition groups, drawing its support mainly from the north-eastern Majerteen clan. Together with another group founded in 1981, the Somali National Movement (SNM), based mainly on the north-western Isaaq clans, and with substantial Ethiopian military help, DFSS guerrillas invaded the central border area of Somalia in July 1982. Government forces contained the invasion but could not expel the insurgents. Government forces employed repressive methods against the Majerteen in retaliation for the DFSS offensive. [1][2][4][5]

3.12 A peace accord signed between Somalia and Ethiopia in April 1988 finally ended the tension following the Ogaden War. With the fall of President Mengistu in May 1991, the new Ethiopian government declared itself neutral on internal Somali affairs. [1][2]

3.13 In May 1988, the SNM attacked and occupied Burao and part of Hargeysa in the north-west. Government forces, led by Barre's son-in-law General Mohamed Siad Hersi `Morgan', recaptured the towns in June 1988 in a fierce counter-offensive which virtually destroyed them, killing an estimated 40,000 and forcing 400,000 to flee to Ethiopia, and which served to increase support for the SNM. [1][2]

3.14 Over 400 protestors died in anti-Government protests in July 1989, organised by the United Somali Congress (USC), composed of Hawiye clan intellectuals, and the National United Front of Somalia, led by disaffected army officers. Opposition groups gained influence and inter-clan rivalry spread. Barre offered to relinquish power and allow multi-party elections in August 1989 as he lost the support of the Ogaden clan. Fighting between government troops and Ogaden clan members took place in southern Somalia and effective government control did not extend much beyond Mogadishu and parts of Hargeysa and Berbera. In 1989 Ogaden army deserters had formed the opposition Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM) in the south and Somali National Army in central Somalia. The USC had meanwhile gained support in the south, where its forces fought alongside the SPM. In the north-west, in addition to the SNM, the Gadabursi (Dir) clan-based Somali Democratic Alliance (SDA) challenged Barre's authority. Barre dismissed his government in January 1990, offering posts to opposition leaders, but all refused to join. [1][2]

3.15 In August 1990 the USC, SNM and SPM agreed to co-ordinate their separate military campaigns to overthrow Barre. In November 1990 the SPM seized Kismayu in the south and by January 1991 the USC's military wing, under its commander General Mohamed Farah Aideed, had captured most of Mogadishu. On 27 January 1991 Barre fled Mogadishu and the USC assumed power, while the SNM had seized control of the north-west and the SSDF the north-east. [1]



3.16 Ali Mahdi Mohamed, of the Abgal (Hawiye) clan, was declared temporary President by the USC on 29 January 1991 but was opposed by the SNM and SPM. The situation by mid-March 1991 was close to anarchy. Division along clan lines was increasing and Barre was present in Gedo, the Marehan region near the Kenyan border. Opposition groups rejected the USC's invitation to take part in a national conference. [1]

3.17 In the north-west the SNM convened a series of meetings of clan elders which led to the establishment of an administration and legislature in the area of former British Somaliland and a declaration of secession from the rest of Somalia on 16 May 1991. SNM Chairman, Abd ar-Rahman Ahmed Ali `Tur', became President of the new "Republic of Somaliland". (See also Sections 3.45 - 3.52 & 4.9 - 4.13) [1][2]

3.18 The SNM refused to participate in a reconciliation conference held in Djibouti in June 1991. The conference, chaired by former President Osman, was attended by the USC, SPM, SSDF and the Rahanwein-based Somali Democratic Movement (SDM). A second conference held in Djibouti in July 1991 was also attended by the SDA and the Issa-based United Somali Front (USF) from the north-west. The leaders of the six participating factions pledged themselves to defeat Barre's forces, which had regrouped as the Somali National Front (SNF), to readopt the 1960 Constitution and to implement a cease-fire. Ali Mahdi was confirmed as President for a two-year period pending free elections and was sworn in on 18 August 1991. A government under Umar Arteh Ghalib as Prime Minister was formed, made up of equal numbers of representatives from the six factions. [1][2]

3.19 By June 1991 a major rift had opened up within the USC. Ali Mahdi's supporters clashed in Mogadishu with those of the USC's military commander, General Aideed, of the Habr Gedir clan, who opposed the appointment of Ali Mahdi, of the Abgal clan, as President. While the two Hawiye clans were not traditional rivals, their leaders now encouraged hostility and clan loyalty quickly became entrenched. The USC's Central Committee elected Aideed as its Chairman in July 1991. Armed clashes in Mogadishu in September 1991 between the rival USC factions left at least 300 dead. Clan elders established a cease-fire but bitter divisions within the USC remained. In November 1991 Aideed's faction captured most of Mogadishu, forcing Ali Mahdi to flee. However, Ali Mahdi had regained control of much of northern Mogadishu by late November 1991 and in December 1991 he asked the UN to send a peacekeeping force. [1][2]

3.20 In January 1992 the UN imposed an arms embargo on Somalia and a UN special envoy visited Mogadishu to negotiate a cease-fire. However, General Aideed opposed UN involvement, instead appointing his own administration. Violence escalated and by the end of March 1992 hostilities in Mogadishu had claimed an estimated 14,000 lives. A cease-fire was agreed in March 1992 by the principal factions fighting in Mogadishu following a conference organised by the UN, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) the League of Arab States and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC). [1]

3.21 During 1991 and 1992, at the height of the civil war, clashes for territory took place throughout Somalia between rival clan-based militia. Somaliland, although initially stable, saw clan rivalries within the dominant Isaaq clan-family emerge in December 1991 when an anti-SNM group seized Berbera. SNM forces recaptured the town but fighting broke out in January 1992 between rival factions within the army in Burao. Further heavy fighting took place in Berbera in March 1992. Somaliland's President Tur sent forces of his own clan, the Habr Yunis, to recapture Berbera from the Issa Muse clan. Six months of hostilities in Berbera and Burao ensued, ending in October 1992 after peace talks by Isaaq clan elders. Opposition to the SNM also came from non-Isaaq clans who opposed the secession of Somaliland and from Islamic fundamentalist groups. [1]

3.22 The southern port of Kismayu changed hands several times during 1991, between forces led by General Morgan in alliance with the SNF and a faction of the Ogaden SPM led by General Adan Abdullahi Nur `Gabeeyow', and the USC and another faction of the SPM, led by Colonel Ahmad Omar Jess, which had aligned itself behind General Aideed. In April 1992 the SNF advanced on Mogadishu but Aideed's forces repelled them and captured Barre's base in Garba Harre on the Kenyan border. Barre fled to Kenya and then to Nigeria, where he died in exile in 1995. After mid-1992 the SNF, although a largely Marehan faction, disassociated itself from Barre. [1][2]

3.23 In May 1992 the Somali Liberation Army (SLA), a military alliance formed by Aideed's USC faction with Omar Jess' SPM faction, the SDM and the Southern Somali National Movement (SSNM), captured Kismayu, which had been held by the SNF with General Gabeeyow's SPM faction and the SSDF. By June 1992 the SLA had gained control of most of central and southern Somalia. In August 1992 the SLA coalition was consolidated by the formation of the Somali National Alliance (SNA), headed by Aideed. Ali Mahdi had by this time joined forces with anti-Aideed groups, including the SSDF and Gabeeyow's faction of the SPM, and had established links with General Morgan, who had led the SNF since Barre's departure. In October 1992 the SNF temporarily ousted the SNA from Bardera, which had been Aideed's local headquarters. Conflict between the SNF and SNA spread to Kismayu, which was held by Omar Jess' SPM/SNA. [1][2]



3.24 The UN Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM) was set up to monitor the cease-fire agreed to in March 1992 (see section 3.21). Aideed agreed to the deployment of a UN observer mission and a small UN force to escort food supplies. The UN also approved the deployment of 3,000 further troops without Aideed's agreement. Somaliland's Government refused to allow UN troops on its territory. In November 1992 UNOSOM secured Mogadishu airport. [1][2]

3.25 In December 1992 the UN accepted the United States' offer to lead a military operation to Somalia, contributing 30,000 troops as part of `Operation Restore Hope'. The arrival of UN forces prompted heavy fighting in Kismayu, Baidoa and the north-east as rival factions sought to gain territory before any cease-fire. US-led Unified Task Force (UNITAF) troops secured eight major relief centres in central and southern Somalia in December 1992 and numbered 33,000 by mid-January 1993. [1][2]

3.26 General Aideed and Ali Mahdi signed a peace agreement in December 1992 to end the rivalry between USC factions. 14 political groups attended UN peace talks in Addis Ababa in January 1993. In early 1993 UNITAF forces began an unofficial campaign of enforced disarmament as UN troops seized large amounts of weaponry in Mogadishu and Kismayu. [1]

3.27 The December 1992 cease-fire agreement was soon broken and rival groups clashed across Somalia. The SNA and SSDF fought in the north-east and the SNF continued to fight the SNA in the south. UNITAF forces had initially repulsed SNF attacks on Kismayu in February 1993 but the SNF made gains later in the month. UNITAF forces and armed youths clashed in Mogadishu. In Kismayu UNITAF was able to force General Morgan to leave and in early March 1993 both the SNF and SNA surrendered weapons to UNITAF. A UN-sponsored reconciliation conference in Addis Ababa in March 1993 ended in agreement to establish a Transitional National Council made up of the participating organisations and new local administrative regions that were to be established by the UN. [1]

3.28 UNOSOM II was set up in March 1993 to take over responsibility for security from UNITAF by 1 May 1993. UNOSOM II was to be the UN's largest ever peacekeeping operation and the first operation where the peace would be enforced without consent from conflicting parties. UNOSOM II was also tasked with rehabilitation, institution building and the return of displaced persons. The United States would contribute 5,000 troops to UNOSOM II. [1]

3.29 Despite the cease-fire agreement, clashes continued in Kismayu and by early April 1993 General Morgan's forces were in control. Aideed's supporters killed 24 UN troops from Pakistan in Mogadishu in June 1993. UNOSOM II forces launched retaliatory air strikes on Aideed's forces. The UN Security Council issued a warrant for Aideed's arrest in June 1993 but he evaded capture. Further clashes between UNOSOM II forces and Somali militia led to hundreds of civilian deaths. By the end of September 1993 over 50 UN personnel had been killed. [1]

3.30 18 US troops and over 200 Somalis died in a clash in Mogadishu in October 1993 which led to US reappraisal of its mission in Somalia. President Clinton decided to withdraw all US forces by March 1994, irrespective of the outcome of peace efforts. [2]

3.31 In November 1993 Ali Mahdi became leader of the 12 faction anti-Aideed Somali Salvation Alliance (SSA), which included his faction of the USC, the SSDF, the SNF and the north-western USF and SDA. In February 1994 the UN reduced troop levels to 22,000. A cease-fire agreement was signed in Nairobi in March 1994 between Aideed and Ali Mahdi. A similar agreement was signed later in March 1994 between faction leaders from Lower Juba to restore peace to Kismayu. A meeting of all signatories to the 1993 Addis Ababa agreement and the SNM from Somaliland intended for April 1994 did not take place and Aideed and Ali Mahdi accused each other of breaching the terms of the Nairobi agreement. Divisions had also opened up within the SNM in Somaliland. The former Prime Minister of British Somaliland and the Somali Republic, Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, had become President of the breakaway state in May 1993. His predecessor, Abd ar-Rahman Ahmed Ali Tur, had declared that Somaliland should reintegrate within a reconciled state of Somalia but Egal vehemently opposed such an idea. In the south Aideed's SNA took control of Merca from its former ally the SSNM, which had realigned behind the SSA in late 1993. [1][2]

3.32 In November 1994 the UN announced that UNOSOM II operations would end by 31 March 1995. Heavy fighting had taken place in June 1994 in Mogadishu between Aideed's and Ali Mahdi's forces and in July 1994 Aideed's forces took over Beled Weyne in central Somalia from the Hawadle clan, although the Hawadle USC/Peace Movement (USC/PM) militia recaptured the town in April 1995. Fighting in October and November 1994 in Mogadishu between Ali Mahdi's Abgal clan and their former Murosade clan allies continued sporadically through to January 1995, until clan elders brokered a peace agreement. As the UN departure became imminent, conflict spread. In December 1994 Harti and Marehan clansmen fought for control of Kismayu's port. UN forces left their Mogadishu compound in February 1995. Fighting took place around the airport and seaport, between rival USC/SNA factions of the Habr Gedir (Hawiye) clan, with some supporting General Aideed and others his former aide Ali Ato. All UNOSOM II personnel were evacuated by early March 1995. [1]

3.33 136 UN personnel and hundreds of Somalis died in the UN operation, which cost US $1.6 billion with a further US $2 billion spent by the USA. While the UN operation failed to bring peace to Somalia it did provide large amounts of famine relief and had limited success in establishing local administrations in almost half the regions of Somalia, excluding Somaliland, effectively providing a functioning administration in the absence of a central government. [6]



3.34 Aideed's and Ali Mahdi's forces fought for control of Mogadishu airport after UN forces left. Growing divisions within the USC/SNA came to a head in June 1995 when a group tried to replace Aideed as Chairman with Ali Ato. Aideed loyalists expelled the group and Ato loosely allied his faction of the USC/SNA with Ali Mahdi's SSA. In June 1996 a conference of 15 pro-Aideed factions declared Aideed "President" of Somalia for a 3-year term. Five Vice-Presidents, representing different clans, were also named. Aideed's presidency was rejected by Ali Mahdi and Ali Ato and received international recognition only from Libya. [1][2]

3.35 In September 1995 Aideed's administration began to collect tax and forcibly disarm civilians and his forces captured the Rahanwein town of Baidoa. In October 1995 a joint committee of supporters of Ali Mahdi and Ali Ato announced a ban on banana exports, revenues from which were being used by Aideed's forces. The committee's supporters attacked ships attempting to dock. Fighting between Aideed's and Ali Ato's forces intensified in early 1996. Aideed's forces captured Huddur in January 1996. Aideed was wounded during clashes in Mogadishu in July 1996 and died on 1 August 1996. On 4 August 1996 his son, Hussein Mohamed Aideed, a former US marine, was appointed interim President by the SNA, and subsequently elected SNA Chairman. [1]



3.36 Protracted talks began in December 1996, facilitated by the Ethiopian government under an Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mandate in Sodere, Ethiopia between 26 Somali factions. Hussein Aideed's SNA and Somaliland's SNM refused to take part. A 41-member National Salvation Council (NSC) was formed in January 1997 with the objective of forming a transitional government. The NSC has a five-member joint chairmanship committee, comprising Ali Mahdi of the USC/SSA, Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed of the SSDF, Abdulkadir Mohamed Adan of the Rahanwein-based SDM/SSA, Ali Ato of the anti-Aideed faction of the USC/SNA and General Adan Abdullahi Nur Gabeeyow of the SNF-allied faction of the SPM. [1][7][8]

3.37 Talks were held in January 1997 in Mogadishu between Hussein Aideed and Ali Mahdi on the implementation of a cease-fire agreement reached in Nairobi in October 1996, but hostilities resumed in February 1997. Continued international attempts at mediation led to talks in Cairo in March 1997 between Somali factions organised by the Egyptian government and the League of Arab States. [1]



3.38 Following meetings that began in November 1997, the Cairo Declaration was signed on 22 December 1997 between the meetings' co-chairmen Hussein Aideed and, representing the NSC, Ali Mahdi. Somaliland's SNM was not involved. The Declaration provided for a National Reconciliation Conference (NRC), which it was intended would commence in Baidoa in February 1998 and lead to the creation of a transitional national government. Darod leaders Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed of the SSDF and Adan Abdullahi Nur Gabeeyow of the SPM/SSA from Kismayu, both co-chairmen of the NSC, walked out of the Cairo negotiations in protest against the selection of Aideed-held Baidoa as the venue for the NRC and the distribution of seats. Following NSC discussions in Addis Ababa in January 1998 they proposed changes to the Cairo Declaration, which included earlier withdrawal of Aideed's militia from Baidoa and reallocation of NRC seats along clan, as opposed to faction, lines. Aideed refused to accept any amendments to the terms of the Cairo agreement. [9a][10][11][12][13]

3.39 Following the Cairo Declaration, a meeting in Mogadishu in January 1998 between political and religious leaders, including Hussein Aideed, Ali Mahdi and Ali Ato, and attended by observers from the Egyptian government and the League of Arab States, agreed to the reopening of Mogadishu's air and sea ports and to the dismantling of the "green lines" which have divided the city since 1991. The meeting also agreed to the demobilisation of clan militia into designated camps and the establishment of a collective security force for Mogadishu. [9b][14a]

3.40 The leaders of the three USC factions, Hussein Aideed, Ali Mahdi and Ali Ato, attended a large peace rally held in Mogadishu on 4 February 1998 in support of the Cairo Declaration. People began to move freely around the city, across the green lines. However, on 14 February 1998 Ali Mahdi and Hussein Aideed announced that the Baidoa Conference, which should have commenced the following day, had been postponed to 31 March 1998. The two leaders cited technical difficulties for the delay but the announcement caused observers to doubt the future of the Cairo peace process. Aideed had not yet withdrawn his forces from Baidoa, as required under the Cairo agreement. On 30 March 1998 the Baidoa Conference was again postponed, and has still not been held to date. Opposition to the Cairo Declaration had also emerged from the Ethiopians, fearing that an Arab-backed regime in Mogadishu would ferment Islamic fundamentalism, who felt that their peace efforts, as mandated by both the OAU and IGAD, were being undermined. [9c][14b,c][15][16]

3.41 At the beginning of January 1998, in a move that coincided with the peace efforts of the Cairo Declaration, Ethiopia withdrew its forces which had occupied border areas in the south-western Gedo region since June 1997 in a campaign against al-Ittihad al-Islamia fundamentalist forces. The SNF and al-Ittihad militia appeared to be co-operating in maintaining security in the area. Elsewhere, Aideed's USC/SNA forces withdrew from the town of Wajid, north-west of Mogadishu, ending the confrontation there with the rival Rahanwein Resistance Army (RRA), which asserted its control. [9d]



3.42 Having taken control of the north-west in 1991, the Isaaq-dominated SNM was divided over the issue of the region's secession from Somalia. The SNM's government, led by President Abd ar-Rahman Ahmed Ali Tur, was hampered by clan divisions over ministerial portfolios. Without international recognition, Somaliland was short of much-needed international aid, with only assistance from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) enabling the government to begin reparation of the war-ravaged infrastructure. Following the SNM's take-over of power in early 1991 thousands of refugees returned to Somaliland from Ethiopia, with many more returning in late 1991 and early 1992 because of ethnic conflict in south-western Ethiopia. [1][2]

3.43 Clan fighting broke out in Burao in January 1992 and in Berbera twice in the same year, between the Isaaq Habr Yunis and Habr Awal clans. Peace negotiations ended the conflict in October 1992, although Berbera remained outside government control. A national council of elders meeting in Boroma between February and May 1993, composed of all Somaliland's clans, formulated a national peace charter and a transitional structure of government. A Cabinet of Ministers and a bicameral Parliament, comprising the House of Representatives and the Council of Elders (the Guurti), each with 75 members, were established in May 1993. Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, a Habr Awal clansman and former Prime Minister of British Somaliland and of the Somali Republic, was elected President in May 1993, defeating the incumbent President Tur, of the Habr Yunis clan, by 97 votes to 24. However, clan differences remained. [2][17]

3.44 The Habr Yunis objected to Egal's cabinet appointments in June 1993. In October 1993 the OAU rejected Somaliland's declared independence. Tur disavowed Somaliland's independence in 1994. In February 1994 Egal announced that a referendum would be held to determine support for Somaliland's independence but no such referendum has taken place to date. In August 1994 Egal expelled UN representatives from Somaliland, accusing them of interfering in internal affairs. [1][2]

3.45 Violent clashes between forces loyal to Egal's government and those defecting to Tur began in the capital Hargeysa in October 1994. By December 1994 30,000 people, three-quarters of the city's population, had fled, mainly to Ethiopia. Fighting spread to other areas of Somaliland in 1995. In April 1995 government forces clashed with Garhadji (Isaaq) clansmen who had allied themselves with the anti-secessionist USF of the Issa (Dir) clan. Peace talks between the rival factions were held in December 1995 and in May 1996 rebel forces surrendered their weapons in Hargeysa. [1][2]

3.46 A new Constitution for Somaliland, containing a number of human rights provisions relating to the independence of the judiciary and protection against arbitrary imprisonment, became effective in February 1997 for a three year period and shortly after Egal was re-elected President by an electoral college for a 5-year term. Egal tendered his resignation in December 1997, claiming that he lacked his ministers' co-operation, but his resignation was rejected by the parliament, with the incident being seen as a ploy to reinforce his position. [1][9e,f][17][18a][19]

3.47 In September 1998 community leaders handed over military vehicles and weapons in Erigavo, in the eastern Somaliland region of Sanaag, under the terms of an agreement made in 1994 to demobilise local militia groups. Over 80 members of the Habr Yunis clan faction also joined the official Somaliland security forces. [9j][20]

3.48 Heavy rains in 1997 revealed mass graves in the Hargeysa area. In the same year a War Crimes Commission in Hargeysa began its investigation into the killings of hundreds of local people by Siad Barre's forces in 1988. [13][19]

3.49 In February 1999 President Egal suggested in an interview that he was not totally opposed to the idea of eventual Somali reunification. This apparent reversal of his earlier position regarding the secession of Somaliland angered some SNM members and Somaliland parliamentarians. In May 1999 Egal approved a resolution allowing for the introduction of multi-party politics in Somaliland providing that any new parties are not based on religion or clans. The proposal awaits the final approval of Somaliland's representative council. [21e][24g]

(See also Sections 4.9 - 4.13)



3.50 On 23 July 1998 the autonomous "Puntland State of Somalia" was proclaimed in Garowe, north-eastern Somalia by the Majerteen (Darod) clan-dominated SSDF administration following a Consultation Conference between the SSDF, the United Somali Party (USP), from the eastern regions of Somaliland, and the Somali National Democratic Union (SNDU), from the eastern, Marehan-populated, part of Galgadud region in central Somalia. SSDF deputy leader Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed was proclaimed State President. Mohamed Abdi Hashi, leader of the USP, was declared Vice-President. Colonel Ahmed appointed a nine-member Cabinet on 17 August 1998. The new regional state received conditional support from Ali Mahdi in Mogadishu and from General Morgan in the south but Hussein Aideed accused Ethiopia of supporting Ahmed and of encouraging the secession of Puntland from Somalia. [22a][23a]

3.51 The Somaliland Government criticised the establishment of Puntland and warned against threats to Somaliland's territorial integrity. In September 1998 Ethiopia reportedly donated military uniforms, light weapons and ammunition to the Puntland administration. In March 1999 forces from Puntland attempted to take over a police station in the town of Laascanood in Sool region, in eastern Somaliland. This raised tension between Puntland and Somaliland, both of whom claim the region. Somaliland police maintained their hold on the station. The incident did not result in any casualties. [24a,f][25a]

3.52 A 69-member Puntland Parliament was inaugurated on 15 September 1998. Yusuf Haji Sa'id was elected as speaker of the new legislature. On 16 September 1998 the parliament approved the composition of the cabinet appointed in August 1998. The parliament approved a transitional three-year period prior to the holding of elections in Puntland, during which time all political parties are banned (starting in August 1998). [13][22b][23b]

3.53 A charter for Puntland was released on 22 September 1998 following ratification by the region's new parliament. The charter reportedly provides for Puntland to remain part of a federal Somali state, based on regional governments. In October 1998 Colonel Ahmed advocated power sharing between autonomous states, with equal representation, in a federal Somalia. [22b][26]

3.54 In December 1998 the Ethiopian Government appointed a special envoy to the Puntland administration that will reside in Garowe. It was reported in February 1999 that Ethiopia was supplying arms to the Puntland authorities. Also in February 1999 the Puntland administration announced the recruitment of 6,000 men for a new police force, drawn from militias and members of the former national police and military forces. [21d][24e][25c,d]

3.55 The government of the state of Malacca in Malaysia announced in April 1999 that it was considering setting up a university in Puntland that would provide training for civil servants. A memorandum of understanding on the project was signed between the Puntland Government and the Malacca Foundation College. [45]

(See also Sections 4.3 - 4.8)



3.56 A new unified civilian administration for Mogadishu and the surrounding Benadir region was established in early August 1998, with Ali Mahdi and Hussein Aideed named as co-chairmen of the new body. The League of Arab States expressed its support and pledged US $1 million to assist with the establishment of the new authority. Although named as a member of the new city authority, Ali Ato denounced the new body and refused to recognise Ali Mahdi and Hussein Aideed as co-chairmen. [9k,l][24b]

3.57 1,300 demobilised militiamen received their first allowances in September 1998 as trainee members of a new police force set up by the unified Mogadishu administration. Local businessmen, keen to see order returned to the capital, contributed to the costs of running the new police force. The new police force, comprising 2,162 former militia fighters and 900 former policemen, was deployed in December 1998. The force has concentrated its training on combating urban banditry. However, by April 1999 most police had left their posts after having worked for several months without pay; this state of affairs was attributed to the inefficiency of the new Benadir administration. Senior police officers met in Mogadishu in June 1999 to discuss how to give fresh impetus to the work of the force. [9j][14d][27][28d][39b]

3.58 Mogadishu's second largest hospital, the Medina in the south of the city, was re-opened in November 1998 having been closed since mid-1995. Ali Mahdi attended the inauguration ceremony. The hospital will serve both the new police force and the public. In May 1999 the Martini and Digfer Hospitals in Mogadishu were looted. The culprits were believed to be staff loyal to Hussein Aideed, who took valuables to sell. [14e][44a]

(See also Sections 4.14 - 4.19)



3.59 A peace agreement was signed on 5 August 1998 between the SNF and al-Ittihad al-Islamia in the Gedo region, which led to freer movement within the region. The agreement provided for the cessation of hostilities, the co-existence and eventual restructuring of the two organisations with each other and the imposition of Islamic Shari'a law in Gedo. [14f]

3.60 Ethiopian forces crossed into Somalia on 6 August 1998, apparently in opposition to the SNF-al-Ittihad peace deal, but withdrew the following day. The peace accord came under strain in September 1998 when an al-Ittihad official was assassinated in the Gedo capital Garba Harre, with al-Ittihad accusing SNF factions of trying to undermine the agreement. [9m][14g]

3.61 Ethiopian forces once more entered Gedo region in April 1999 when they took control of the towns of Bulahow and Dolo and arrested Somali administrative and security personnel. Clashes took place in Gedo in April and May 1999 between rival factions of the SNF, with Ethiopia backing the group led by SNF Chairman Ahmed Shaykh Buraleh. SNF fighters loyal to General Umar Haji Masaleh, who is allied Mogadishu's USC factions led by Hussein Aideed and Ali Mahdi, captured the border town of Luuq from Buraleh's forces. However, Ethiopian forces seized Luuq in early June 1999. In early July 1999 Ethiopian forces moved further into Gedo region taking the towns of Garba Harre and Burdobo. This was seen as part of a wider Ethiopian strategy to create a large buffer zone in Somalia to prevent Eritrea from opening a second front in its border dispute with Ethiopia. Eritrea had reportedly been arming anti-Ethiopian Somali factions and Ethiopian Oromo separatists who were based in Somalia. [9q][14l][18b][21f][44f]

(See also Sections 4.29 - 4.32)



3.62 Heavy fighting took place in the Kismayu area in early November 1998 as the Marehan SNF advanced on the city, held by General Morgan's SPM forces. 65 people were reportedly killed. Peace talks between the two sides were underway in Nairobi in mid-November 1998 while fighting halted but many people fled Kismayu and further heavy fighting took place in mid-December 1998, with Morgan retaining control of the city. It was reported in January 1999 that the Puntland authorities had sent arms to Morgan's militia in Kismayu. [21a,b,c][27][28b]

3.63 After several months of calm there renewed clashes in Kismayu in May 1999 between SNF and Morgan's SPM forces. The SNF and allied forces, grouped together as the Allied Somali Forces (ASF), launched a fresh assault on Kismayu in June 1999 and finally ousted General Morgan and his forces. There were reports that 26 people died in the fighting but calm was restored quickly after the ASF had assumed control of Kismayu. ASF fighters were removed from Kismayu and taken to designated areas outside the town. Colonel Ali Hashi Buraleh, one of the leaders of the ASF grouping, stated that the alliance was free of tribalism or factionalism. He appealed for outside aid for Kismayu, stating that the security of international aid workers would be safeguarded. [9p][24h,i][28e]

(See also Sections 4.24 - 4.25)




3.64 The RRA captured Huddur in Bakool region from Aideed's USC/SNA in October 1998. This prompted the return of thousands of people to the town, which added to pressure on already scarce food and resources. In December 1998 the RRA established a new regional administration for Bakool in co-operation with traditional elders. [28a][29]

3.65 Fighting spread to Baidoa in neighbouring Bay region in January 1999 as the RRA fought to wrest control of the town from the USC/SNA. The RRA claimed in February 1999 that USC/SNA forces had carried out a massacre of 60 civilians in Baidoa and a nearby village in retaliation for an RRA raid on Baidoa. It was reported in February 1999 that Ethiopia had supplied arms to the RRA. [9n][21d][24d]

3.66 Fierce fighting took place for Baidoa in May 1999 with the USC/SNA holding on to the town and forcing the RRA out after it had briefly taken over. However, the RRA captured Baidoa on 6 June 1999 with large-scale Ethiopian backing. Ethiopia's assistance to the RRA was seen as part of a wider strategy to create a buffer zone along its border with Somalia, stretching from the Gedo region as far as Beled Weyne in Hiran region. Ethiopia's motive for its involvement is to prevent the creation of a second front in its war against Eritrea, as Eritrea has reportedly sent consignments of arms to Mogadishu for Hussein Aideed's USC/SNA forces and for Ethiopian Oromo separatists who have been in Somalia for training by Aideed's militia. The RRA and Ethiopian forces captured 130 Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) separatist fighters in Baidoa. [9o][44b][46a]

3.67 Having consolidated its hold on Baidoa, the RRA advanced towards the coast, capturing the town of Bur Acaba, 95 km north-west Mogadishu later in June 1999 and were closing in on Beledoogle, where Aideed controls a strategic airstrip. This move appeared to be part of an RRA and Ethiopian drive towards the town of Qoroley where OLF separatist forces are based. The RRA announced its intention of liberating all Digil and Mirifle clan territories between the Juba and Shebelle rivers, which would include Qoroley and the Aideed-held port of Merca. [44c][46b]

3.68 In July 1999 an RRA delegation visited Somaliland to ask President Egal for funds to help them establish a new administration for Bay and Bakool regions; their request was turned down. As the RRA consolidated its hold on Baidoa, UNICEF returned to the town for the first time since 1995, when it was captured by the USC/SNA, and reopened its office. [44d,e]

(See also Section 4.22)




4.1 Somalia remains, eight years after the fall of Siad Barre in 1991, without a central, functioning or internationally recognised government. Various local administrations, some unrealistically claiming national authority, have, however, been established by clan-based factions and militia in different areas of the country. In some areas, notably Puntland and Somaliland, local administrations function effectively in lieu of a central government. In these areas the existence of local administrations, as well as more traditional forms of conflict resolution such as councils of clan elders, helps to prevent disputes degenerating rapidly into armed conflict. [13][17][30]

4.2 Somalia is, generally speaking, a country in the process of reconstruction, with the exception of some areas in southern Somalia in which the political situation remains unresolved. Economic activity continues to grow, both at a local level and across clan and faction boundaries. Many regional administrations have functioning administrations, including courts and civilian police forces. Many thousands of internally displaced persons and refugees from neighbouring countries have been able to return to their homes in safe areas under arrangements made by the UNHCR with regional authorities. [13][30][31][32][33][34]



4.3 North-eastern Somalia has been the most stable part of the country since the collapse of central government in 1991. The three north-eastern regions of Bari, Nugal and northern Mudug have been controlled by the Majerteen-dominated SSDF since 1991. Apart from a conflict with Islamic fundamentalists in 1992 and isolated clashes with SNA forces in Galkayo in 1993 there has been no fighting in the north-east. Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed of the SSDF is one of the NSC's five co-chairmen. [31][32][33][35]

4.4 The SSDF developed an administrative system which combined the SSDF's own administrative organisation with a complimentary traditional "maamul guddi" administration of clan elders. The three main Majerteen sub-clans share the leadership of the SSDF. A split within the SSDF from 1994 to early 1996, based on Majerteen sub-clans, was resolved and allowed the establishment of a united regional parliament based in Bossaso covering the three north-eastern regions administered by the SSDF. Tensions in the regions of Nugal and Mudug, bordering on Hawiye territory, have diminished. In Galkayo, Mudug region, a joint Majerteen-Habr Gedir (Hawiye) police force was established in 1996. (See also Section 4.6) [17][31][32][33]

4.5 The autonomous "Puntland State of Somalia" was proclaimed on 23 July 1998 under the `Presidency' of SSDF deputy leader Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed after a Consultation Conference between the SSDF, the USP and the SNDU. A nine-member Cabinet was appointed on 17 August 1998 and a 69-member Parliament was inaugurated on 15 September 1998. A Puntland charter released on 22 September 1998 advocates Puntland remaining part of a federal Somali state based on regional governments. (See also Sections 3.50 -3.55) [22a][22b][23a][23b]

4.6 A peace agreement was signed in October 1997 between the SSDF and the USC/SNA, which controls the mainly Habr Gedir (Hawiye)-populated southern part of Mudug province. The agreement was marked by a reconciliation parade in Galkayo by Majerteen and Habr Gedir clansmen. Since 30 June 1998 southern Mudug province has been under the temporary administration of Puntland. At a meeting between Puntland leader Colonel Ahmed and a USC/SNA representative in August 1998 both sides argued for the strengthening of peaceful cohabitation throughout Mudug. The continuing attachment of southern Mudug to Puntland is under discussion between the Puntland authorities and the USC/SNA. 15 seats in the 51 seat Mudug Regional Council are reserved for the Hawiye. [17]

4.7 The air and sea ports of the main town Bossaso are fully functioning. Galkayo functions as a border town between Puntland and southern and central Somalia, facilitating free trade of goods and the passage of people. Bossaso is a busy port exporting large numbers of livestock from Somalia to Saudi Arabia and Yemen. A reliable scheduled air service has linked Bossaso with Djibouti since early 1997. [32][33]

4.8 The SSDF has been the most tolerant of Somalia's factions in allowing persons from other clans to move in and through the territory it administers. A large number of displaced Somalis from differing clans and minority groups from elsewhere in the country have moved to Puntland in recent years, reflecting the relative stability and security of the region. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has noted that political, economic and social conditions in Puntland are suitable for the return and reintegration of a substantial number of displaced persons. In 1996 the UNHCR facilitated the repatriation of 2,100 refugees from Kenya to Galkayo with the co-operation of the regional authorities. Although the refugees were Majerteen, most originated from southern Somalia rather than from Puntland. [31][32][33][35][36]

(See also Sections 3.50 - 3.55)



4.9 The Isaaq-dominated SNM declared the independence of the north-west as the "Republic of Somaliland" in 1991. Since then Somaliland has had a functioning administration with its own police, courts and taxes, although it has not received international recognition as a separate state. The SNM authorities have worked with traditional structures and clan elders to establish their administration. To combat crime the government has built prisons in Hargeysa and other towns, partly funded by shopkeepers. An increasingly well-organised and partly uniformed police force of some 4,000 men has been recruited from former militia groups. Scheduled air services link several towns in Somaliland with Djibouti, where they connect with services to many international destinations. Berbera is a thriving and safe port, handling trade from Ethiopia, and the reduction in clan-based tension within Somaliland has allowed the reopening of many roads. [17][31][32][33][35]

4.10 Since May 1993 Somaliland has had a Cabinet of Ministers and a Parliament with proportional clan representation comprised of two chambers with 75 members each; the House of Representatives and the Council of Elders (the Guurti). A Constitution was adopted for a three-year period in February 1997. An independent legal authority is based mainly on British common law supplemented on occasion by Islamic law. In May 1999 President Egal approved a resolution allowing the introduction of multi-party politics in Somaliland providing that any new parties are not based on religion or clan. (See also Sections 4.34 - 4.37) [13][17][24g]

4.11 Clan tensions within Somaliland have diminished. The SNM administers the area around the cities of Hargeysa, Berbera and Boroma but its representation is limited in eastern Somaliland. The Darod Warsangeli and Dulbahante clans, who associate themselves more with north-eastern Somalia, have established a semi-autonomous region in eastern Somaliland, effectively governed by regional councils of elders. The SNM has been unable to implement taxation in this region, but there has been no fighting between the Somaliland government and the Darod clans. Opposition Habr Yunis militia handed in weapons in December 1996 as part of an agreement between the Somaliland government and opposition clans for ongoing demobilisation. Clashes in 1997 in the eastern town of Erigavo between the Isaaq Habr Yunis and Habr Jaalo clans were ended after mediation by the Darod clans. In September 1998 over 80 Habr Yunis militiamen joined the official Somaliland security forces. Traditional conflict-solving mechanisms in Somaliland have survived and are used, along with reconciliation conferences, to resolve difficulties. [20][30][31][32][33][35][36]

4.12 Members of non-Isaaq clans, including the Warsangeli and Dulbahante, are able to pass freely through Somaliland. Non-Isaaq clan members originating from the north-west have been able to settle in Somaliland permanently. Even Ogaden clan members, who had moved into the north-west under Siad Barre's administration, have been able to remain in Somaliland and live without undue harassment. Somalis from southern Somalia and the Bantu minority have been attracted to Hargeysa by the economic recovery and job opportunities. There is free movement between Somaliland and Puntland. While occasional localised clan-based outbreaks of fighting may occur, there is no general clan-based persecution in Somaliland. [17][31][32][33][35][36]

4.13 As with Puntland, the IOM considers that conditions in Somaliland are favourable for the return and reintegration of large numbers of displaced persons, which originate from Somaliland. In June 1999 over 1,600 Somalis returned to Somaliland from Ethiopia under an agreement between UNHCR and the Somaliland authorities which provides for the return of 25,000 Somalis during 1999. 48,100 Somalis returned to Somaliland from Ethiopia in 1998. In November 1995 the Somaliland authorities issued a statement explaining their policy on UNHCR repatriations, confirming that any "Somalilander" has the right to return and that other Somalis may transit through Somaliland. The authorities expect infrastructural and rehabilitation assistance in return for helping with returnees. [14k][32][35]

(See also Sections 3.42 - 3.49)



4.14 Mogadishu saw fierce fighting between rival factions in the power struggles after Siad Barre's overthrow and, while other areas of Somalia have seen a return of relative stability and functioning local administration, the city remains deeply divided, with four main Hawiye clan-based administrations. The leaders of the factions controlling these divisions are Ali Mahdi, USC/SSA, in northern Mogadishu and part of the Bermuda district of southern Mogadishu, Hussein Aideed, USC/SNA, in southern Mogadishu, Ali Ato, head of a breakaway faction of the USC/SNA, in a small part of southern Mogadishu, and Musa Sude, Deputy Chairman of the USC/SSA, in the Medina district of southern Mogadishu. Ali Ato, General Aideed's former financier and clansman, became loosely allied with Ali Mahdi following his split with Aideed in 1995 and is also a member of the SSA. His administration is not in conflict with those of Ali Mahdi or Musa Sude. There are also at least three enclaves dominated by various clan groupings but these are allied with one of the four main administrations. [37]

4.15 While there can be long periods of relative stability in Mogadishu, the political landscape of the city is complicated and can be fluid at times, with sudden changes. Security conditions vary widely in different areas of the city. While most areas are firmly under the control of one particular faction or another, there are also violent armed bandits who operate independently of the political clan factions. Economic conditions are difficult and the main air and sea ports are closed because of disputes between militia and factions over control. The nearby port of Merca, controlled by Aideed's USC/SNA, is operational. Both Hussein Aideed's and Ali Mahdi's administrations control airports around the city. Banana exports and port duties from Merca provide income for Aideed's forces and administration. [37]

4.16 As before the civil war, Mogadishu, as the capital city, has a population containing people from virtually all clans and ethnic groups in Somalia, although the majority are Hawiye, the indigenous clan. After Barre's overthrow, reprisals were exacted on members of his Marehan clan, with many leaving the city, but some Marehan have returned and generally do not face persecution. Members of the minority populations, such as the Reer Hamar, the original Benadiri population of Mogadishu (known in Somali as Hamar) living in the Hamar Weyne and Shingani districts, and Bantu, found themselves particularly exposed at times of heavy fighting. As with Somalia as a whole, an individual in Mogadishu will be most secure in an area in which his or her clan is able to afford them protection. Members of small clans and minority groups are, inevitably, at more risk, although some minority groups, such as the low-caste Midgan, Tomal, Yibir, Ayle, Jaji and Yahar, who may risk harassment by Somali clans in rural areas, do not necessarily find themselves facing particular human rights or security problems in Mogadishu. (See also Sections 5.11 - 5.24) [37]

4.17 The Cairo Declaration, signed in December 1997 by various clan factions including the USC/SNA and USC/SSA, was intended to pave the way for the reunification of Mogadishu and Somalia as a whole. The most immediate effect of the Declaration was the beginning of free movement in early 1998 across the green lines that have divided Mogadishu and the holding of joint peace rallies. On 30 March 1998 most of the signatories of the Cairo Declaration met in Mogadishu and agreed on the structure of an administration for the Benadir Region (the Mogadishu area), including ports and judiciary. [9b][10][14a,b][15][16]

4.18 The new unified civilian administration for the Benadir Region was finally established in early August 1998, with Ali Mahdi and Hussein Aideed as co-chairmen of the new body. 1,300 trainee officers, all former militiamen, in a new police force set up by the unified administration received their first allowances in September 1998. [9j,k,l][14d]

4.19 The new police force, made up of 2,162 former militia fighters and 900 ex-members of the former Somali national police force, was deployed in December 1998. A further 3,000 former militia fighters are to be recruited into the new force in 1999. In November 1998 the Libyan Government gave US$800,000 to cover the costs of the new force and Egypt provided uniforms. The force has concentrated its training on dealing with urban banditry. However, by April 1999 most of the police had left their posts as they had not been paid, which was attributed to the inefficiency of the new Benadir administration. Senior police officers met in June 1999 to discuss how to give fresh impetus to the work of the force. [27][28d][39b]

(See also Sections 3.38 - 3.41 & 3.56 - 3.58)



4.20 Central and southern Somalia, including Mogadishu, witnessed the heaviest factional fighting in the aftermath of Siad Barre's overthrow in 1991. The political situation in many areas remains unresolved. Large parts of central and southern Somalia are much less homogeneous in clan terms than Puntland and Somaliland, which is reflected in the large number of clan-based militia, some of which control only a small area. There are several regional clan-based administrations, some of which co-operate with neighbouring authorities that permit free movement of people and trade across regional boundaries. Many authorities are comprised of councils of elders, often heavily influenced by a dominant local militia. The security situation varies from area to area but in general a person will be safest in the area controlled by his or her own clan. Small clans and minority groups will be safest in areas where they enjoy the protection of a dominant clan. The areas of greatest conflict are where hostile militia come up against one another, such as Gedo, Bay, parts of Bakool and Lower Juba. [31][34]

4.21 The rival Hawiye factions control much of central and southern Somalia. Members of other clans, such as the Digil and Dir, also live in these areas but are not directly involved in the conflict but, like minority groups, risk becoming victims of hostilities although they are not a target of general persecution by the parties to the conflict. Hussein Aideed's USC/SNA is the most powerful clan militia, although the Habr Gedir clan is outnumbered and the majority of territory under USC/SNA control is not Habr Gedir populated. [17][34]

4.22 Aideed's forces seized the Rahanwein-populated Bay and Bakool regions in September 1995, ousting the Rahanwein-supported SDM Supreme Governing Council in Baidoa. Since then the RRA has fought to reassert Rahanwein control. The USC/SNA withdrew from the town of Wajid in January 1998 following the Cairo Declaration but did not fulfil its pledge to remove its forces from Baidoa. The RRA captured Huddur from the USC/SNA in October 1998, prompting thousands to return to the town, adding to pressures on scarce food supplies. In December 1998 the RRA established a new regional administration for Bakool region in co-operation with traditional elders. Fighting spread to Baidoa in January 1999 and in June 1999 the RRA captured the town from the USC/SNA with Ethiopian assistance. RRA forces then began a move towards the coast, capturing Bur Acaba later in June 1999. (See also Sections 3.64 - 3.68) [9d,o][14h][17][21d][24d][28a][29][34][35][44b,c][46a,b]

4.23 Economic activity has increased in central and southern Somalia, in spite of the fluid political situation. Goods are traded across clan and regional boundaries, although banditry remains a problem. Mogadishu and Kismayu ports remain closed and ports such as Bossaso in Puntland have benefited from the subsequent increase in trade as exports are diverted. The Juba and Shebelle river areas were severely affected by floods in late 1997. [34]

4.24 Kismayu has witnessed particularly fierce fighting between rival clans, such as the Marehan SNF and the Ogaden SPM. The Majerteen SSDF, dominant in Puntland, also operates around Kismayu. Rival factions of the SPM, one allied with Hussein Aideed's USC/SNA, the other with the SNF and Ali Mahdi's SSA, controlled different parts of Kismayu. The two sides maintained an uneasy peace from late 1996, with relatively free movement of people and trade between the areas they controlled, until heavy fighting broke out in early November 1998 as the SNF advanced on SPM-held territory. Peace talks between the two sides were underway in Nairobi in mid-November 1998 and fighting had halted but tension remained high and many people fled Kismayu. It was reported in January 1999 that the Puntland administration had sent arms to the Darod militia of General Morgan in Kismayu. [21a,b,c][28b][34]

4.25 In June 1999 the SNF and allied forces, grouped together as the Allied Somali Forces (ASF) finally ousted General Morgan's SPM forces from Kismayu. Calm was quickly restored to Kismayu and ASF forces were moved to designated areas outside the town. The ASF appealed for international assistance for Kismayu and assured safeguards for the security of aid workers. (See also Sections 3.62 - 3.63) [9p][24h,i][28e]

4.26 The Middle Shebelle region north of Mogadishu is dominated by the Abgal (Hawiye) clan and politically controlled by Ali Mahdi's USC/SSA. A sizeable Bantu population also live in the area as well as smaller Hawiye clans. The Bantu were particularly vulnerable during the civil war but are now able to live and move freely in the area. The administrative organisation in the area was established during the UNOSOM period and has functioned effectively since. The area has remained stable since 1994, although localised fighting and banditry may occur. In Jowhar, the main town, a disarmament agreement has proved effective. A police force, set up by UNOSOM in 1994, operates in Jowhar, funded by taxes levied by the local council and is responsible for security rather than clan militia. A Shari'a court was established in Middle Shebelle in 1995. The area suffered severe damage to its infrastructure and agricultural land during the height of fighting in 1990-91 but reconstruction has been underway since 1993. [34]

4.27 The largest clan in the Hiran region is the Hawadle (Hawiye), which is allied with Ali Mahdi's Abgal clan and USC/SSA faction. The main town Beled Weyne is an important trading post, both within Somalia and with neighbouring Ethiopia. Aideed's USC/SNA took the town in 1994 but it was recaptured by the Hawadle USC/PM in April 1995, since when the region has remained peaceful, with no serious fighting or clan conflict. The local administration was established by UNOSOM and includes local councils and clan councils of elders. A volunteer police force, established by UNOSOM, is responsible for security. Beled Weyne's Shari'a court also maintains its own police force. Hiran's Shari'a courts use their influence to maintain a balance between legislative and executive bodies and successfully keep public order. The local authorities claim that crime levels have fallen, thereby boosting trade. Somalis of all clans can travel into Hiran region and, with permission, settle there. [17][34]

4.28 The Galgadud region adjoining Hiran is also relatively safe, with no reports in 1997 and 1998 of fighting between clans. Galgadud is predominantly Hawiye-populated but there are Marehan territories in the west of the region. [17]

4.29 The Gedo region bordering Kenya and Ethiopia has been mainly controlled by the Marehan-based SNF. The al-Ittihad al-Islamia fundamentalist group is influential in the region between Bardera and Luuq. Ethiopian forces, with the co-operation of the SNF, occupied parts of Gedo in 1996 and 1997, in retaliation for alleged al-Ittihad attacks inside Ethiopia. Ethiopian forces were withdrawn in January 1998. Prior to its conflict with al-Ittihad, the SNF had established an effective administration, with a police force and Shari'a court for the region. Disagreements within the SNF emerged over co-operation with Ethiopia against al-Ittihad, and the SNF has become fragmented. In February 1998 the SNF leader General Omar Hadji Mohamed Hersi defected to support Hussein Aideed. Colonel Abdirizak Issak Bihi replaced him. [9d,g,h,i][34][35][38]

4.30 A peace agreement was signed in August 1998 between the SNF and al-Ittihad in Gedo that led to freer movement within the region. The agreement provided for the cessation of hostilities, the co-existence and eventual restructuring of the two organisations with each other and the imposition of Shari'a law in Gedo. [14f]

4.31 Ethiopia once more entered Gedo region in April 1999 when its forces took control of Bulahow and Dolo. Ethiopia backed SNF Chairman Ahmed Shaykh Buraleh against a rival pro-Hussein Aideed SNF faction led by General Umar Haji Masaleh. In June 1999 Ethiopia occupied the border town of Luuq and in July 1999 advanced to take control of Garba Harre and Burdobo. Ethiopia's moves were seen as part of a wider strategy to establish a buffer zone inside Somalia to prevent Somalia being used by Eritrea as a second front in its border dispute with Ethiopia and anti-Ethiopian Oromo separatists. (See also Sections 3.59 - 3.61) [9q][14l][18b][44f]

4.32 Many Marehan fled to Gedo from Mogadishu following the fall of Siad Barre and Hawiye reprisals against their clan. Minority groups, such as the Midgan, were particularly vulnerable in Gedo during the height of fighting in 1990-91, but no longer suffer persecution solely on the basis of their ethnicity. The small Asharaf group in Gedo remained aloof from the clan fighting and enjoy a secure position. Fighting in the north of Gedo between the SNF and al-Ittihad has forced many people to relocate to the south of the province. Also present in Gedo are Rahanwein from Bay and Bakool who left their home regions when they were captured by the USC/SNA in 1995. [34][35]

4.33 The IMO believes conditions for substantial returns of refugees and displaced persons to central and southern Somalia to be marginal in many areas, particularly Gedo and the area between Mogadishu, Huddur and Kismayu, as political and military conflicts remain unresolved. [35]



4.34 Until 1991 the Constitution provided for the independence of the judiciary from the executive and legislative powers. Laws were required to conform to the provisions of the Constitution and general Islamic principles. [1]

4.35 There has been no national judicial system since the fall of Siad Barre's government in 1991. The judiciary is presently organised locally and in most areas is a mixture of traditional and customary justice, Shari'a law and the pre-1991 penal code. Somaliland continues to use the pre-1991 penal code and some district and regional courts, including a "supreme court" in Hargeysa, are functioning. Somaliland bases its laws on British common law supplemented by Shari'a law. In Bardera, Gedo region courts apply both the pre-1991 penal code and Shari'a whereas in northern Mogadishu, part of southern Mogadishu, the Middle Shebelle and parts of Gedo and Hiran regions Shari'a law alone is applied. In Bossaso and Afmedow court authorities surrender criminals to victims' families who may exact blood compensation in keeping with Somali tradition. Ali Mahdi and Hussein Aideed, the co-chairmen of the newly established unified administration for the Benadir Region around Mogadishu, in February 1999 urged the implementation throughout the region of Islamic law. [8][13][17][30][31][39a]

4.36 Areas applying Shari'a and traditional and customary legal systems do not usually allow representation by a lawyer or an appeal against their decisions. A Shari'a court established in USC/SSA-controlled northern Mogadishu in 1994 subjected prisoners, arrested and detained by court militia and given summary trials, to public executions, amputations and floggings. An informal Shari'a court in Somaliland in 1993 had five women executed by stoning for adultery. The authorities moved to prevent any recurrence and strengthened the normal courts. In Puntland and Somaliland, where the pre-1991 criminal code still generally applies, an accused person can be assisted by a lawyer and there is some form of appeal, even in the Shari'a courts. [8][13][17][30][31]

4.37 The UN Secretary General's Independent Expert on Somalia has identified three main areas of concern with the operation of Shari'a law in Somalia: the expeditious nature of Shari'a law caused by the lack of procedural rules, which often denies the right of defence, the lack of any right of appeal and the inhuman and degrading nature of most of the punishments, such as summary execution and amputation. [31]




5.1 Political violence, banditry and famine since the fall of Siad Barre's government in 1991 have claimed thousands of lives, mostly civilian non-combatants. Militia and police forces set up by factions have committed numerous human rights abuses. Human rights problems in the absence of a recognised central authority since 1991 have included the lack of political rights, harassment and abuse of minority groups, denial of fair trial and excessively harsh punishments given by courts set up by some faction administrations, arbitrary detention, societal discrimination against women and the almost universal practice of female genital mutilation. (See also Section IV) [5][8][30]

5.2 Certain minority groups, most notably the Bravanese and Benadiri people of non-Somali ethnic origin, have been particularly disadvantaged and targeted by clan militia since the collapse of central authority in 1991. (See also Sections 5.14 -5.24) [5][30]



5.3 UN agencies and international human rights groups are able to operate in Somalia but the poor security situation in some areas limits their activities. Staff employed by the UN and other international organisations occasionally fall victim to acts of common banditry. In 1996 the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) visited prisons in some parts of Somalia. The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights visited Somalia in February and March 1996. In 1997 ICRC delegates and Western diplomats were allowed to visit prisons in some areas. Kidnapping of international relief organisations' employees for ransoms has occurred and remains a problem. In August 1996 a Somali employee of the Swedish Life and Peace Institute was abducted in northern Mogadishu and held for three months for a ransom payment. A Portuguese doctor employed by a French NGO was killed in Baidoa in June 1997, prompting aid organisations to leave the town; investigations into the killing were still pending at the end of 1998. UNICEF re-opened its office in Baidoa after the RRA ousted Aideed's forces from the town in June 1999. A World Food Program convoy was attacked in Mogadishu in September 1998 and two guards were killed. In March 1999 a female aid worker from the United States working for the United Methodist Committee was murdered in southern Somalia, near the border with Kenya. Ahmed Billie Hassan, leader of the al-Ittihad al-Islamia fundamentalist militia, denied that his group was responsible for the murder. At least 8 UN organisations and 12 international NGOs were operating in 1998 in the safe environment of Hargeysa, Somaliland. [8][13][14i][17][28c][30][40][44e]

5.4 An Amnesty International delegation was permitted to visit Somaliland by the Hargeysa authorities in October 1998. Amnesty conducted a seminar for local human rights NGOs, who appeared free to operate without harassment. Groups such as the Horn of Africa Human Rights Watch Committee and the Guardians for Civil Liberties in Somaliland and the Dr Ismail Jumale Centre in Mogadishu have reasonable freedom to operate and have contacts with Amnesty International. Several local human rights were active in Mogadishu throughout 1998, protesting about the treatment of prisoners by Shari'a courts and organising peace demonstrations. Unidentified gunmen attacked the Dr Ismail Jumale Centre in northern Mogadishu in June 1999 but Ali Mahdi's militia drove off the attack. It was believed that the attack might have been an attempt to take documents that the centre holds on human rights abuses. [13][14j][17]




5.5 Women and children suffered disproportionately heavily in the fighting that ensued following the fall of Barre's administration. Many women, who would traditionally have had the protection of men in their parents' and husband's clans, have been left to head their families with the breakdown of normal structures. There were large numbers of rapes, abductions and forced marriages of women by the warring militia, especially in 1991-92, which has stigmatised the victims. Most vulnerable have been women who have been internally displaced within Somalia, who have lacked the protection of powerful clan structures, and those from minority clans and ethnic minorities. In 1998 there were no reports of systematic attacks on women in connection with the continuing conflict in certain areas. [5][8][13][30][31][32][33][36]

5.6 The position of women in patriarchal Somali society is largely subordinate. While polygyny is allowed polyandry is not. Laws made by the former central government allowed female children to inherit property but only half the amount to which male siblings were entitled. In the traditional practice of blood compensation, those found guilty of killing a woman must pay only half as much to the victim's family as they would if the victim was male. While several women are important behind-the-scenes members of various factions, women as a group remain outside of the political process. There are no women holding prominent public positions. Several women's groups in Hargeysa, Somaliland actively promote equal rights for women and advocate the inclusion of women in responsible government positions. Somaliland's 1997 Constitution has provisions prohibiting discrimination based on sex and national origin. [8][13][30][33]

5.7 Somali women engage in economic activity as producers and traders. Women organised anti-war demonstrations and set up co-operatives and credit associations in order to achieve greater economic independence during the civil war. Women run many local NGOs. [17]

5.8 A widowed woman would usually receive protection from her husband's clan. A widow and her children may be taken in by the direct family of her husband, whose brother, under the 'dumal' principle, would have the opportunity of marrying her. This traditional approach ensures that a widowed woman would only rarely find herself without protection. Although marriage is usually within the same sub-clan, inter-marriage across clan lines does occur. Only in exceptional cases does this present a difficulty for a widow. [17][33][36]

5.9 Although technically illegal under Barre's administration, the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) remains widespread in Somalia with an estimated 98% of Somali women having been subjected to FGM. Infibulation, the most painful form of FGM, is carried out in Somalia. FGM remains illegal in Somaliland under the pre-1991 penal code that still applies there. [8][13][30][33]



5.10 Children have been major victims in areas affected by fighting. Many boys aged fourteen and fifteen have taken part in and been the victims of attacks by militias. Some youths are members of marauding "Morian" (meaning parasites or maggots) gangs. Somalis are regarded as adults when they reach fifteen and they may then carry weapons. In addition to their experiences of civil war, many children have had their education disrupted by the disorder of recent years. Somaliland has only three secondary schools and only 10% of the few children who enter primary school graduate from secondary school. Schools lack books and equipment and teachers are poorly trained and poorly paid. The lack of educational opportunities and the depressed economy contribute to the use of informal child labour. UNICEF is active in many parts of Somalia, promoting health, education, immunisation and the rights of children. [13][17]



5.11 The dominant clan in any particular area has generally excluded other clans and minorities from participation in power. An individual will be most secure in an area in which their clan is dominant and able to afford them protection. However, the Majerteen-dominated Puntland authorities have been willing to allow thousands of people from other clans and minorities to live in the territory they administer. Similarly, the Isaaq-dominated Somaliland authorities have been tolerant of non-Isaaq clan members living in their territory, even Ogaden clan members who moved into the area under Siad Barre's administration. The authorities in the central Hiran and Galgadud regions have similarly proved tolerant of Somalis from other clans and regions travelling into their territories and, with consent, settling there. (See also Sections 4.8, 4.12 & 4.27) [17][30][32][35]

5.12 The Rahanwein clans have been largely excluded from political participation in the Rahanwein-populated Bay and Bakool regions since their capture by Hussein Aideed's Hawiye-based USC/SNA in September 1995, when the Rahanwein-supported SDM regional administration was ousted. Since then the RRA has fought to reassert Rahanwein control, capturing the important town of Huddur from the USC/SNA in October 1998 and taking Baidoa in June 1999 with Ethiopian assistance. The RRA set up a new regional administration for Bakool region in December 1998. [9d][17][28a][35][46a]

5.13 After the fall of Siad Barre's Marehan-dominated administration in 1991 thousands of Marehan in Mogadishu died in the ensuing fighting at the hands of the Hawiye-dominated USC militia. Many Marehan consequently fled to their home region of Gedo but some have been able to return to Mogadishu and generally do not face persecution. The Galgadud region, where Marehan live in the west of the otherwise mainly Hawiye-populated region, is regarded as safe and stable, with no reports of clan fighting in 1997 and 1998. (See also Section 4.16) [17][35][36][37]

(See also Annex B - Somali Clan Structure)



5.14 More than 80% of the population shares a common ethnic heritage and religion. The largest minority group is the Bantu who, it is believed, may be descended from slaves brought to Somalia some 300 years ago. Since the fall of Barre's government in 1991 the dominant clan in any particular area has excluded other groups from effective participation in government. Minority groups have been subject to harassment and abuse by armed militia of various factions. [8][13][30]

5.15 The minority groups were the only people in Somalia who, when Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991, did not have their own armed militia to protect them. It is estimated that in the early 1990s 40% of the population south of Mogadishu belonged to minority groups, not considered to be Somali by the majority population. Warring Somali clans looted their food and property and gross human rights violations, including extra-judicial execution and rape, took place in the subsequent fighting. Bantu groups in the inter-riverine areas between the Juba and Shebelle rivers were caught in the fighting between the forces of Generals Aideed and Morgan. The small Gaalgale (Hawiye) clan, which had been armed by Barre's regime in its final days, was subjected to reprisals by Ali Mahdi's Abgal (Hawiye) clan after Barre's removal. [5]

5.16 The Benadiri (an urban people of East African Swahili origin, living mainly in the coastal cities of Mogadishu, Merca and Brava) and Bravanese (a people long established in the city of Brava, believed to be of mixed Arab, Portuguese and other descent), suffered particularly badly at the hands of armed militia and bandits as their home areas were fought over by the competing USC factions and the SPM. USC/SNA forces in particular singled out the Benadiri and Bravanese, with a campaign of systematic rape of women. Most homes belonging to the Reer Hamar (a Benadiri people) in Mogadishu have been taken over by members of Hawiye militias. [5][17][33][37][34]

5.17 Fighting between rival clan factions has been accompanied by human rights abuses by some of the factions, particularly Aideed's USC/SNA forces in the Bay and Bakool regions, such as the killing of civilians, including clan elders, torture, the forced displacement of defeated clans or vulnerable minority communities and rape of women. The level of fighting between rival factions was lower in 1997 than at any time since the civil war began in 1991, but armed militias nevertheless deliberately and arbitrarily killed scores of unarmed civilians. Few details of such incidents are available. [13][19][31]

5.18 Like the Benadiri and Bravanese, the minority Bantu are either remnants of former resident communities, or were taken to Somalia centuries ago as slaves. The Bantu include the Zigua, Zaramo, Magindo, Makua, Manyasa, Mushunguli and Yao people. In addition to their own language the Bantu usually speak broken Somali. Until 1991 they were principally engaged in agriculture in the Juba river delta. [17]

5.19 The Bantu did not take part in the civil war and are therefore not in danger of recriminations or reprisals, but they were displaced by the fighting and often lost their land along the Juba river and in the Middle Shebelle region. The UNHCR believes that many Bantu prefer to resettle in their ancestral lands rather than stay in Somalia. However, many Bantu have returned to the Juba valley where they live both in and outside refugee camps. Bantu have also found work in the construction industry in Somaliland. Bantu also live in the Middle Shebelle region where they move freely without problems. However, one incident reported in 1997 by Amnesty International involved the killing in a village in the Middle Shebelle region of 17 Bantu by faction militias and the rape of seven women. [17][19]

5.20 The minority Gaboye/Midgan (usually referred to as the Midgan) traditionally settle in areas where they can obtain protection from a clan and build up an economic activity. Although minorities have usually been able to avoid involvement in clan disputes they have sometimes come under pressure to participate in fighting in areas of conflict. This happened to the Midgan in Mogadishu following the collapse of the Barre administration, although Midgan and other minority groups who may risk harassment by Somali clans in rural areas do not necessarily find themselves facing difficulties in Mogadishu now. Midgan have been able to settle in Puntland. (See also Section 4.16) [17][37]

5.21 The small Bajuni population, numbering some 3,000 to 4,000, are mainly sailors and fisherman. They live in small communities on the coast south of Kismayu and on islands between Kismayu and Mombasa in Kenya. The Bajuni are of mixed Arabic, Bantu, Somali and possibly Malay ancestry. Their principal language is Kibajuni, a dialect of Swahili, with those living in mainland towns also speaking Somali. [41]

5.22 The Bajuni were not particularly targeted during the civil war fighting of the early 1990s. Some Bajuni even earned money by transporting refugees out of towns such as Brava and Kismayu to Kenya. Many Bajuni nevertheless took refuge with relatives in coastal villages in Kenya while others went to the Jomvo refugee camp in Mombasa, mainly because their economic livelihood was threatened in Somalia as clan militia moved into their home areas. The militias often stole Bajuni property. Their future in Somalia is uncertain. [41]

5.23 Amnesty International regards certain minority groups as vulnerable, including the Bantu, the Benadiri, the Bajuni, the Midgan and other occupational-caste groups such as the Tomal and Yibir (who claim Jewish ancestry), as well as the agriculturalist Rahanwein and Digil-Mirifle Somali clans, Ethiopian Oromo refugees and a few Christian converts from Islam who may be at risk from militant Islamists. [6][42]

5.24 While many displaced minority groups would not necessarily face persecution on the basis of clan membership or ethnicity were they to return to their home areas, they may well face difficulty in regaining their homes and land which were seized by clan militia which took control of their territories. Members of smaller clans and minority groups such as the Bantu have been able to settle in Somaliland and Puntland. Bantu have been able to find building work in Somaliland as economic recovery continues. As minorities often have skills such as weaving, fishing and building they are often economically better off than ethnic Somalis. Persecution solely on the basis of clan membership or ethnicity is now very unlikely in most areas of Somalia. (See also Sections 4.8, 4.12, 4.16 & 4.32) [17][32][34][36]




5.25 Public gatherings occur frequently throughout Somalia, usually without incident. In safe areas, such as Somaliland and Puntland, and usually elsewhere in Somalia, there is effective freedom of association and assembly. However, the lack of security in some areas may effectively limit the right of free assembly. Political gatherings would usually require the consent of the dominant clan or political group in the area concerned. Amnesty International reported that in November 1996 20 people were arrested in Hargeysa, Somaliland after a peaceful demonstration against President Egal's administration. They were sentenced to one year's imprisonment, after an allegedly unfair trial, although one of those sentenced was released in December 1996. The remainder were freed in January 1997 under an amnesty releasing all political prisoners and captured clan fighters imprisoned in Somaliland in 1996. [8][13][17][19][30][40]

5.26 The 1979 Constitution was revoked in 1991 after the fall of Siad Barre's government but proposals to reinstate the 1960 Constitution were abandoned. Somaliland's 1997 Constitution established the right of freedom of association. Amnesty International's 1997 Report (which covers events in 1996) noted the detention of political opponents in Hargeysa, Baidoa, Merca and Kismayu, but all political opponents were released under an amnesty in January 1997. [13][19][30][40]



5.27 The major factions in Mogadishu and the SNM authorities in Somaliland operate small radio stations. Foreign news broadcasts, including the British Broadcasting Corporation's Somali language service, are widely received. The Somali Independent Journalists' Union (SIJU), which has over 200 members across Somalia, intends to set up its own radio station. Newspapers are widely circulated and consist of short photocopied dailies, some of which are produced by clan factions while others are independent and often critical of faction leaders. [8][13][17]

5.28 There are about 20 newspapers published in Mogadishu, mostly privately owned. Journalists have experienced harassment, including detention, from various factions. In September 1996 pro-Aideed gunmen briefly detained several foreign journalists. There are reports of arrests and detention of journalists from the area controlled by Aideed's USC/SNA. [8][17][37]

5.29 Somaliland has two independent daily newspapers, one government daily and an English language weekly paper. The editor of the Jamhuriya newspaper was detained five times, twice for 15 days, during 1998 after his paper published articles criticising the alleged corruption and incompetence of the Hargeysa authorities. He had been detained twice in 1997 for similar reasons. Police also questioned him at least 14 times in 1998 regarding information published in Jamhuriya. [13]

5.30 In August 1998 the editor of Iftiinka Africa newspaper in Boroma, Somaliland was detained after he was accused of publishing a malicious article against the commander of the regional police force. The newspaper ceased operations. [25b]

5.31 In November 1998, the Puntland authorities banned correspondents of the Somali Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) from entering Puntland, claiming that the BBC was not neutral in Somali affairs and had misrepresented the situation in Puntland. [24c]



5.32 Islam has been made the "official" religion by some local administrations. The overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim majority can view non-Sunni Muslims with some suspicion. In fundamentalist strongholds, such as Luuq in Gedo region, there is strong social pressure to respect Islamic traditions. Islamic Shari'a courts have become the main system of justice in some areas. The tiny Christian population maintains a low profile and Christian-based international relief organisations generally operate unhindered providing they refrain from proselytising. There are no reports of non-Muslims experiencing problems because of their religion. [8][13][17][30]

5.33 In January 1996 30 folk musicians were arrested by Islamic court militia in northern Mogadishu and charged with violating Islam in their performance. They were swiftly tried and, although they denied the charge, were flogged. [40]



5.34 There is relatively free movement between Puntland and Somaliland and between Puntland and the neighbouring USC/SNA controlled areas to the south. The Hiran and Galgadud regions are also safe to travel in. Reliable scheduled air services are also operating to Puntland and Somaliland from Djibouti. In 1996 and 1997 repatriation of displaced persons generally proceeded unhindered with the improvement in the security situation in many areas, particularly in Somaliland. The ability to travel is effectively restricted in many areas, particularly those in which the political situation remains unresolved. In the areas of continuing conflict in central and southern Somalia rival factions operate checkpoints which restrict movement between and within areas. (See also Section IV, Political System) [8][13][17][30][32][33][35]

5.35 Most Somalis will generally be able to receive the protection of their own clan in areas controlled by that clan. However, there are many thousands of internally displaced persons still living outside their traditional home area, particularly those whose home areas are controlled by rival clan factions. Many Somali clans are present in more than one area of Somalia, and also in areas beyond Somalia's borders, and people displaced from their home area may move to other areas populated by their clan. [17][36]

5.36 Some areas have provided a safe refuge for people from other clans and minority groups displaced from elsewhere in Somalia. The Majerteen-led Puntland administration has, for example, permitted Somalis from all clans and non-Somali minority groups, even former supporters of Siad Barre, to move freely through and settle in the area under its control. The SNM administration in Somaliland has allowed Somalis who originate from the north-west and minorities such as the Bantu to settle in its territory. The authorities in the peaceful Hiran region also allow all Somalis to move, and settle with permission, within their territory. Many Marehan living in Mogadishu fled to SNF-controlled Gedo region during the height of fighting after the removal of Barre's administration, although some have since been able to return to Mogadishu. (See also Sections 5.11 -5.24) [17][32][34][36][37]

5.37 As security conditions improve in Somalia, refugees and internally displaced persons continue to return to their homes. However, most properties which were occupied forcibly during the militia campaigns in 1993, particularly in Mogadishu and the Lower Shebelle region, remain in the hands of people other than their pre-war owners. In 1998 some 50,000 Somali refugees returned to Somalia from Ethiopia under the UNHCR's auspices, leaving some 200,000 Somali refugees still in Ethiopia in October 1998. Some 125,000 Somali refugees remained in Kenya at the end of 1998, down from more than 400,000 in 1992. Some 20,000 Somali refugees were still in Djibouti at the end of 1998. A small number of Ethiopian refugees were still in Somalia at the end of 1998, mainly around Bossaso in Puntland. Repatriation generally proceeded without incident although there were incidents of UNHCR food packages being stolen by militiamen. The Somaliland authorities continued to co-operate with the UNHCR in assisting refugees. [13]

5.38 In the absence of central government, most Somalis seeking to travel outside Somalia have to arrange travel documents informally. Identity papers and passports can be obtained for payment in the markets of most towns in Somalia and in Djibouti and Nairobi. The Somaliland authorities issue Somaliland travel documents to "Somalilanders". [17]



5.39 Prison conditions vary from region to region. There was a noted improvement in conditions in the southern Mogadishu prison controlled by Aideed's USC/SNA forces after the start of visits in 1995 by international organisations. Conditions in the northern Mogadishu prison controlled by Islamic Shari'a courts deteriorated and prisoners commenced a hunger strike in September 1996, following which prison officials released most of the inmates. However, in 1998 prison conditions in the northern Mogadishu prison were reported to still be harsh and life threatening. Conditions elsewhere are reported as less severe. Prisoners are able to receive food from relatives and relief agencies in many areas. Prisons in Baidoa, Bardera and Kismayu are reported to be primitive but not unhealthy or overcrowded. The World Food Program's efforts have ensured that sufficient food is available for prisoners. [8][13][17][30]

5.40 ICRC and foreign diplomats are allowed to make prison visits in some areas. There have been no reports of political prisoners being held by any of the factions although arbitrary detention by factions continues. Incidents reported include the arrest by a Shari'a court of Aideed supporters in northern Mogadishu after they formed a political group in support of General Aideed's self-declared government. The group was later released but in May 1996 General Aideed's forces arrested an Islamic judge over a political dispute. [8][30]










1886 - British Somaliland protectorate established in north-west

1889 - Italian colonisation of Somalia begins

1935-36 - Italy invades and occupies Ethiopia from Italian Somaliland and Eritrea

1941 - British forces occupy Italian East African territories; British military administration established in both British and Italian Somaliland

1943 - Somali Youth League (SYL) established

1947 - Italy renounces all rights to ex-Italian Somaliland

1950 - Italy appointed to administer ex-Italian Somaliland for 10 years as a UN Trust Territory

1959 - Elections in UN Trust Territory won by SYL

26.6.1960 - Independence of British Somaliland

1.7.1960 - Merger of former British Somaliland and UN Trust Territory of Somalia as the independent Somali Republic; SYL leads coalition government headed by President Aden Abdullah Osman with Dr Abd ar-Rashid Ali Shermarke as Prime Minister

1964 - Dr Shermarke replaced as Prime Minister by Abd ar-Razak Hussein who formed an all-SYL cabinet; territorial dispute with Ethiopia over Ogaden district leads to armed clashes

6/1967 - Dr Shermarke becomes President; Mohamed Ibrahim Egal appointed Prime Minister

15.10.1969 - President Shermarke assassinated

21.10.1969 - Military coup led by Commander-in-Chief Major-General Mohamed Siad Barre; Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC) proclaims Somali Democratic Republic; Barre vows to eliminate clanism

10/1970 - Barre declares Somalia a socialist state and embarks upon programme of 'scientific socialism'

1976 - SRC dissolved, replaced by Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party with Barre as Secretary-General

27.6.1977 - Former French Somaliland becomes independent Republic of Djibouti

7/1977 - Somalia invades Ogaden district of Ethiopia; Soviet Union switches allegiance from Somalia to Ethiopia

3/1978 - Ethiopia regains Ogaden with Soviet and Cuban assistance; large numbers of refugees enter Somalia from Ethiopia

1980 - Barre officially becomes President of Somali Democratic Republic

1982 - Barre's Marehan clan consolidates grip on power

1981 - Formation of Majerteen-dominated opposition group DFSS (later becomes SSDF) and Isaaq-dominated SNM

7/1982 - DFSS guerrillas invade central Somalia and occupy two towns but invasion repelled by Government forces; severe reprisals against Majerteen clan

2/1983 - Mutiny in northern areas

11/1984 - Barre assumes all powers of government

12/1986 - Barre sole candidate in presidential election - rule confirmed for further 7 years

1987 - Increase in attacks on military targets by insurgents

4/1988 - Peace accord with Ethiopia; withdrawal of Ethiopian support for Somali insurgents

5/1988 - SNM invades north-western Somalia, occupying Burao and part of Hargeysa

6/1988 - Fierce counter-offensive by Government forces, led by General Morgan, against SNM in north-west; Hargeysa virtually destroyed, killing 40,000; 400,000 flee to Ethiopia

7/1989 - 400 protestors killed in anti-Government demonstrations organised by Hawiye USC in Mogadishu

8/1989 - Barre loses support of Ogaden clan; clashes with Ogaden SPM militia in south, fighting alongside USC forces; Barre offers to relinquish power

1/1990 - Barre dismisses his government but opposition refuses to take posts in new administration

8/1990 - USC, SNM and SPM co-ordinate military campaigns to overthrow Barre

11/1990 - SPM seizes Kismayu

1/1991 - USC forces led by General Aideed capture Mogadishu; SNM takes control of north-west

27.1.1991 - Barre flees Mogadishu

29.1.1991 - USC's Ali Mahdi proclaimed temporary President but SNM and SPM oppose his appointment

3/1991 - Increasing divisions along clan lines; opposition groups refuse to participate in USC-organised national conference

5/1991 - Fall of Mengistu regime in Ethiopia

16.5.1991 - SNM declares independence of "Republic of Somaliland" in north-west; SNM Chairman Abd ar-Rahman Ahmed Ali 'Tur' declared President of breakaway state

6/1991 - Differences within USC, mainly along clan lines, emerge as supporters of Ali Mahdi and General Aideed clash in Mogadishu

6/1991 - Conference of national reconciliation held in Djibouti, attended by USC, SDM, SPM and DFSS; SNM refuses to participate

7/1991 - Second conference held in Djibouti, joined by SDA and USF; the 6 participants declare intention of defeating Barre's SNF and implementing cease-fire; Ali Mahdi confirmed as President for 2 year period

7/1991 - USC Central Committee elects General Aideed as its Chairman

18.8.1991 - Ali Mahdi sworn in as President

9/1991 - Armed clashes in Mogadishu between rival USC factions leave 300 dead

11/1991 - Aideed supporters capture most of Mogadishu, forcing Ali Mahdi to flee, but Ali Mahdi regains northern Mogadishu by end of month

12/1991 - Ali Mahdi asks UN to send peacekeeping force

1/1992 - General Aideed opposes UN involvement and sets up his own administration; UN imposes arms embargo on Somalia

3/1992 - Escalation of violence in Mogadishu - 14,000 dead; inter-clan rivalry leads to clashes in Somaliland, which last until 10/1992

4/1992 - SNF's advance on Mogadishu repelled by Aideed's forces; Barre flees Somalia (dies in Nigeria in 1995)

4/1992 - UN sets up UNOSOM

5/1992 - Aideed forms SLA military alliance with other groups including SPM and SDM, which captures Kismayu from SNF

6/1992 - SLA in control of large area of southern and central Somalia; UNOSOM deploys 50-man observer group

8/1992 - SLA forms SNA, headed by Aideed; Ali Mahdi in alliance with anti-Aideed groups, including SSDF and faction of SPM; UNOSOM deploys 500 troops to protect UN personnel and escort food supplies

12/1992 - 1,800 strong US-led force takes control of Mogadishu's port and airport; Ali Mahdi and Aideed sign peace agreement under US auspices, but agreement soon broken

1/1993 - 33,000 UNITAF troops in Somalia; UN-organised peace negotiations in Addis Ababa attended by 14 groups

2/1993 - UNITAF forces clash with SNF in Kismayu and with armed youths in Mogadishu

3/1993 - UN-sponsored reconciliation conference in Addis Ababa; UN sets up UNOSOM II, with reduced US role; UNOSOM II tasked with enforcing peace and institution-building

4/1993 - SNF recaptures Kismayu

5/1993 - Belgian UN troops clash with SPM around Kismayu; Mohamed Ibrahim Egal replaces Tur as President of Somaliland; Tur denounces Somaliland's secession

6/1993 - Aideed's forces kill 24 Pakistani UN troops in Mogadishu - UNOSOM retaliates with air strikes; UN Security Council issues warrant for Aideed's arrest but he evades capture; clashes between UN forces and Somali militia cause many civilian deaths

9/1993 - 18 US troops and 300 Somalis die in clashes in Mogadishu leading to US reappraisal of its role and decision to withdraw US forces by 3/1994

11/1993 - Ali Mahdi assumes leadership of SSA alliance

3/1994 - Cease-fire agreement signed in Nairobi between SSA and Aideed but agreement soon broken

6/1994 - Further heavy fighting in Mogadishu between Aideed and Ali Mahdi supporters

7/1994 - Aideed's forces take control of Beled Weyne from Hawadle (Hawiye) clan

10/1994 - Fighting between Ali Mahdi's forces and Murosade clan in Mogadishu, lasting to 1/1995

2/1995 - UN forces withdraw from Mogadishu headquarters; fighting between rival USC/SNA factions (led by Aideed and Ali Ato) for control of airport

3/1995 - End of UNOSOM intervention - 136 UN personnel and hundreds of Somalis killed in UN operation, which failed to bring peace, but which did provide significant famine relief and establish local administrations in many areas

6/1995 - Divisions within USC/SNA become apparent - Ali Ato faction breaks with Aideed and loosely allies itself with Ali Mahdi; Aideed declares himself President but is recognised only by Libya

9/1995 - Aideed's forces capture Baidoa

10/1995 - Ali Mahdi and Ali Ato supporters ban banana exports to deny Aideed revenue

1/1996 - Aideed's forces capture Huddur

7/1996 - General Aideed fatally wounded in clashes in Mogadishu

8/1996 - General Aideed dies on 1.8.1996; replaced as "President" by his son Hussein Aideed on 4.8.1996

10/1996 - Hussein Aideed, Ali Mahdi and Ali Ato attend peace talks in Nairobi - cease-fire agreed but broken by Ali Ato's forces

12/1996 - OAU, IGAD and Ethiopian Government-backed talks involving 26 Somali factions held in Sodere, Ethiopia

1/1997 - Sodere talks lead to formation of National Salvation Council (NSC) to create transitional government - Aideed and SNM not involved in process; Aideed and Ali Mahdi hold talks on implementation of Nairobi agreement but hostilities resume in 2/1997

3/1997 - League of Arab States and Egyptian Government-sponsored talks held in Cairo

5/1997 - Aideed and Ali Ato hold talks in San'a, Yemen

11/1997 - Aideed and Ali Mahdi jointly chair talks in Cairo

12/1997 - Cairo Declaration signed between Aideed and NSC factions - provides for cease-fire, reunification of Mogadishu and a National Reconciliation Conference (NRC) as prelude to transitional government and new constitution; NRC supposed to commence in Baidoa in 2/1998 after withdrawal of Aideed's forces from the town

1/1998 - USC faction leaders agree to reopening of Mogadishu's air and sea ports, demobilisation of clan militia and dismantling of green lines

2/1998 - Large peace rally in Mogadishu attended by Hussein Aideed, Ali Mahdi and Ali Ato; free movement begins as green lines dismantled; however, Aideed's forces still occupying Baidoa and NRC postponed to 31.3.1998, raising doubts over the future of the Cairo peace process

3/1998 - Aideed and Ali Mahdi sign agreement on structure of Benadir (Mogadishu area) regional administration; NRC in Baidoa postponed (again) to 15.5.1998

7/1998 - Autonomous "Puntland State of Somalia" declared in SSDF-administered north-east

8/1998 - Unified civilian administration established for Benadir Region (Mogadishu) under co-chairmanship of Ali Mahdi and Hussein Aideed; Ali Ato denounces new authority but city remains calm

8/1998 - Peace deal agreed between SNF and al-Ittihad in Gedo region; Ethiopian forces cross border into Gedo but withdraw the next day

8/1998 - Nine-member Cabinet appointed by Puntland's "President", Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed

9/1998 - World Food Programme warns of impending humanitarian crisis in southern Somalia owing to food shortages

9/1998 - New police force in Mogadishu made up of demobilised militiamen receives first allowances; Habr Yunis clan militia incorporated into Somaliland's 'national' security forces; 10,000 Somalis voluntarily repatriated to Somaliland from Ethiopia

9/1998 - 69-member Puntland Parliament inaugurated; Puntland charter released, advocating federal structure for Somalia; Ethiopia donates military equipment to Puntland administration

10/1998 - RRA captures Huddur from USC/SNA; thousands return to Huddur, prompting food shortages

11/1998 - Heavy fighting in Kismayu between SNF and SPM; peace talks commence in Nairobi between SNF and SPM; many flee Kismayu; Medina Hospital in Mogadishu reopens

12/1998 - RRA establishes new regional administration for Bakool region; new 3,000-strong police force deployed by unified administration in Mogadishu

1/1999 - Fighting between RRA and USC/SNA spreads to Baidoa

2/1999 - Ethiopia reportedly supplies arms to RRA; RRA alleges that 60 civilians massacred by USC/SNA forces in Baidoa area

4/1999 - Ethiopia enters Gedo region, taking control of Bulahow and Dolo, as effects of Ethiopia-Eritrea border war spill over into Somalia

5/1999 - Fresh fighting for Kismayu between pro-Aideed SNF faction and Morgan's SPM forces

5/1999 - Fighting in Gedo region between rival factions of SNF, with Ethiopian involvement

5/1999 - President Egal approves resolution allowing for the introduction of multi-party politics in Somaliland

6/1999 - RRA ousts USC/SNA from Baidoa, with Ethiopian assistance; RRA advances to take Bur Acaba and closes in on Aideed's airstrip at Beledoogle

6/1999 - SNF and allies in ASF grouping take Kismayu from General Morgan

6/1999 - Ethiopian forces take Luuq

7/1999 - UNICEF re-opens office in Baidoa as RRA consolidates its hold

7/1999 - Ethiopian forces advance in Gedo region to take Garba Harre and Burdobo








1. DIR:





Habr Awal:

Saad Muse

Issa Muse


Habr Garhadjis:

Habr Yunis



Habr Jaalo (Habr Toljaalo):

Mohamed Abokor


Muse Abokor

Ahmad (Toljaalo)




Harti Confederation:







Habr Gedir











33 clans in two loose alliances:

The "Eight":




Elai, and others

The "Nine":

Gassa Gudda



Geledi, and others


(See Annexes C and D for political factions, mostly clan-based, and prominent people)

For further detailed information on the Somali clan system refer to Annex 1 to the Netherlands Situation in Somalia report of 1997 (source [33])
































Al-Ittihad al-Islamia (Islamic Union Party) - radical Islamic group aiming to unite Somalis in Somalia and surrounding states in an Islamic State; based in Gedo region; opposed by SNF and Ethiopian government; outside of Sodere and Cairo peace efforts; thought to support terrorist activities in Ethiopia

Allied Somali Forces (ASF) - alliance of SNF faction and others which captured Kismayu from General Morgan's SPM forces 6/1999

Northern Somali Alliance (NSA) - founded 1997 as an alliance between USF and USP

Rahanwein Resistance Army (RRA) - fighting against Aideed's USC/SNA in Rahanwein-populated Bay and Bakool regions; captured Huddur 10/1998 and Baidoa 6/1999; set up administration for Bakool region 12/1998; backed by Ethiopia; represents Rahanwein clans

Somali African Muki Association (SAMO) - represents Bantu minority population; member of SSA

Somali Democratic Alliance (SDA) - founded 1989; represents Gadabursi (Dir) clan in north-west; fought with Siad Barre's forces against SNM and opposes secession of Somaliland; led by Mohamed Farah Abdullah; member of SSA

Somali Democratic Movement (SDM) - a militarily weak group representing Digil/Rahanwein clan families; split in 1992 into 2 factions: pro-Ali Mahdi/SSA faction led by Abdulkadir Mohamed Adan and pro-Aideed/SNA faction led by Adam Uthman Abdi (Chairman) and Dr Yasin Ma'alim Abdullahi (Secretary-General)

Somali Eastern and Central Front - founded 1991; opposes SNM's secessionist policies in Somaliland; Chairman Hirsi Ismail Mohamed

Somali National Alliance (SNA) - founded 1992 by General Aideed from the Somali Liberation Army grouping of the pro-Aideed USC faction, SDM, Omar Jess' faction of SPM and SSNM (which withdrew in 1993); led by Hussein Aideed

Somali National Democratic Union (SNDU) - small group established 1992 representing two small Darod clans in Galgadud region of central Somalia; led by Ali Ismail Abdi; allied with Ali Mahdi's USC/SSA; participated in 1998 discussions with SSDF and USP to set up Puntland state

Somali National Front (SNF) - founded 1991 in southern Somalia by Siad Barre loyalists; represents Marehan clan; seeks restoration of SRSP government; controls most of Gedo region; member of SSA; leader General Omar Hadji Mohamed Hersi defected to Aideed and replaced by Colonel Abdirizak Issak Bihi in February 1998; backed by Ethiopia, particularly in its conflict with al-Ittihad al-Islamia

Somali National Movement (SNM) - founded in London 1981; represents Isaaq clan-family; guerrilla group, initially supported by Ethiopia, until 1991 when took control of north-west, proclaiming independence of Republic of Somaliland; leads government of Somaliland, led by Mohamed Ibrahim Egal

Somali National Union (SNU) - minor group representing non-ethnic Somalis; member of SSA

Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM) - founded 1989 by Colonel Omar Jess; represents Ogaden clan in south; divided into 2 factions, one led by Adan Abdullahi Nur Gabeeyow and allied with General Morgan, and member of SSA, the other led by Gedi Ugas Madhar allied with USC in SNA

Somali People's Democratic Union - founded 1997; breakaway group from SSDF; led by Mohamed Jibril Museh

Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party (SRSP) - from 1976 to 1991 the sole legitimate political party under Siad Barre's administration; SNF seeks restoration of SRSP government

Somali Salvation Alliance (SSA) - grouping of 12 anti-Aideed factions formed 1993, led by Ali Mahdi: USC/SSA, SAMO, SNU, USF, SDA, SDM, SPM, SSDF, SNDU, SNF, SSNM and the Ali Ato faction of the USC/SNA

Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF) - founded 1981 as Democratic Front for the Salvation of Somalia (DFSS) as a coalition of 3 factions; represents Majerteen clans in north-east; has formed administration of north-east since 1991 & declared "Puntland State of Somalia" in 7/1998; smaller SSDF group operates in Kismayu in alliance with SNF against SNA; member of SSA; Chairman General Mohamed Abshir, deputy Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed (`President' of Puntland from 7/1998)

Somali Youth League (SYL) - founded 1943 in former Italian Somaliland; dominated governments of independent Somali Republic 1960 to 1969; removed from power by Siad Barre's military coup

Southern Somali National Movement (SSNM) - based on southern coast mainly representing Bimal (Dir) clan; set up under Aideed's sponsorship to support Omar Jess' SPM against SNF; part of SNA 1992-93; allied with Ali Mahdi from 1993; member of SSA; Chairman Abdi Warsemeh Isar

United Somali Congress (USC) - founded 1989 in central Somalia; represents Hawiye clans; overthrew Siad Barre in Mogadishu in 1991 but subsequently divided into factions:

-USC/SNA [1] - led by General Aideed and from 1996 his son Hussein; represents Habr Gedir clan; controls southern Mogadishu, Merca, Brava and large parts of Bay and Bakool regions

-USC/SNA [2] - dissident Habr Gedir USC/SNA faction expelled from SNA in 1995, led by Ali Ato; controls small part of southern Mogadishu; loosely allied with USC/SSA

-USC/SSA - led by Ali Mahdi; represents Abgal clan; controls northern Mogadishu; part of NSC

United Somali Congress/Peace Movement (USC/PM) - based on Hawadle (Hawiye) clan; controls most of Hiran region and a very small area around Benadir Hospital in Mogadishu; allied with Ali Mahdi and Musa Sude; member of SSA; led by Colonel Omar Hashi Aden

United Somali Congress - small Murosade (Hawiye) clan faction which controls the Wardhigley district of northern Mogadishu, independent of both Ali Mahdi's and Hussein Aideed's USC factions; led by Abdullahi Moalim

United Somali Front (USF) - founded 1989; a marginal group representing Issa (Dir) clan in north-west and opposed to SNM; member of SSA; led by Abd ar-Rahman Dualeh Ali (Chairman) and Mohamed Osman Ali (Secretary-General); allied with USP in 1997 to form NSA

United Somali Party (USP) - represents Darod clans who oppose SNM's secessionist policies in Somaliland; led by Mohamed Abdi Hashi; allied with USF in 1997 to form NSA; participated in 1998 discussions with SSDF and SNDU to set up Puntland state































- Adam Uthman Abdi - Chairman of SDM/SNA; Rahanwein clan

- Mohamed Farah Abdullah - leader of SDA; Gadabursi (Dir) clan

- Dr Yasin Ma'alim Abdullahi - Secretary-General of SDM/SNA; Rahanwein clan

- General Mohamed Abshir - SSDF leader (Chairman); Majerteen (Darod) clan

- Abdulkadir Mohamed Adan - leader of SDM/SSA, one of 5 co-chairmen of NSC; Rahanwein clan

- Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed - SSDF deputy leader, one of 5 co-chairmen of NSC, `President' of the self-declared Puntland State of Somalia 1998; Majerteen (Darod) clan

- Hussein Mohamed Aideed - son of General Aideed who succeeded him as Chairman of USC/SNA, and self-styled `President' of Somalia, in 1996; Habr Gedir (Hawiye) clan

- General Mohamed Farah Aideed - military commander of USC, Chairman of SNA; declared himself `President' of Somalia 1995; died 1996; Habr Gedir (Hawiye) clan

- Abd Ar-Rahman Dualeh Ali - Chairman of USF; Issa clan

- Mohamed Osman Ali - Secretary-General of USF; Issa clan

- Osman Hassan Ali `Ato' ("Ali Ato") - former aide of General Aideed and leader of breakaway USC/SNA faction, loosely allied with Ali Mahdi's USC/SSA, heads administration in small area of southern Mogadishu; one of 5 co-chairmen of NSC; Habr Gedir (Hawiye) clan

- Colonel Hassan Dahir Aweys - commander of al-Ittihad al-Islamia fundamentalist militia

- Major-General Mohamed Siad Barre - military ruler 1969-80, Chairman of SRC 1969-76, Secretary-General of SRSP 1976-91, President of Somali Democratic Republic 1980-91; died in exile 1995; Marehan (Darod) clan

- Colonel Abdirizak Issak Bihi - SNF leader from February 1998, replacing General Omar Hadji Mohamed Hersi

- Mohamed Ibrahim Egal - Prime Minister of British Somaliland before independence, Prime Minister of Somali Republic 1967-69, President of SNM-led "Republic of Somaliland" since May 1993; Habr Awal (Isaaq) clan

- General Adan Abdullahi Nur `Gabeeyow' - SPM/SSA, Kismayu-based, one of 5 co-chairmen of NSC; Ogaden (Darod) clan

- Mohamed Abdi Hashi - leader of USP; Darod clan

- Ahmed Billie Hassan - leader of al-Ittihad al-Islamia

- General Omar Hadji Mohamed Hersi - former leader of SNF, realigned behind Hussein Aideed February 1998; replaced as SNF leader by Colonel Abdirizak Issak Bihi

- Abd ar-Razak Hussein - Prime Minister of Somali Republic 1964-67; Darod clan

- Seyyid Abdullah Issa, SYL leader - 1st Prime Minister of Somali Republic

- Colonel Ahmad Omar Jess - set up SPM in 1990, allied his faction of SPM with General Aideed 1991 onwards

- Gedi Ugas Madhar - Chairman of SPM/SNA; Darod clan

- Ali Mahdi Mohamed ("Ali Mahdi") - temporary President appointed by USC 1991, leader of faction of USC, chairman of SSA and one of 5 co-chairmen of NSC; Abgal (Hawiye clan)

- General Omar Haji Masalle - SNF leader, defected to Hussein Aideed February 1998 and replaced by Abdirizak Issak Bihi

- Abdullahi Moalim - leader of small Murosade (Hawiye) United Somali Congress in northern Mogadishu, independent of Ali Mahdi's and Hussein Aideed's USC factions

- General Mohamed Siad Hersi `Morgan' - son-in-law of the late Siad Barre, led campaign against SNM in north-west in late 1980s and responsible for the destruction of Hargeysa, former leader of SNF, allied to General Adan Abdullahi Nur Gabeeyow's faction of SPM; Darod

- Dr Aden Abdullah Osman - 1st President of Somali Republic 1960-67

- Yusuf Haji Sa'id - elected as speaker of Puntland's 'parliament' 9/1998

- Colonel Hasan Muhammad Nur `Shaargadud' - leader of the RRA; Rahanwein clan

- Dr Abd ar-Rashid Ali Shermarke - 2nd Prime Minister of Somali Republic 1960-1964, President 1967-69, assassinated; Darod clan

- Musa Sude - Deputy Chairman of USC/SSA, heads administration in Medina district of southern Mogadishu; Abgal (Hawiye) clan (Wabudan sub-clan)

- Abd ar-Rahman Ahmed Ali `Tur' - SNM Chairman and 1st President of "Republic of Somaliland" 1991-93, later allied with Aideed administration; Habr Yunis (Isaaq) clan






[1] Europa World Yearbook 1998, 39th Edition, Volume 2, Europa Publications Ltd, London July 1998

[2] Africa South of the Sahara 1998, 27th Edition, Europa Publications Ltd, London September 1997

[3] Understanding Somalia (Part One: The Social Setting), I M Lewis 1993

[4] Somalia: A Long Term Human Rights Crisis, Amnesty International, September 1988

[5] Somalia: A Nation in Turmoil, Dr Said S Samatar, Minority Rights Group International Report, London 1995

[6] Somalia: Building Human Rights in the Disintegrated State, Amnesty International, November 1995

[7] BBC Monitoring Service - Radio Ethiopia external service, 6 January 1997

[8] Somalia Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1996: United States Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, 30 January 1997

[9] Reuters News Service:

(a) 6 January 1998

(b) 31 January 1998

(c) 14 February 1998

(d) 4 January 1998

(e) 21 December 1997

(f) 22 December 1997

(g) 22 September 1996

(h) 12 June 1997

(i) 10 February 1998

(j) 3 September 1998

(k) 4 August 1998

(l) 4 August 1998

(m) 7 August 1998

(n) 23 February 1999

(o) 2 May 1999

(p) 13 June 1999

(q) 5 June 1999

[10] BBC Monitoring Service - MENA News Agency, Cairo 29 December 1997

[11] BBC Monitoring Summary of World Broadcasts - Agence France-Presse, Paris 20 December 1997

[12] BBC Monitoring Summary of World Broadcasts - Ethiopian Television, Addis Ababa 13 January 1998

[13] Somalia Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1998: United States Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, 26 February 1999

[14] Xinhua News Agency News Bulletin:

(a) 31 January 1998

(b) 6 February 1998

(c) 6 February 1998

(d) 3 September 1998

(e) 26 November 1998

(f) 6 August 1998

(g) 13 September 1998

(h) 10 November 1998

(i) 23 March 1999

(j) 14 June 1999

(k) 18 June 1999

(l) 21 April 1999

[15] BBC Monitoring Service - Radio Mogadishu, Voice of the Masses of the Somali Republic, 6 February 1998

[16] BBC Monitoring Service - Radio Mogadishu, Voice of Somali Pacification, 1 April 1998

[17] Situation in Somalia in Connection With Asylum Procedures, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, October 1998 - European Union Council Paper 13496/98, Brussels 14 December 1998 [update of document 33]

[18] The Independent newspaper (UK):

(a) 19 December 1997

(b) 12 April 1999

[19] Amnesty International Report 1998 (covers 1997)

[20] BBC Monitoring Service - Radio Hargeysa, Somaliland, 30 August 1998

[21] BBC Monitoring Service - Ayaamaha newspaper (Mogadishu):

(a) 8 November 1998

(b) 9 November 1998

(c) 11 November 1998

(d) 1 February 1999

(e) 21 February 1999

(f) 13 May 1999

[22] Keesing's Record of World Events:

(a) Volume 44, No. 8, August 1998

(b) Volume 44, No. 9, September 1998

[23] The Puntland Courier, Puntland State Information Newsletter, Ministry of Information, Culture & Telecommunications, Garowe, Puntland, Somalia:

(a) No.01, August 1998 Vol.02

(b) No.03, 19 September 1998 Vol.04

[24] BBC Monitoring Service - Xog-Ogaal newspaper (Mogadishu):

(a) 25 July 1998

(b) 15 September 1998

(c) 9 November 1998

(d) 23 January 1999

(e) 21 February 1999

(f) 21 March 1999

(g) 12 May 1999

(h) 11 May 1999

(i) 16 June 1999

[25] BBC Monitoring Service - Mogadishu Times newspaper:

(a) 2 September 1998

(b) 26 August 1998

(c) 3 February 1999

(d) 12 December 1998

[26] Pan African News Agency (PANA), Addis Ababa 7 October 1998

[27] Somalia: No Nation, New Regions, Africa Confidential 18 December 1998

[28] BBC Monitoring Service - Qaran newspaper, Mogadishu:

(a) 19 December 1998

(b) 3 January 1999

(c) 29 March 1999

(d) 3 April 1999

(e) 12 June 1999

[29] The Guardian newspaper (UK), 20 November 1998

[30] Somalia Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1997: United States Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, 30 January 1998

[31] Background Paper on Refugees & Asylum Seekers From Somalia, UNHCR Centre for Documentation & Research, Geneva 5.2.1997

[32] Report of Fact-Finding Mission to North East & North West Somalia (Somaliland) 13.4.-8.5.1996, Danish Immigration Service, Copenhagen September 1996

[33] Situation in Somalia, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Asylum & Migration Affairs Division, The Hague January 9, 1997

[34] Report on the Nordic Fact-Finding Mission to Central and Southern Somalia 15 February to 14 March 1997, Danish Immigration Service and Swedish Immigration Service, Copenhagen May 1997

[35] Report of the IOM Initial Assessment Mission for Somali Return Program Potential, International Organization for Migration, Geneva January 1997

[36] Report on the Fact-Finding Mission to Somalia and Kenya, 27 October to 7 November 1997, Danish Immigration Service, European Union Council Paper 5522/98, Brussels 1998

[37] Report on the Nordic Fact-Finding Mission to Mogadishu, Somalia 28 May to 13 June 1997, Danish Immigration Service, European Union Council Paper 11747/97, Brussels October 1997

[38] Jane's Defence Weekly, 2 October 1996

[39] BBC Monitoring Service - Radio Mogadishu, Voice of the People of the Somali Republic:

(a) 3 February 1999

(b) 25 June 1999

[40] Amnesty International Report 1997 (covers 1996)

[41] Victims & Vulnerable Groups in Southern Somalia, Occasional Paper by Lee Cassanelli for Immigration and Refugee Board, Ottawa, Canada May 1995

[42] Somalia: Putting Human Rights on the Agenda: A Human Rights Training Workshop, Amnesty International, July 1997

[43] BBC Monitoring Service - Radio Mogadishu, 12 November 1997

[44] UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN):

(a) 28 May 1999

(b) 11 June 1999

(c) 15 June 1999

(d) 2 July 1999

(e) 6 August 1999

(f) 2 July 1999

[45] New Sunday Times newspaper (Malaysia), 25 April 1999

[46] Africa Research Bulletin, London:

(a) Vol. 36, No. 6, June 1999

(b) Vol. 36, No. 7, July 1999