Somaliland: VOSOMWO Decries Continued Persecution of Minority Clans in Awdal Region


By: Latifa Yusuf Masai

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The minority clan of Gaboye is undergoing severe persecution by both Government officials and Awdalites at large.

This is according to a statement released by the Voices of Somaliland Minority Women Organization-VOSOMWO and signed by its chairperson Ms. Nimo Eid Salaan.

According to Miss Salaan the judiciary system in the region is the one fronting the persecution of the Gaboye Awdalites by giving it, persecution, and legality.

“VOSOWO is worried and perturbed by the legalize persecuting of Gaboye clans in Awdal region and more specifically in the capital Borame”says Nimo Eid

The main bone of contention is the current incarceration of two youths who have been accused of being responsible for the murder of an Awdalites boy who committed suicide after his family denied him permission to marry a Gaboye girl.

Ms. Salaan informed that the two youths who were original charged in the regional court and sentenced to death are in custody contrary o law since the Court of appeal reversed e lower courts order.

Masters Mustafa Haybe Jama and Badal Abdi Adan were sentenced to death 4 years ago by a the Awdal regional court sitting in Borame on charges of being responsible for the suicide of a youth from the main clan in the town denied permission to marry a Gaboye sweetheart as she a Gaboye who is considered untouchable was unclean or marriage by a majority clan.

According to Nimo Eid Salaan whose Vosomwo organization is involved in campaigning for the rights of Minority clans in Somaliland the maltreatment meted upon Gaboye clans by Awdalites is so severe that the legal system is castrated since court orders are overridden by the wants of residents.

“Despite the court of appeal having found the two Gaboye youths not guilty thence their unconditional release they still remain in prison due to fear for their lives “says Ms. Salaan

Nimo Eid VOSOMWO BossIn Elaboration the youthful minority rights campaigner revealed that Masters Mustafa Haybe Jama and Badal Abdi Adan are still in custody because the relatives of the youth who committed suicide demanded payment of 100 camels in blood money in which they vowed to kill the duo if not paid.

The irony of the matter is regardless of resident’s failure to accept court orders, the demand for payment of blood money for a person not killed as customs demand but one who committed suicide after refusal by his relatives the marriage to a Gaboye girl.

Said she, “Although it is against the local traditions and without being quilt we paid the blood money”

The blood money paid to the suicide youth’s family totaling 100 heads of camels was 40 heads just about to calve, 30 heads aged 5 years (Prime) and 30 heads aged 4 year each as per the dictates of the Awdal regional court of appeal.

Due to the acrimonies erupting from the saga of the Borame suicide over 70 families are now internally displaced in Hargeisa after they escaped Retribution from the Awdalites

Another example of Gaboye persecution in Somaliland is the Gabile drama in which the local court order that Mr. Khaddar Mursal Moge could marry his sweetheart born from the majority clan in Borame where the lovebirds had escaped to seek justice elsewhere.

According to the Gabile court ruling that was presented to him for listening after the family of the young lady pursued them to Gabile, “Khaddar can marry from any clan as dictated by the laws of Somaliland and Islamic tenets”

Despite the court order and birth of child the family of the young lady is still pursuing vengeance against Khaddar forcing the couple to live in hiding.

Though the court made its decision, residents in Gabile and other areas of the country are said to have received the decision badly as it breaks traditional norms that have been practiced for centuries, establishing a fine line between majority and minority clans.

Minority clans in all Somali speaking countries are determined as inferior thus relegated to the mundane professions of Blacksmiths, barbers, sanitation workers etc., professions that are considered as beneath the esteem of majority clans.

Most politicians in Somaliland say there’s little need to worry, as there are many opportunities for the Midgaan. They say that their lot is improving rapidly in terms of legal, cultural, and economic equality with the majority clan. Mohamed and Ahmed Ibrahim Hassan, two brothers who work at Jaylaani, say it’s true that some Midgaan have made it into government jobs or the security forces and their lives have improved materially over the past 20 years of Somaliland’s independence.

Jaylaani barbershop in Hargeisa is a typical scene of gaboye clan allotted work

As of 2006, when the Voice of Somaliland Minority Women Organization conducted a survey of the Midgaan in Hargeisa, most of the Midgaan lived off less than $1 per day, at least half of the population was unemployed, and only 20 percent attended school. Even now, only between 30 and 40 Midgaan (out of perhaps 10,000 in Hargeisa alone, by Mohamed’s rough estimates) are attending or have graduated from universities. And, USWO insists, you’d be hard-pressed to find one Midgaan in a technical school, despite their history of work in technical/vocational trades. Given that vocational skills are more in demand here than university skills, USWO officials suspect they’re being systematically barred from potential new means of employment despite their current employment crisis.

Though the Gaboye clan in the Somaliland are taking steps to achieve greater political rights after facing years of political, social and economic marginalization through tribal-based discrimination through a 16-member independent committee of traditional leaders, religious scholars and Gaboye clansmen things are far from ok.

To his effect VOSOMWO appeals to the president of Somaliland Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo, both chambers of parliament and traditional leaders to act now and help Gaboye clan access their rights as equal citizens of this great country.

For further details contact Voices of Somaliland Minority Women Organization

Tel: +252 2 520409, Email:, Hargeisa Somaliland

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