The fall of Gedo: 26th Anniversary of Ethiopia’s Invasion on Gedo region


On this day (9/8/1996) 26 years ago Ethiopia carried out an air and land invasion on the Gedo region, Somalia. Its air force bombarded Luq and Boholgaras indiscriminately while its ground troops attacked Balad-Hawo, and Dolow in addition to the above-mentioned towns. Ethiopia claimed that it targeted the Islamist bases and that it killed over 200 Al-Itihad militants and wounded many more. However, it did not spare anywhere it could reach, be residential houses, mosques or busy markets. Its troops, tanks and helicopters swept through those towns firing indiscriminately. Scores of civilians and Al-Itihad fighters were killed. Among the civilians killed in a mosque was the Luq district commissioner Aadan sheekh Hassan Gaas. Nevertheless, the invasion had far more disastrous consequences than the initial death and destruction it caused. Almost all the troubles that our country has seen since then go back to that very day in one way or the other. 

Firstly this invasion has defined the future relationship between the Somali people and Ethiopian government. After this incursion Ethiopia’s attitude towards Somalia and its dealing with Somali people had dramatically changed. As the weaknesses and fissures of Somali leaders had been severely exposed, Ethiopian rulers cleverly capitalized it. Since then Ethiopia has been dealing with Somali people as fragmented unruly tribes which had no state. Immediately after the invasion, it developed a divide and rule policy which allowed her to bring border regions under its administration. It established a permanent presence in Gedo, Baay and Bakool. It had been expanding its influence on other regions, gradually bringing one after one under its rule. By 2005 the whole country came under its rule either directly or indirectly exempt two Jubbas, two Shabeelles and Banadir. And finally December 28th 2006 the whole country fell and the Ethiopian flag was raised over Villa Somalia. 

Secondly on this day 26 years ago was when Al-shabaab was conceived which would be born 10 years later. This organization, which is the greatest danger the whole region is facing, started to evolve from that incident. After this aggression, Al-itihad fighters began gorilla war and adopted the same brutal and savage tactics that Al-shabaab use today including mining roads, beheading and assassinating civilians on mere suspicion. Al-Itihad leaders were divided on this issue and most of the top leaders opposed those actions and condemned them as unreligious. They demanded the war in Gedo to be stopped altogether several times. But others including Hasan Dahir Aweys, Ibrahim Afghan and Mohammed Haji Yusuf, the head of the so-called Gedo Emirate, insisted it was a rightful Jihad thus supporting its continuation. The annual general meeting of Al-Ictisaam (former Al-Itihad) was held in Mogadishu between 31/07/1999 and 5/08/1999. One of the outcomes of this conference was to stop the fighting in Gedo and lay down the guns. What would be Al-shabaab leaders refused to accept that declaration.  Although they began their own separate conference and political and military movement, they remained under the Al-Ictisam banner until 2006 when they named themselves Al-Shabaab.  

Therefore August the 9th invasion was central to what happened in our country in the years that followed to date. Yet no one asked why and how it happened nor did it attract the attention of scholars and researchers. Indeed it was forgotten all together. A forthcoming book written in Somali will try to fill this gap. The book will explore how we came to that day; who was responsible for the actions that provoked this attack and finally whether it could be avoided. 

But for now let’s remember those who perished in that savage attack by making dua for all of them and sharing the names of those lucky ones whose names were recorded. I have taken the below list from the book Cadowkeennu Waa Kuma by Abdullahi Farah Ali. The list is not conclusive 

1:Jaamac Cabdullahi Faarax   Marreexaan Celi
2: Cabdullahi Muxammed Tareey Marreexaan reer Axmed
3: Cabdinaasir Cabdullahi Macallin  Marreexaan Wagardhac
4: Cabdirashiid Faarax Cali (Faarax Taano) Marreexaan reer Diini Reer Siyaad
5: Cabdi Maxammed Xaashi  Marreexaan Uurmidig
6: Maxammed Sheekh Axmedqolo uu yahay lama helin
7: Gaasow Xaashi ShireMarreexaan reer Axmed
8: Ibrahim Maxammed Dhaqaneqoladiisa lama helin
9:Cabdi Axmed sheekhdoonMarreexaan Wagardhac
10: Axmed Cabdi Faarax (Qablan)Marreexaan reer Diini reer Siyaad
11: Ciise Cabdiraxmaan DucaaleMarreexaan Calidheere
12:Cabdirisaaq Xasan Sh. YuusufMarreexaan Calidheere
13: Cabdirisaaq Daahir XirsiMarreexaan reer Diini reer Warsame
14: Cabdirisaaq Axmed Warsameqolodiisa lama helin
15: Axmed Ismaaciil QoslaayeMarreexaan Calidheere 
16: Xasan Maxammuud IinshaarMarreexaan Calidheere 
17: Cumar Khaliif MaxammuudMarreexaan reer Axmed
18: Cabdiraxmaan Oogle JaamacMarreexaan reer Diini reer Ugaas Sharmaake
19: Amina HurdaayeMarreexaan Calidheere 
20: Cabdiraxmaan Cabdi CilmiMarreexaan Wagardhac 
21: Buulle Diiriye CiyeMarreexaan Calidheere 
22: Axmed Ibrahim XuseenMarreexaan Calidheere 
23:Saciid Cabdikariin WarsameMarreexaan Calidheere 
24: Jaamac Cabdi YarowAbsame Bartire
25 maxammed Cabdullahi CaliRaxanweyn Laysaan
26 Maxammed Carab MaxammuudMarreexaan Calidheere 
27:Xuseen ShuqulMarreexaan reer Cismaan
28:Cabdiqaadir Axmed CiiseMarreexaan Wagardhac 
29: Addeec Cali HanboMarreexaan reer Axmed 
30:Cali Cabdulle HiireMarreexaan reer Diini reer Dalal
31: Cabdikariin Cumar AadanMarreexaan reer Diini reer Allamagan Diini
31 Macallin Yuusuf MagaalleMarreexaan reer Xasan
32: Macallin Aadan CabdinuurMarreexaan reer Xasan
33: Cabdirashiid Cumar CilmiMarreexaan reer Diini reer Shirwac Diini
34: Xuseen Ooyow SoomowMurale
35: Maxammuud sheekh FaaraxMarreexaan reer Axmed
36 Cabdi Cali GargaarMarreexaan reer Axmed
37 Yuusuf Caydiid BiixiMarreexaan reer Axmed
38: Maxammed Umal IinshaarMarreexaan Calidheere 
39:Cabdinaasir sheekh XasanMarreexaan reer Xasan
40: Ibraahin MagaalleMarreexaan reer Xasan
41: sheekh Maxammed Xasan CaliDir Gariire
42: Maxammed Cabdi GuureOgaadeen Cawlyahan 
43: Xasan Cabdiwaaxid sh CabdullahiMarreexaan reer Garaad
44: Maxammuud Faarax MaxammedMarreexaan Calidheere 
45: Cumar Xaaji AadanMarreexaan reer Diini reer Siyaad
46: Muuse sheekh CabdiMarreexaan reer Yabar
47: Cabdinuur sheekh XasanOgaadeen Cawlyahan 
48: Bishaar Duge dhaqaneMarreexaan reer Axmed 
49: Cabdirashiid HaajirDir Fiqi Muxummed
50 Siyaad Yuusuf CoogweyneOgaadeen
51 Cabdullahi Faaraxqolodiisa lama helin
52: Cabdirashiid Xasan MursalMarreexaan reer Yabar
53; Mahad GamaaddiidAbsame Galimays
54: Saciid Xasan MaxammedMarreexaan Calidheere 
55: Maxammed CabdiMarreexaan reer Xasan
56: Aadan Sh Xasan Gaar (Wuxuu ahaa gudoomiyihii Luuq marka la dilayo)Marreexaan reer Diini reer Siyaad
57: Cabdirashiid YoontooyHawiye Wacdaan 
58: Xasan Cali IsaaqGarre
59: Sh Maxammed FaaraxOgaadeen Cawilyahan
60: Maxammed Cali Jaamac Majeerteen
61: Xasan Maxammed QaseMarreexaan reer Axmed 
62: Rashiid Ilyaas CumarMarreexaan reer Xasan
63: Aadan Cabdi SalaadOgaadeen Cawlyahan 
64: Axmed Sheekh Calireer Axmed
65: Maxammed Aadan (Abuu Diyana)Madhibaan
66: Macallin Bashiir MaxammedOgaadeen Cawlyahan 
67: Maxammed CabdullahiOgaadeen
68: Xuseen Maxammed WarsameMarreexaan Reer Garaad
69: Cabdiraxmaan BaarreeyOgaadeen Cawlyahan 
70: Axmed Cismaan Xaaji CabdiMarreexaan Calidheere 
71: Cismaan Cabdi MaxammedDhulbahante
72: Aadan Caddow XasanMarreexaan reer Xasan
73: Cabdinuur Cabdinaasir Xaashi Majeerteen
74: Aadan Cismaan MaxammedMarreexaan reer Xasan
75: Cabdullahi Xuseen QoriyowMarreexaan reer Xasan
76: Cali sheekh CabdulleMarreexaan reer Axmed
77: Cabdikariin Yuuruf GarreAwrtable
78: Aadan Axmed QablanMarreexaan reer Diini reer Siyaad 
79: Bashiir Wali SulubDir Gaadsan
80: Maxammed Saciid MacallinMarreexaan Talxe
81: Muuse Abshir AadanRaxanweyn Gabaaweyn
82: Cabdiraxmaan Sh IsmaaciilMarreexaan Celi
83:  Bashiir DheelmooyMarreexaan Hawraarsame
84: Cabdishakuur Abshir CartanMarreexaan Wagardhac 
85: Maxammed CabdiqaadirOgaadeen
86: Axmed Sh CaliHawiye Jajeele
87: Cali Cismaan CabdullahiMarreexaan Calidheere 
88: Axmed Cabdi MaxammedMarreexaan Calidheere 
89: Bashiir Lambar DuweMarreexaan reer Ina-Nuur
90: Cabdiqaadir Shariif MadoobeAsharaaf
91: Aadan Sh AbshirowRaxanweyn Laysaan
92: Ismaaciil Xuseen AxmedRaxanweyn Gasaaragude
93: Maxammed Xasan Moos(qabiilkiisa lama helin)
94: Muxayaddiin Diiriye AadanOgaadeen Cawlyahan 
95: IndhacaddeMarreexaan Wagardhac 
96: Caddow Maxammed LaysaamowRaxanweyn Laysaan
97: Faadumo Mayow MayowRaxanweyn Gabaaweyn
98: Shugri Mayow Sh CaliRaxanweyn Gabaaweyn
99: Cabdiwahaab Mayow Sh CaliRaxanweyn Gabaaweyn
10: Faadumo Axmed MaxammedRaxanweyn Gabaaweyn
101: Ismaaciil sheekh XasanRaxanweyn Gabaaweyn
102: Mustaf Daa’uud MayowRaxanweyn Gabaaweyn
103: Khadiijo Faarax OgaadeenMarreexaan Celi 
104: Xaddiyo MacallinMarreexaan Celi 
105: Axmed CadduurMarreexaan reer Axmed 
106: Cawke Xasan XaajiOgaadeen Cawlyahan 
107: Daahir Cali Walaalow Raxanweyn
108: Ismaaciil Aadan Biriq Raxanweyn
109: Xasan Bacaad MalbaaleMarreexaan Hawraarsame reer Iidow
110: Bishaar Maxammed QaasinRaxanweyn 
111: Bishaar Xasan NuurMarreexaan reer Axmed
112: Shugriya Ciise WeerMarreexaan reer Axmed
113: Cabdullahi Cismaan AxmedMarreexaan reer Axmed
114: Maxammed Cismaan KacaanMarreexaan reer Xasan
115: Axmed Faarax Geelle Majeerteen
116: Cali Nuur KalkaalRaxanweyn Diisow
117: Hire Kinaa SharmaakeMarreexaan reer Diini reer Ugaas Sharmaake
118: Xuseen CaddowMarreexaan Hawraarsame
119: Mahad Maxammed GuuleedReer Shabeelle
120: Cabdullahi Cali SalaadReer Shabeelle
121: Cabdi Cali MaxammuudReer Shabeelle
122: Faadumo Sulub DiiriyeDir Gaadsan

Ibrahim Aden Shire


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