Hawiye in the NFD and Jubbaland

ON I September I899 Sheikh Mohammad Abdille Hassan (pejoratively called the ‘Mad Mullah’ by the British) began a rebellion in British Somaliland that was not finally suppressed until I920.The importance of this rebellion in Northern Somaliland is well known, but it is not generally appreciated that it also had an impact on the Somali who lived to the south of the River Juba in the East Africa Protectorate. Although the effect of the rebellion in Jubaland was necessarily more marginal and indirect, it was nevertheless a factor influencing both the principal Somali clans in the area, the Herti and the Marehan, as well as the attitude of the Protectorate administration towards them. The Jubaland Somali were nomadic pastoralists who belonged almost exclusively to two clan-families, the Darod and the Hawiye. The most important Hawiye clans in the area were the Ajuran and the Digodia, while the Darod were further divided into three main clans: the Marehan, Ogaden and Herti. Although the Ajuran were amongst the earliest of the Somali clans to move south of the River Juba, the Digodia did not begin to enter Jubaland until the last decade of the nineteenth century. Yet both these Hawiye clans insinuated themselves as clients to the tribes that controlled the region, and neither succeeded in establishing their pre-dominance in the area. All the Darod, on the other hand, were recent arrivals, and their passage across the River Juba took place in the middle of the nineteenth century, when for a few years they became clients of the Galla. This migration represented either a secondary dispersal, on their part, from southern Ethiopia, or it was the last stage of a much larger and longer movement southwards.2 The climacteric of this migration occurred in 1867, when the Darod defeated the Wardai Galla around Afmadu and drove them out of Jubaland. Within a few months, news of this defeat of the Wardai had reached northern Somalia and it encouraged further Darod migrations southwards. Groups of Marehan and Ogaden moved towards the Juba from central Somalia, while large numbers of Herti sailed to Kismayu from Berbera, the town in which Mohammad Abdille Hassan first began preaching.


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