Somali Dir Clan Territory – (Beesha Dir ee Itoobiya, Soomaaliya, Somaliland iyo Djibouti)
May 02, 2010 By: adal Category: News
The Dir is a Somali clan whose members live in Djibouti, Southern Somalia, Somaliland (Northern Somalia), NFD, Somali Region, and Shabeele/ Jubba regions. According to the Dir clan histories, Dir had four sons named Madahweyn, Mandaluug, Madoobe, and Mahe Dir; according to others Dir had a fifth son named Qaldho Dir.
The Somali people are composed of four major tribes. The Dir, Hawiye, Darod, and Rahanweyn make up the majority of Somalis. The Dir are the most ancient Somali clan, and they are the most widespread group. They primarily live in Djibouti as the Issa and Gadabuursi. The northern clans of the self-declared Somaliland, namely the Isaaq, Gadabuursi,and Issa are also all Dir. In Ethiopia, the Dir clans are also the most numerous Somali clan group.
The Northern Somalis exclusively come from the Dir clan. The Isaaq are Mohammed Hiniftire Mahe Dir. While the Gadabuursi are also closely related to the Isaaq whom they share with the common ancestor Mohammed Hiniftire, the sub lineage they claim as their direct ancestor is called the Mandaluug. The third Northern clan, the Issas come from the Madoobe Dir. There are also other Dir groups like the Gurgure, Madigaan, Magadle, Akisho, and Layiile in smaller numbers in the Northern Somalia.
The Dir of Ethiopia
The Dir in Ethiopia are represented by the Issas, Gurgure, Guure, Quranyo Maxamed, Akisho, Gadabuursi, Gadsan, Gariir, Fiqi Muhumand, Qubeys, Layiile, Mandaluulg, Baajimaal, and Wardaai. The majority live in the Dira Dhabe area, Jijiga region, and by the Awash River.
The rest of the Ethiopian Dir clans live in southern parts near the Somali border near Dollo Ado and as far as Guure Dhamoole and Negele. The clans of the Dagoodi, Ajuuran, Jiido, Gabra, and Garre are all associated with the four Dir ancestral progenitors. The Dir occupy vast territories stretching from Baale (Nagelle), Baabule, Fayaanbiiro, Qabri-Bayah, Fiq, Hara-Maaya, Harar, and Dadar.
The Dir are well represented in the 10 major states of the Somali Region in Ethiopia
2. Gobolka Jig-jiga
3. Gobolka Jarareed
4. Gobolka Nogbeed
5. Gobolka Qoraxay
6. Gobolka Doollo
7. Gobolka Shabeele
8. Gobolka Liibaan
9. Gobolka Afdheer
10. Gobolka Jigjiga
1 Awbare (Gedabursi)
5 Qabri Bayax
6 Wajaale(Isaaq, Gadabursi)
1 Diridhabo(Dir Ciise, Gurgure +Oromo)
2 Shiiniile(Dir , Oromo)
3 Ayshica(Dir, Oromo)
4 Danbal(Dir, Oromo)
5 Erar (Dir Gurgure, Oromo)
6 Afdam(Dir, Oromo)
8Gobolka Dhagaxbuur 4 districts
•2 Dhagaxbuur(Dir-Gaadsan, Sheekhaal , Ogaaden)
•4 Gaashaamo(Dir Habar Yoonis)
1)Gumare Da’are-Niman Moyko (Dir-Bajimal+Gasar)
2)Shabelle Niman-Gobyal Dhurdhere Bajimal (Dir)
3)Qodi Budul-Burdhinle Mustahil (Dir)
4)Iimey Dubo -Dir or Hawiya/Rer Ammaadin (Ogaden) and Galameys
5)Iimey district is jointly controlled by the Duba , Dir and Rer Ammadin of the Ogaden.
In Ethiopia, Gaadsan clan reside in three districts : the Liban district (Jarrati, Waladaya, Doolow and Guuredhamole), Godey district (Iimey and Boola), and Gashamo district (Nusdariiq, Marsin, Kabtinuur and Qabridhare).
The Gadabuursi (Gudubiirsi or Sheik Samaroon) tribe is a northern Somali clan, a sub-clan of the Dir. The Gadabuursi are descendants of Sheikh Samaroon, who suffered a devastating defeat in a war with the highlanders of Ethiopia over a dispute of payment of annual tribute and tax collection from international trade routes connecting the hinterland of Ethiopia with the ports of Somalia in 1432. Recent archaeological excavations suggest up to 50,000 homes were destroyed. Today they live mostly in northern Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti. Politically they are represented by the Somali Democratic Alliance (SDA). The current President of self-declared republic of Somaliland, Dahir Riyale Kahin, is from the Gadabuursi tribe. Also the Gadabuursi are the second largest Somali ethnic group in Djibouti where the Dir Isaa (Ciise) are the majority. The Horyaal Democratic Party was founded by the Dir Gadabursi clan; their area of influence straddles the Somaliland border and incorporated the Dire Dawa, Jijiga and the Awbar zones.
The Dir clan of Djibouti Issa Madoobe Dir
The population of Djabouti is overwhelmingly Dir. The majority are Issa Madoobe Dir and the second largest group are the Gadabuursi Mandaluug Dir; the Isaaq are third in number.
The Somali ethnic component in Djibouti is mainly composed of the Issas, who form the majority and the Gadabuursi and Isaaq, all of whom are closely related as Dir subclans.
The Issas form part of the ciise Madoobe Dir, while the Gadabuursi and Isaaq are part of the Mahe Dir, Mohammed Hiniftire. The Issa Madoobe Dir are divided into two groups:the Abgaal and Dalool which are further divided into seven sub-clans:Howlgati and Walaaldoon (Makahir, Mahamuud, Iidleh)Uurweeyne (Fiqi and Abdalle), Wardiiq, Hooroone (Habar Walaala and Geelwalaal), Howleh, Fuurlabe (Mahdle, Saahib) and Ceeleeye (Mamaasan and Muuse). Madoobe Dir was the youngest son of Dir and his father was known as Madoobe.
Gurgura Madaxweyn Dir
The Gurgure Dir (a sub-clan of the Madahweyn) inhabit the city of Dire Dawa, which is also inhabited by the Madoobe Dir Issas. The first to arrive were the Gurguras who named the city Dira Dhawe, or “the place that Dir conquered or hit with his spear”. Finally, the Issas and other Somali groups followed into the region and the Christian Amharas referred the region to as “Gurgura-na Issa Awrajja”or the Awrajja Region of the Gurguras and the Issas.
Gurgura is one of the four woredas in the chartered city of Dire Dawa in Ethiopia. Towns in Gurgura include Melka Jebdu. Based on figures published by the Central Statistical Agency in 2005, this woreda has an estimated total population of 116,250, of whom 58,004 were males and 58,246 were females; 14,250 or 12.26% of its population are urban dwellers, which is less than the average for entire chartered city of 74.4. With an estimated area of 1,195.52 square kilometers, Gurgura has an estimated population density of 97.2 people per square kilometer, which is less than the average for the entire chartered city of 328.
GLF (Gurgura Liberation Front)
GLF (Gurgura Liberation Front) led by Abdelasis Ahmed; HDP (Horiyal Democratic Party), from the WSLF (Western Somali Liberation Front), led by Abdi Ismail and representing the Gadabursi; the IGLF (Issa and Gurgura Liberation Front), headed by Riyaale Ahmed, which, since a split in 1991, only defends Issa interests (essentially the control of the Djibouti-Ethiopian railway line). The pro-government ESDL which hope to become part of the EPRDF is headed by current Transport minister Abdulmejid Hussein ( Dir Issaq Habar Awal). It has 76 of the 139 seats in the Regional Council and 15 of the Somali Region’s 23 seats in the House of Peoples’ Representatives, as well as the two seats for the autonomous city of Dire Dawa. Though it has little support among the Ogaden, the ESDL is backed by the northern Dir clans (Issa, Gadabursi, Gurgure).
Issa and Gurgura Liberation Front
Issa and Gurgura Liberation Front (IGLF) was a political faction in eastern Ethiopia, led by Riyaale Ahmed. IGLF, which is based amongst the Issa clan in northern Hararghe, evolved out of the Iil Tire division of the Western Somali Liberation Front. During its initial period of existence, it engaged in clashes with the Somali National Movement around the Ethiopia-Somalia border.
Pictures of the Gurguras
The Akisho Madaxweyn Dir
The Akisho name is originally derived from “Cayisho” which means in old Somali the (Cayilsan) “Fat One”, and in Oromo Akisho.
Also the other nickname of the Akisho, Guure, is derived from one who doesn’t “hear” because they did not speak the Oromo language when they settled among the Oromo of Bale and Arsi around 1600. Similarly, the Gurgure who are very closely related to the Akisho, use a nickname and were referred to the Oromo and Somalis as the traders or Gurgure from the old Somali and Oromo word “gorgortan” which means one who sales and trades.
According to the folklore historians of the Southern Suure Dir of the Mudug region, the Akisho and the Gurgure madahweyne Dir produced some of the most famous Somali folk heroes like the Somali queen Araweelo who was Warre Miyo.
Also the(Madaxweyne Dir) Akisho and Gurgure clans were instrumental in spreading the Muslim faith in the hinterlands of Ethiopia. The Sheikh Abba Hussein in Southern Ethiopia is said to be of Dir, as well as Awbarkadleh and Awbuube who are two major saints of the Somalis.
The Warre prefix in front of many Akisho clans names means “the Clan of” or reer (WaaReer) in proper Somali. For example, the Warre Miyo are referred to Reer Miiyo in Somalia, but Warre Miyo in Ethiopian Somali and Oromo regions. Other clans related to the Aksiho are the Gariire, Warre Dayo,Gurgure, Layiile, and Aw Said’s of Lower Jubba.
Mudug region of central Somalia
Suure (Abdalle & Qubeys)
According to the Dir clan histories of the Surre, Dir had four sons named Madahweyn, Mandaluug, Madoobe, and Mahe Dir; according to others Dir had a fifth son named Qaldho Dir.
Southern Dir groups claim direct descent from Hiil, Samaale, Aji, Irir, who was the direct father of Dir. One of the brothers of the Dir included the Digaale and the Hawiye.
In the Mudug region of central Somalia and all the way to Hiiraan region is another cluster of Dir clans known as the Suure. The Suure have been associated with spreading the Islamic faith in Somalia and the Qadiriya Sufi tariiqa in southren Somalia. The Suure are among the most influential Dir groups in Southern Somalia, and their territories include large areas of the Mudug and Galgaduud regions. Also the Suure have founded major trade cities in the Hiiran area including Alaabay and Kamhanley. The Suure are well represented not only in Ethiopia and Shabeele/Jubba region but they have sub-clans as far north as Bari region
The majority of western scholars (both Italian and British) simply refered to the Surre as the “Dir of central Somalia” without differentiating them, but recent studies in Somalia reveal that the majority of the Dir in Hiiran, Gedo, Jubba and Bakool are divided into two branches, the Qubeyes and Abdalles, both descendents of Suure.
Other branches of the Dir include the ancient Biyamaal Clan who occuppy an area from 50 km south of Mogadishu all the way down to Jilib and Kismaayo, not far from border with Kenya. The Biyomaal of Marka fought against the Italian colonial rulers of Southern Somalia in a twenty-year war known as the Biyamaal Revolt, in which the Dir assassinated several Italian governors.
Political groups associated with the Dir clans include the following groups in Somalia and Ethiopia:
Issas and Gurgure Liberation Front (IGF) of Ethiopia.
Somali Democratic Alliance (SDA) of the Gadabursi Dir clan.
Somali National Movement (SNM) of the Northern Isaaq.
Southern Somali National Movement ((SSNM) of the mostly Mohamed Xiniftire Dir Clans (Bimaal, Mandaluug, and Gadsan) of Jubba, Gedo, Bardheere, and Shabeellaha Hoose region.
Democratic Liberation Front (DLF) supported Central Somalia Dir groups.
Madaxweyn Dir (1)
Reer Aw Said and their uncle Abkeey Haji
Maha Dir (Maxamed Xiniftire) (2)
Isaaq (Garhajis, Awal, Arap, and H.Jeclo)
Biyamaal (Sa’d, Suleyman, and Ismin)
Suure (Qubeys and Abdalle)
4 Abdalle iyo Adeerkood Habar Deel (Gutaale)
Guuled, Warsame, Cigaal, and Jalaf
Habar Deel (5)
(Many Dir believe the Mandaluug are actually Mahe Dir)
Gadabuursi: Somaliland, Djibouti, Ethiopia
Issas of Djibouti and Ethiopia
Labels: The Dir Clan
The Somali Dir clan (Beesha Direed)
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