According to a report published by OODA Loop, a provider of "actionable intelligence, analysis, and insight on global security" (n.d.), the Biyomal and Digil-Mirifle both occupy the Lower Shabelle State of South-West 6 (OODA Loop 23 Mar. 2014). The same source states that "[t]he South-West 6 Digil-Mirifle leaders gained support from the Dir clan, especially the Biyomaal Elders in the Marka District of Lower Shabelle" and also that
[t]he Biyomaal Dir are in an awkward position, they have to support the South-West 6 to ensure their territories are under the Digil-Mirifle dominanted Administration, as opposed to supporting the South-West 3, which would leave them to be part of the Hawiye dominated Shabelle State. (ibid.)
In correspondence with the Research Directorate, an Associate Professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, whose research focuses on Somali culture and society, also stated that "[m]any Rahanweyn groups in Lower Shabelle share the mistrust of the Biyomal toward the Hawiya-dominated FG [Federal Government] of Somalia and for that reason, have themselves sometimes embraced al-Shabaab as a counterweight to the government" (Associate Professor 2 Oct. 2015). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.
3.2 Treatment by Other Clans
According to sources, the Biyomal has engaged in conflict with the Hawiye clan (Associate Professor 2 Oct. 2015; UN 13 Oct. 2014, para. 17; Norway 18 Oct. 2013, 11). The Austrian Red Cross and ACCORD indicate that the Biyomal have faced "suppress[ion]" by the Hawiye and the Ogaden/Darood clans and have engaged in armed conflict with the Hawiye in the Lower Shabelle and Middle and Lower Juba areas (Austrian Red Cross and ACCORD 15 Dec. 2009, 18). IRIN similarly states that the Biyomal and Habargidir [Haber Gedir] clan (a sub-clan of the Hawiye Clan) have fought over territories in the Lower Shabelle region on numerous occasions, "and while the Somali government has been able to mediate between the groups, a lasting ceasefire has never been achieved" (UN 11 June 2014). According to the Associate Professor, "most of the reported violence against, and oppression of, the Biyomal in recent years has been attributed to Habr Gidr forces (primarily Ayr sub clan) who seek to assert their supremacy over the district and port of Marka" (Associate Professor 2 Oct. 2015). A report published in October 2014 by the UN Security Council's Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea cites interviews with internally displaced persons in the Lower Shabelle revealing that between November 2013 and August 2014, the "killing of civilians, burning of homes and farms, rape of women, and population displacement, primarily concentrated around Janale, Marka and K50" occurred as a consequence of clan violence between the Biyomal and Habargidir (UN 13 Oct. 2014, para. 44). The US Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014 also quotes the United Nations as stating that in the Lower Shabelle region, "conflict between Biimaal and Habar Gedir militias resulted in reports of abductions and killings every week in June and July" (US June 2015, 12). Sources indicate the following instances of violence between the Biyomal and Habargidir clans:
According to the BBC, in December 2013, at least 20 people were killed and "scores … sustained various injuries" following three days of fighting between the Biyomal and Habargidir clans over control of territory in the Lower Shabelle region (BBC 16 Dec. 2013).
The Monitoring Group reports that in December 2013, "serious clashes" between the Biyomal and Habargidir clans occurred and "revenge killings occurred in several locations, leading to civilians driven from their homes, rape and other human rights violations" (UN 13 Oct. 2014, para. 32).
The Monitoring Group further indicates that on 7 May 2014, Habargidir and Biyomal militias clashed at K50 and Ceel-Wareegow (ibid., para. 37). The same source states that on 9 May 2014, "the Haber Gedir launched an attack against Biimaal militias at the outskirts of Marka" (ibid.).
IRIN reports that in June 2014, armed clashes took place between the Biyomal and Habargidir clans who were "competing for control" over Somalia's southern Lower Shabelle region (UN 11 June 2014). According to the same source, during this outbreak of violence, 30 were killed and over 250 were forced to take refuge at the bases of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) (ibid.).
The UN Security Council reports that on 9 June 2014, "a group of Haber Gedir clan militias wearing SNA [Somali National Army] uniforms reportedly entered Marka and forced the local Biimaal administration to flee" (UN 13 Oct. 2014, para. 39). The same source states that the Biyomal "suffered 35-40 civilian casualties, including women and children, and private homes and property were looted" (ibid., para. 40).
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Associate Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania. 2 October 2015. Correspondence with the Research Directorate.
Austrian Red Cross and the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin & Asylum Research and Documentation (ACCORD). 15 December 2009. Clans in Somalia: Report on a Lecture by Joakim Gundel, COI Workshop Vienna, 15 May 2009 (Revised Edition). Edited by Daisuke Yoshimura. [Accessed 21 Sept. 2015]
Besteman, Catherine. 31 October 2013. "Conflicting Over Resources and the Victimization of the Minorities in the South of Somalia." World Peace Foundation. [Accessed 21 Sept. 2015]
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). 16 December 2013. "Clan Leaders Accuse Government of 'Fuelling' Clan Fighting in Southern Somalia." (Factiva).
Colby College. N.d. "Catherine L. Besteman." [Accessed 1 Oct. 2015]
European Asylum Support Office (EASO). August 2014. EASO Country of Origin Information Report: South and Central Somalia Country Overview. [Accessed 1 Oct. 2015]
Helander, Bernhard. 1996. "Rahanweyn Sociability: A Model for Other Somalis?" African Languages and Cultures, No. 3.
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). N.d. Anthropology Department. "News Archive 2010-2014." [Accessed 1 Oct. 2015]
Norway. 18 October 2013. Landinfo: Country of Origin Information Centre. Somalia: Lower Shabelle. [Accessed 30 Sept. 2015]
OODA Loop. 23 March 2014. Security and Political Awareness Report. [Accessed 30 Sept. 2015]
_____. N.d. "About." [Accessed 30 Sept. 2015]
Refugee Studies Centre (RSC). July 2003. David Griffiths. Somalia. Forced Migration Online. [Accessed 21 Sept. 2015]
_____. N.d. "Forced Migration Online." [Accessed 1 Oct. 2015]
Somalia Watch. 3 January 2001. "Dr. Bernhard Helander Has Left Us (Died)." [Accessed 21 Sept. 2015]
United Nations (UN). 13 October 2014. Security Council. Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 2111 (2013): Somalia.. [Accessed 5 Oct. 2015]
_____. 11 June 2014. Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN). "Clans Clash in Somalia's Lower Shabelle." [Accessed 22 Sept. 2015]
_____. N.d. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). "Genealogical Table of Somali Clans." [Accessed 21 Sept. 2015]
United States (US). 25 June 2015. Department of State. "Somalia." Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014. [Accessed 18 Sept. 2015]
World Peace Foundation. N.d. "About." [Accessed 29 Sept. 2015]
Additional Sources Consulted
Oral sources: Minority Rights Group International; Professor of anthropology at Colby College; Professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania; Professor of history at Wellesely College; Professor of international environment and development studies at Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
Internet sites, including: African Union; Afrol News; Agence France Presse; Al Jazeera; AllAfrica.com; Amnesty International; BBC; Brookings Institution; CNN; Deutsche Welle; ecoi.net; Factiva; Fragile States.org; The Globe and Mail; Governance and Social Development Resource Center; Hiiraan Online; Human Rights Watch; Joshua Project; Minority Rights Group International; The New York Times; Radio Daslan; Reuters; UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia; United Nations - UNHCR, OCHA, Refworld; The Washington Post; Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; World Policy Blog.