Information regarding mistreatment accorded individuals linked to a particular clan. [SOM4280]

Despite the rhetoric on eliminating Somali tribalism since the early years of his rule, Siad Barre has effectively used clan politics in order to maintain his hold on to power, by placing members of his Marehan clan in key government positions. [Colin Legum, African Contemporary Record Annual Survey and Documents 1986-1987, (London: Africana Publishing Company, 1987), p.408., Laitin, David D. and Said S. Samatar, Somalia: Nation in Search of a State, (Boulder: Westview Press, Inc., 1987), pp.91-92.]

In the wake of the 1978 unsuccessful coup attempt, reportedly by some Majerteen officers, and the subsequent formation of opposition groups such as the SSDF and the SNM, the Siad Barre regime has identified virtually every dissenting political action with clan affiliations and inter-clan rivalries. [ibid. pp.93-94.]

While the SSDF reflected the hubris of the Majerteen whose power ascendence has been eclipsed by Siad Barre's Marehan power, the SNM articulated Issaq grievances ranging from inadequate political representation, neglect in development projects, and the frustration of local business people over the government's economic control. [3. Lewis I.M. A Modern History of Somalia. Nation and State in the Horn of Africa, (Boulder: Westview Press Inc., 1988), p.252.]

Since 1978, the Somali government has arbitrarily detained or killed many members of certain clans, particularly of the Issaq and the Majerteen, on the assumption that they support armed opposition movements. [ A Long Term Human Rights Crisis, (London: Amnesty International Publications Ltd., 1988), p.2.] According to the U.S. General Accounting Office, the Issaq clan has been the target for several years of a wide range of abuses by the government, due in part, to its support for the SNM. [United States General Accounting Office, Somalia: Observations Regarding the Northern Conflict and Resulting Conditions, (Washington: U.S. Government Printers 4 May 1989), p.2.]

Particularly since the outbreak of civil war in May 1988, government troops have killed thousands of innocent Issaq civilians in genocidal attacks and have destroyed their lands to deprive survivors of their basic means of livelihood. [Human Rights Watch, Human Rights In Somalia: Testimony of Holly Burkhalter before the U.S. House Banking Subcommittee, (Washington: U.S. Government Printers, 20 June 1989), p.8., Simmons, Michael, "Thousands of Somalis Reported Dead in Genocide Attacks", The Manchester Guardian Weekly, 15 January 1989.] According to Gersony's report, Why Somalis Flee, "...the appearance that victims were selected for these killings principally because of their ethnic identity is unmistakable". [Gersony Robert, Why Somalis Flee: Synthesis of Accounts of Conflict Experience in Northern Somalia by Refugees, Disabled Persons and Others. Bureau for Refugee Programs, U.S. Department of State, August 1989, p.60.]