Information on how the Marehan-Reer Koshin clan in Gedo region, town of Gabbaharre, would treat a member of Mohamed Siad Barre's family if he/she were to return to Gabbaharre today, and on whether members of Siad Barre' family are currently living in Gedo region [SOM27469.E]

In a 19 August 1997 telephone interview with the DIRB, a researcher at the US Institute for Peace who specializes in Somali history and politics, stated that members of Siad Barre's immediate family likely would not be welcome in Gabbaharre.. The researcher stated that Gedo region is currently in a state of war, with the Marehan in this area divided between those who support the Islamic fundamentalist group Al Ittihad, and those opposed to it (ibid.). He explained that the anti-Al Ittihad faction is supported by Ethiopia, which has made military incursions into Gedo region (ibid.). He further stated that the Marehan have attempted to take control of Kismayu but were repulsed by militias loyal to General Morgan, a Majertein married to the late Siad Barre's daughter (ibid.). He stated that there is fighting between the Majertein and the Marehan and the fact that Siad Barre's daugher is married to General Morgan does not exempt Siad Barre's immediate family members from harassment. He explained that if the interests of the Marjetein conflict with those of the Marehan, the former will prevail because Somali custom dictates that "a man's clan is more important than that of his father-in-law" (ibid.).

The May-June 1997 issue of Horn of Africa Bulletin corroborates the information on fighting between the Marehan and the Majertein, and on Ethiopia's support for the anti-Al Ittihad faction of the Marehan.. According to a report in Horn of Africa Bulletin, the southern port of Kismayu was attacked by people "from the Marehan clan of former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre" (ibid., 20). This source further states that the attack was linked to "a long-standing feud between the Majertein clan militia and the Marehan" (ibid.). For detailed information on this topic, please consult the attached documents and Response to Information Request SOM26182.E of 3 April 1997, available at Regional Documentation Centres.

Information on whether other members of Siad Barre's family are currently living in Gedo region could not be found among the sources currently available to the DIRB.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this information request.


Horn of Africa Bulletin [Uppsala]. May-June 1997. Vol. 9, No. 3. "Fighting in Kismayo."

Researcher specializing in Somali history and politics, US Institute for Peace, Washington, DC. 19 August 1997. Telephone interview.


Horn of Africa Bulletin [Uppsala]. May-June 1997. Vol. 9, No. 3. "Fighting in Kismayo," p. 20.

_____. May-June 1997. Vol. 9, No. 3. "Ethiopian Troops Said to Seize Somali Islamic Base," p. 12.

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential [London]. Weekly.

Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series [London]. Monthly.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1996. 1997.

The Europa World Year Book 1996. 1996. 37th ed. Vol. 2. London: Europa Publications.

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports. 1996.

Human Rights Watch World Report. 1996, 1997.

Keesing's Record of World Events [Cambridge]. 1996-1997.

New African [London]. Monthly.

On-line search on NEXIS database.