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Regions with significant populations
Somali and Arabic
Related ethnic groups
Majeerteen, Warsangali and other Harti and Darod groups.

The Dhulbahante (Somali: Duulbaahaante, Arabic: البهانتة‎‎) is a Somali clan, part of the larger Harti Darod clan. Members primarily inhabit the Sool, Nugal, Sanaag and Ayn regions of the Republic of Somalia, the Haud, as well as the port city of Kismayo in Somalia.


Currently, there are 13 active Garaads (clan chiefs). The most senior Garaad of the traditional Dhulbahante leaders is Garad Jama Garad Ali.[1][2] Politically, all clan chiefs strongly oppose the existence of Somaliland (see the Boocame Declaration by Dulbahante Traditional clan chiefs for reference).[3]

Under the leadership of Sayid Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, the Dhulbahante Dervishes waged war against Britain and Ethiopia for over twenty years, which ended with the British Royal Air Force bombing their command center in Taleex in 1920.[4]

Clan tree

Main Dhulbahante area of inhabitation.

There is no clear agreement on the clan and sub-clan structures and many lineages are omitted. Within the Dhulbahante clan, according to the researches of I.M. Lewis, the Dhulbahante are divided into 50 groups which pay diyya (or blood money for their members. These are gathered into four lineages of unequal size: the Muuse Si'iid, who made up the majority of the clan circa 1960, and in turn is highly segmented into numerous lineages; the Ahmad Si'iid, (also known as the Hayaag), which Lewis estimated to number 1,000 male members at the time but now estimated at 7,500 male members; and the Malbammad Si'iid, and the Yuunis Si'iid, which he described as "small, insignificant, and incapable of independent political action."[5] The following listing is taken from the World Bank's Conflict in Somalia: Drivers and Dynamics from 2005 and the United Kingdom's Home Office publication, Somalia Assessment 2001.[6][7]

Dulbahante traditional clan chiefs declaration

An historic summit was convened in Boocame from November 15 – November 23 of 2007, by the traditional leaders of the Dulbahante (Dhulbahante) sub-clan of the Darod clan in Somalia. The Dulbahante traditional chiefs issued an official communiqué on October 15, 2007 regarding the secessionist Somaliland region's militias’ aggression and occupation of Laascaanood (LasAnod), the regional capital of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn regions of Somalia.[8][9][10]

All 14 major traditional chiefs of the Dulbahante clan attended this summit. In addition to the traditional chiefs, there were many intellectuals (women & men), students and civic organizations from outside and inside of the country attending the summit. All chiefs unanimously signed declaration communiqué on November 22, 2007.

The communiqué states that the Dulbahante clan is not part of (and was never part of) and does not recognize the administration that calls itself "Somaliland" and that there are no agreements between Dulbahante clan and "Somaliland", in the past or the present. The communiqué also calls for an immediate end of hostility, return of customary peaceful co-existences among clans and an unconditional removal of the Somaliland militia from their territory. Finally, chiefs declared that the Dulbahante clan stands for the Somali unity.

In the anniversary of their historic summit in Boocame in November 2007, the Dulbahante Traditional Chiefs (SSC Traditional Leaders Council) reiterated their previous declaration (above) that they are not part of the Somaliland separatist movement. The council sent its pronouncement to the European Union, United Nations Agencies and all NGOs that operate within Somalia.

Notable Dhulbahante people


  1. http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/50_000_civilians_flee_conflict_in_Somalia_s_north_UN_official.shtml
  2. http://www.afrika.no/Detailed/15456.html/The convention was called for by Garad Jama Garad Ali, the highest-ranking traditional elder of the Dhulbahante clan. Garad Jama reportedly told local media that the Bo'ame conference will be "independent of [both] Somaliland and Puntland."
  3. "Somalia: The Bo'ame Declaration of Dhulbahante Clan Elders". GaroweOnline.com. 2007-11-22. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  4. "Dawn of Civilization". Civicwebs.com. 
  5. Lewis, "Force and Fission in Northern Somali Lineage Structure", American Anthropologist, New Series, 63 (1961), p. 100
  6. Worldbank, Conflict in Somalia: Drivers and Dynamics, January 2005, Appendix 2, Lineage Charts, p.55
  7. Country Information and Policy Unit, Home Office, Great Britain, Somalia Assessment 2001, Annex B: Somali Clan Structure, p. 43
  8. "The Declaration of Clan Elders from Sool, Sanaag and Cayn Regions (North Somalia)." (Press release). Declaration of Dulbahante Traditional clan chiefs. November 23, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-23. 
  9. "SSC TRADITIONAL LEADERS COUNCIL (Sool, Sanaag and Cayn Regions of Northern Somalia Tribal chiefs)" (PDF) (Press release). Declaration of Dulbahante Traditional clan chiefs. November 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-28. 
  10. "Declaration of the Consultative Conference of the Dhulbahante in the Diaspora -- Guiding Principles" (Press release). Declaration of the Consultative Conference of the Dhulbahante in the Diaspora. April 24, 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-24. 
  11. Lewis, I.M. 1988. A Modern History of Somalia. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Cited (no page reference) by Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, "Somalia: Information on Ali Garad Jama, a king of the Dhulbante clan, and on any positions held by him in the Somali government before or after Barre's 1969 coup", 1 January 1996, SOM22804.E, available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3ae6ab9d58.html. Accessed 5 January 2011.
  12. "The Legacy of Garaad Cabdiqani Garaad Jaamac". 
  13. "Somalia: 50,000 flee conflict in North". Garowe Online. Norwegian Council for Africa. 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2012-06-14. ...Garad Jama Garad Ali, the highest-ranking traditional elder of the Dhulbahante clan. 
  14. http://somaliswisstv.com/2009/01/17/golihii-wasiirada-ee-dowlad-goboleedka-puntland-oo-uu-caawa-la-ansixiyay-laguna-dhawaaqay/