Responses to Information Requests

​​Responses to Information Requests (RIR) are research reports on country conditions. They are requested by IRB decision makers.

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26 April 2016


Somalia: Reports of clashes between Hawiye (or subclan Hawadle) and Dir clans/sub-clans in the area of Beledweyne [Beled Weyne, Belet Weyne] in Hiiraan [Hiiran, Hiiraan] and in Mogadishu; state of interclan relations between the Hawiye and Dir in Mogadishu (2014-April 2016)

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa

1. Reports of Conflict in the Area of Beledweyne

Without providing further details about the clans involved, sources report that rival clan militias have clashed in the town of Beledweyne in October 2015 (Hiiraan Online 19 Oct. 2015; VOA 19 Oct. 2015). Shabelle Media Network, a Somali news agency based in Mogadishu (AllAfrica n.d.), reports that "heavy clash has erupted again between two clan militias" in Beledweyne in December 2015 (Shabelle Media Network 13 Dec. 2015). Sources state that the conflict in October was over "tax collection" (VOA 19 Oct. 2015) or "extortion" money (Hiiraan Online 19 Oct. 2015). According to sources, on 22 January 2015, "at least" 23 people were killed in a land dispute between the Dir and Hawadle clans in the towns of Burdhinle and Hada-Ogle in the Hiraan region (US 13 Apr. 2016, 13; AFP 22 Jan. 2015).

A 2015 report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) states that there has been fighting between Dir and Hawadle clans in and around Deefow village, which is located "40km north east of Belet Weyne" (UN 25 June 2015, 1). The report states that fighting over a land dispute has been ongoing since 2013, leading to the death of "at least 100 people," which has "also resulted in displacement of about 90 percent of people from Deefow, Kabxanle and Dom-Caday villages into Belet Weyne" (ibid.). According to the report, "militia[s] from both sides clashed" on 3 June 2015, and on 22 June 2015, "militias from the Dir clan reportedly burnt down eight houses in Guri Caddo village about 28km northeast of Belet Weyne" (ibid.).

Horseed Media, a news site run by Somali diaspora in the Netherlands and Finland (Horseed Media n.d.), reports that in March 2015, militias from the Hawadle and Surre tribes clashed in Deefow: 12 people died during the fighting, and "dozens" were injured (ibid. 21 Mar. 2015). According to a 2015 UN Security Council report, the Surre is a Dir clan "with two branches, Abadalle and Qebeys, found in Mudug, Hiran, Gedo and the Jubbas" (UN 19 Oct. 2015, 241).

2. Hawiye and Dir Interclan Relations in Mogadishu

Information on clan relations between the Hawiye and Dir clans and sub-clans, including reports of conflict, could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response. According to sources, the Hawiye are a "predominant" (Mail & Guardian Africa 19 May 2015) or "the traditionally dominant" clan in Mogadishu (EU Feb. 2016, 50). In a report based on its 2015 fact-finding mission to Kenya and Somalia, the Danish Immigration Service states that Mogadishu is one of the "most complicated" towns when it comes to clan composition, due to 25 years of conflict, internal displacement and population movement (Denmark Sept. 2015, 41). For further information on the situation in Mogadishu, including diaspora returnees and the security situation, see Response to Information Request SOM105094.

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.


Agence France-Presse (AFP). 22 January 2015. "At Least 23 Killed in Somalia Clan Violence." [Accessed 19 Apr. 2016]

AllAfrica. N.d. "Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu)." [Accessed 22 Apr. 2016]

Denmark. September 2015. Danish Immigration Service. South Central Somalia: Country of Origin Information for Use in the Asylum Determination Process. [Accessed 22 Apr. 2016]

European Union (EU). February 2016. European Asylum Support Office (EASO). EASO Country of Origin Information Report: Somalia Security Situation. [Accessed 19 Apr. 2016]

Hiiraan Online. 19 October 2015. "8 Killed as Rival Clan Militias Fight in Beled Weyne." [Accessed 19 Apr. 2016]

Horseed Media. 21 March 2015. A. Abdirhaman. "Deadly Clan Violence Leaves over 10 Dead in Somalia." [Accessed 19 Apr. 2016]

Horseed Media. N.d. "About Horseed." [Accessed 19 Apr. 2016]

Mail & Guardian Africa. 19 May 2015. Mikolaj Radlicki. "Who Really Rules Somalia? - The Tale of Three Big Clans and Three Countries." [Accessed 19 Apr. 2016]

Shabelle Media Network. 13 December 2015. "Somalia: Tribal Clash Erupts in Western Beledweyne City." [Accessed 19 Apr. 2016]

United Nations (UN). 19 October 2015. Security Council. Letter Dated 9 October 2015 from the Chair of the Security Council Committee Pursuant to Resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) Concerning Somalia and Eritrea Addressed to the President of the Security Council. S/2015/801. [Accessed 26 Apr. 2016]

United Nations (UN). 25 June 2015. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Inter-Agency Initial Investigation Report - Inter Clan Fighting in Deefow. [Accessed 5 Apr. 2016]

United States (US). 13 April 2016. Department of State. "Somalia." Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015. [Accessed 15 Apr. 2016]

Voice of America (VOA). 19 October 2015. Harun Maruf. "Somalia Clan Clashes Kill 14." [Accessed 19 Apr. 2016]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project; professor, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; representative, International Committee of the Red Cross, Somalia; senior research fellow, Clingendael Institute.

Internet sites, including: Africa Confidential; Amnesty International; Ayyaantu News; BBC;; Factiva; Freedom House; Geeska Afrika Online; Human Rights Watch; International Crisis Group; IRIN; Jane's Intelligence Review; The New York Times; UN – Refworld.