Somalia (Isaaq genocide)

Between 1960 and 1991, the government of Somalia killed hundreds of thousands of people in the region known as Somaliland in norhteast Somalia.  Most belonged to the Isaaq ethnic group, the predominant identiy group in the area. The perpetrators deployed sophisticated, deliberate and systematically planned and executed campaign of genocide. A campaign designed to depopulate Somaliland of its majority Isaaq people.

The Genocide policy was allegedly documented in Somalia’s official genocide document: ‘The Final Solution to the Isaaq Problem’. [Link to an unauthenticated digital copy] Somalia used its airforce, army and navy to flatten Somaliland’s largest cities, poisoned its wells, aerially bombard cities and critical infrastructure, strafed fleeing civillians, use rape as a weapon of war, use man-made famine as a weapon of war, impose a naval and economic blockade, impose a 15 year state of emergency and curfew, and lay more than a million mines in civiallian areas.

A report commissioned by the United States State Department in 1989 concluded that during the Somali Army’s campaign against the Somali National Movement (a anti-government insurgency based in the northeast with a large Isaaq component), “the appearance that victims were selected for … killings principally because of their ethnic identity is unmistakable.”

See below for further resources:

Human Rights Watch: Somalia, A Government At War with Its Own People

The Washington Post: Genocide In The Horn of Africa

In the Valley of Death: Somaliland’s Forgotten Genocide


Why Somalis Flee: Synthesis of Accounts of Conflict Experience in Northern Somalia by Somali Refugees, Displaced Persons and Others (Report by Robert Gersony, commissioned for the United States Bureau of Refugee Programs, 1989) (link to pdf)


[Note: text based on original supplied by Hamze Samatar]