مدينة ﺑَﺮَﺍﻭَة Madīna Barāwa
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|Area code(s)||+35261|
During the Middle Ages, Barawa and its surrounding area was part of the Ajuran Empire that governed much of southern Somalia and eastern Ethiopia, with its domain extending from Hobyo in the north, to Qelafo in the west, to Kismayo in the south.
In 1506, the Battle of Barawa began after the Portuguese Empire decided to invade and capture the wealthy Somali harbour city. The powerful commander who led the Portuguese army was Tristão da Cunha who he set his eyes on the Ajuran territory, where the battle of Barawa was fought. After a long period of engagement, the Portuguese soldiers burned the city and looted it. However, fierce resistance by the local population and soldiers resulted in the failure of the Portuguese to permanently occupy the city and eventually the Portuguese would be decisively defeated by the Somalis from Ajuran Empire, and the inhabitants who had fled to the interior would eventually return and rebuild the city. Tristão da Cunha was later severely wounded and sought refuge in Socotra islands after losing his men and ships. After the battle, the city of Barawa quickly recovered from the attack.
Early Modern Period
In the early modern period, Barawa was ruled by the Geledi Sultanate. Eventually, in 1910, Barawa was ceded to the control of the Italians when the Geledi Sultanate was forced to agree to the annexation of all the Banadir ports to the Italian Company already established in the Horn of Africa after the death of the last Sultan Osman Ahmed in 1910. But still, the Italians faced stiff resistance from many parts of the Banadir coast, and its inland regions and the trade of the Somali merchants would remain unchallenged for years to come.
In addition to the famous Sheikh Uways, Baraawe has produced numerous well respected Ulama including Sheikh Uways al-Barawi, Sheikh Nureini Sabiri, Sheikh Hajii Sadiq, Sheikh Qassim al-Baraawi, Sheikh Ma'llim Nuri, Sharif Qulatayn and a female poet-saint, Dada Masiti. The city was the stronghold of the Hizbiya Digil-Mirifle (HDM) party, which was founded in 1947 and later became the Hizb al-Dastuur Mustaqil al-Somali (Somali Independent Constitutional Party, HDMS).
In 2009, Al-Shabaab militants seized control of Barawa. In September of the year, a United States military raid in the area killed Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a suspected Al-Qaeda operative. In October 2013, United States Navy SEAL Team Six also launched an unsuccessful raid against a beachside house in Barawa, targeting Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr, the leader of Al-Shabaab. Following the unsuccessful raid, al-Shabab began a crack down of the town.
Following the launch of Operation Indian Ocean, the Somali Armed Forces assisted by AMISOM troops re-seized control of Barawa from Al-Shabaab in October 2014. On October 11, during a trip to Barawe President Hassan banned charcoal trade in the city.
The town's majority inhabitants are the Tunni clan who are the traditional owners of this town and is also inhabited by a minority of the Bravanese. In addition to Standard Somali, the Tunni speak Af-Tunni (a dialect of Somali) and the Bravanese speak Chimwiini (a dialect of Swahili).
- Lee V. Cassanelli, The shaping of Somali society: reconstructing the history of a pastoral people, 1600-1900, (University of Pennsylvania Press: 1982), p.102.
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- The Sheikh subsequently migrated to Biyoley to reorganize his Ikhwan, but was killed in 1909. One result of the unsuccessful revolt was the establishment of the Uwaysiyya order, named after the martyr Sheikh Uways, which succeeded in establishing jama’as in the riverine region of southern Somalia and neighboring regions, which acted as centres of charity and learning.
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