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Baidoa (Somali: Baydhabo; Arabic: بيدوا) is a city in south-central Somalia, situated 256 kilometers (159 mi) by road northwest of the capital Mogadishu. It is the capital of the Bay region and the second largest city in Somalia. For a brief period during the mid-2000s, it also served as the nation's provisional capital.
Various factions of the Rahanweyn Resistance Army (RRA) struggle for control of the city. On 30 May 2005 forces loyal to Hasan Muhammad Nur Shatigudud, former RRA chairman, and Sheikh Adan Madobe, former first secretary, attacked the town, which is controlled by the forces of Muhammad Ibrahim Habsade. This had followed months of building tensions as the various militia factions built up their arsenals. In the immediate aftermath of the fighting, both the Shatigudud/Madobe and Habsade militias were seen to be preparing for further clashes.
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Baidoa Seat of the TFG Parliament
The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was able to convene a parliamentary sittings of 275 members in Baidoa in February, 2006, inside a grain warehouse that had been temporarily converted. Despite the symbolic importance of the occasion, there have been no additional moves to establish government ministries or agencies in the city beyond maintaining a militia presence.
Following the collapse of the Somali Central Government, subsequent temporary governments sought refuge between Jowhar and Baidoa. The country's regular capital, Mogadishu, was too dangerous for any government services.
On July 20, 2006 it was reported by the BBC that a column of 100 Ethiopian military vehicles including armoured personnel carriers had crossed from the border town of Dolo Odo into Somalia. This follows reports of ICU forces advancing to within 60 km of Baidoa. Further reports stated that Ethiopian troops had been seen in uniform on the streets of the town. However, the Ethiopian government denied that its forces had entered Somalia.
On September 26, according to Stratfor, "Uganda flew a planeload of troops [...] to Baidoa, the seat of Somalia's interim government, aiming to keep Somalia's Islamists from becoming a force to support Islamist insurgents throughout the region."
On November 24, the Associated Press reported that hundreds of Ethiopian troops had arrived in Baidoa to protect Somalia's government against the Conservative Council of Islamic Courts (a new name adopted by the ICU in June). The troops proceeded on to Baidoa in a convoy of more than 130 trucks.
On February 22, 2012 Ethiopia and the TFG recaptured the town.
Baidoa has a total population of about 129,839 residents. It is primarily inhabited by people from the Somali ethnic group, which is traditionally inhabited by the Digil and Mirifle (Rahanweyn) clans.
Baidoa city consists of four districts:
- "Africa | Ethiopian troops on Somali soil". BBC News. 2006-07-20. Retrieved 2013-12-06.
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- "Somali Islamic militia names suspected al-Qaeda collaborator as new leader". Usatoday.Com. 2006-06-24. Retrieved 2013-12-06.
- "Somalia Braces for War As Residents Flee". Washingtonpost.com. 2006-11-24. Retrieved 2013-12-06.
- [dead link]
- Somalia City & Town Population. Tageo.com. Retrieved on 2011-12-15.
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