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|Elevation||446 m (1,463 ft)|
Baidoa is the third largest city in Somalia, and the fourth most important after Kismayo. For a brief period during the mid-2000s, it also served as the nation's provisional capital. Its population is estimated at over 800,000.
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.
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 city consists of four districts:
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- Detailed map of Baidoa (1992)
- Somalia warlords clash in Baidoa, BBC, 30 May 2005
- Uneasy calm after five killed in Baidoa, IRIN, 30 May 2005
- 1,500 Ethiopian troops enter border region (Garow Online)