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|• Total||50,000 est.|
|Time zone||East Africa Time (UTC+3)|
The population of Garbahare is estimated to be 50,000. There are high levels of transmigration between Garbahare and the surrounding towns and villages, such as Tuulo Barwaaqo. Transmigration is more prevalent during times of conflict or natural disaster.
At the height of the civil war from 1991 to 1994, the population dispersed to many of the two dozen or so villages surrounding the city. Garbahare is about 130 km from the Kenyan border in the Northern Frontier District (NFD).
Garbahare's population growth is slower than many other districts in Somalia, due to its size and lack of agricultural activities. Many residents make second homes in Beled Haawo, taking advantage of the open-border policy with Kenya, and send their children to school in Mandera, Kenya. Likewise, business activities are much broader in Beled Haawo than in Garbahare. Goods being transported to and from many areas of Somalia frequently pass through the Beled Haawo-Mandera border. Trade also takes place between Garbahare and the Bardera district, primarily consisting of produce from the fertile Jubba River farms in the Bardera, Buurdhuubo, and Luuq districts.
Insecurity of the 1990s
By early 2001, Garbahare came under the control of the Transitional National Government. All activities shifted to Luuq and Beled Haawo, and Garbahare had a new role to in the region. Neighboring regions such as NFD welcomed the new leadership, as a safer Gedo is also good for the neighboring regions in Kenya and Ethiopia.
Of all the Gedo region's governors that have occupied the gubernatorial office of the capital, Governor Mohamed Abdinur Iris was the most famous and influential in terms of actual goals accomplished. Governor Iris (nicknamed Gudoomiye in Somali) implemented some of the most well-known public works projects. Some of his achievements include the expansion of the city's only hospital and improvements to the local roads (the latter of which connect some of the region's district seats to the regional capital). With his experience abroad, Gedo's former governor Aden Ibrahim Aw Hirsi was believed to be capable of doing much more than had been done in the past for the Somali-administrative region.
New leadership in the 21st century
Somali regions have been getting more and more disconnected from the nation's capital since armed clan militias overthrew the last central government.
Unlike many other regions in Somalia, Gedo opted for a young, pragmatic, educated, forward-looking kind of new leadership. Aden Ibrahim Aw Hirsi (Aw Xirsi) was chosen as the region's new governor in November 2006. Under Hirsi's stewardship, Gedo was realistically predicted to improve in terms of security, commerce, good governance, and furthering all public services, which had been lacking for more than a decade and a half. At that time, some old school clan leaders had developed a habit of pitting one clan or sub-clan against another. This hindered many well-meaning efforts aimed at stabilizing southern Somalia.
However, Al-Shabaab, a local Islamist group, opposed Hirsi's Western-leaning administration. The group consequently orchestrated a peaceful way to frustrate and ultimately oust the governor by bankrolling a former warlord, Hussein Ismail. Ismail then gathered militias and threatened to start a civil war in the region.
In May 2008, faced with the harsh realities of the situation, Hirsi resigned from office and let Ismail assume the governorship. Al-Shabaab would later oust Ismail himself in July of that same year.
Future of the regional administration
The Gedo region's political dynamics are fast changing since Ibrahim Aw Xirsi was named the governor of Gedo. The future of Gedo region is going in the right direction with vast opportunities to unite the minds and the efforts of all the service providers and businesses. In the mid 1990s, Gedo was regarded as one of the most prosperous regions of Somalia. Now that a new governor is at the helm of the region, many new peacebuilding efforts and a new focus on the economy are on the table. The population of Garbahare, as well as people from other districts of Gedo, are welcoming the new governor.
Gedo Region support from Diaspora Friends
The new governor, Adam Ibrahim Aw Xirsi and the leaders from the seven districts of the region are already having working relations, and this is a new beacon of hope.
Many of the schools and other public services currently functioning in Gedo receive support and leadership from the diaspora. HIRDA, SEHO and Markabley Foundation are some of the organizations which fund schools and health centers in the region.
Gedo administrations in the 1970s and 1980s
Two decades ago, one of Gudoomiye Iris's lasting legacies was the creation of boarding school on the outskirts of the city of Garbahare. Iris was the governor of Gedo much of the 1980s. Many public works projects were in the pipeline when the civil war erupted in Somalia in early 1991.
All previous governors and those who came after governor Iris, have left for the city or for the region with little or no progress to show.
Governor Mohamed Abdinur (Iris) made the most headway in creating substantial public works projects in Gedo region. His administration in the 1980s created a boarding school in the region's capital as well as the expansion of the Garbaharrey-Buurdhuubo road.
In the last thirty-years, Garbahare has seen over a dozen governors as compiled by Mohamud Dahir Dhaqane. Below are the past and present governors who occupied the governor's office in Garbahare.
- Cumar Maxamed Guuleed
- Maxamed Nuur Wardheere
- Cali Faarax Xayoow
- Maxamed Cali Xaashi
- Jaalle Axmed Mahdi
- Maxamed Cabdinuur (Iris)
- Cali Maxamed Aadan (Cali Xaashi)
- Axmed Sharmaarke
- Cumar Sh Maxamuud Sh Cabdullahi (Cumar Yare) 1994-1994
- Xuseen Sh Cabdi Ismaaciil (Fareey) 2004-2006
- Aadam Ibraahim Aw Xirsi 2006-2008
- Mohamed Abdi Kaliil 2008-current
- Imaan Cadoow Kaarshe 2012-2014
- Mohamed Mohamud Aden Current
- "Horn of Africa, Monthly Review, January - February 2001" (accessed 24 February 2009)
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