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Regions with significant populations
Oromo, Somali and Arabic
Islam (Sunni)
Related ethnic groups
Issa, Gadabursi, Surre, Bursuuk, Biimaal , Garre and other Dir clans.

The Gurgura, Gorgorah or Gurgure (Somali: Gurgura, Arabic: غرغرة‎) people are a Somali clan that is part of the large Dir clan. They inhabit in Dire Dawa Sitti zone of Somali region Harari region and large portions of the Oromia Region (Zone 4) of Ethiopia, also the Afar Region of that country.


Uggas Buhe Gedid (Somali: Ugaas Buux). The historical ughaz (sultan) of the Gurgura clan of Somalis. One of the most notable figures of Dire Dawa and 52nd Uggas of Gurgure.

The Gurgura are of the Madahwein Dir, making them directly related to the Gurre and Gariire and other Madahwein Dirs.[1] They also have lineal ties with the Issa, Gadabursi, Biimaal, Bajimal, Quranyow-Garre, Surre, Madigan, and other Dir subclans.[1][2]


The city of Dire Dawa was originally called Dir Dhabe and used to be part of Adal Sultanate during the medieval times and was exclusively settled by Dir clan which is a major Somali tribe and after the weakening of Adal Sultanate, the Oromos took advantage and were able to penetrate through the city and settle into these areas and also assimilate some of the local Gurgura clan.[3]

Oromo political organizations sought to coerce the Gurgura, (who's identity was very contentious for the city of Dire Dawa) who largely speak the Oromo language (Oromiffa), to identify themselves as Oromo, though they belong to the Dir clan family of the Somalis. Oromo political organizations claimed that "the Gurgura people who speak Oromiffa belong to the Oromo nation and they only started to identify themselves with the Somali after the 1974 change of the Haile Selassie regime".[4] This is false since the Gurgura are mentioned in the Futuh Al Habasha : Conquest of Abyssinia as source dating back as far as the 16th century, by author: Shihabudin Ahmad bin Abd al-Qadir 'Arab Faqih or 'Arab Faqih. It is recorded that the Gurgura were Somalis who fought alongside Ahmed Gran or Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi with knights, spear-men and foot-soldiers and their leader Garād 'Abd.[5]

Many prominent Gurgura in Dire Dawa, including traditional leaders, have identified themselves either Oromo or Somali. Since 1991, majority of them identify themselves as Somalis though we have still others that identify themselves as Oromos. [6]

Both the celebrated patron Saints Aw Barre and Aw Bube hail from the Nabidoor Gurgura Dir clan. However, their tombs are much frequented and protected by the local Gadabuursi Dir clan who dominate the region in which they are buried.[7]


  1. ^ a b Lewis, I. M. (1998). Peoples of the Horn of Africa: Somali, Afar and Saho. Red Sea Press. ISBN 9781569021057. At the end of the book "Tribal Distribution of Somali Afar and Saho"
  2. ^ Verdier, Isabelle (1997). Ethiopia: the top 100 people. Indigo Publications. p. 13. ISBN 9782905760128.
  3. ^ ʻArabfaqīh, Shihāb al-Dīn Aḥmad ibn ʻAbd al-Qādir (2003-01-01). The conquest of Abyssinia: 16th century. Annotation: Dir, According to Huntingford a settlement which may be modern Dire Dawa. Tsehai Publishers & Distributors. p. 24.
  4. ^ Sindjoun, Luc (2010). The Coming African Hour: Dialectics of Opportunities and Constraints. African Books Collective. p. 210. ISBN 9780798302302.
  5. ^ ʻArabfaqīh, Shihāb al-Dīn Aḥmad ibn ʻAbd al-Qādir (2003-01-01). The conquest of Abyssinia: 16th century. Tsehai Publishers & Distributors. pp. 120, 123 and 401.
  6. ^ Asnake Kefale (2014). "Ethnic decentralization and the challenges of inclusive governance in multiethnic cities: The case of Dire Dawa, Ethiopia". Regional & Federal Studies. 24 (5): 589–605. doi:10.1080/13597566.2014.971772.
  7. ^ "Local History in Ethiopia, Asta Dega - Azzazzo" Archived 2008-02-28 at the Wayback Machine The Nordic Africa Institute website (accessed 20 November 2007)