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Maakhir State of Somalia
ولاية ماخر الصومال
Flag Coat of arms
Soomaaliyeey toosoo
Capital Badhan
Government Federal state
 •  Declared 1 July 2007
 •  Dissolved 11 January 2009
Area 45,000 km² (17,375 sq mi)
 •  est. 700,000 
     Density 15.6 /km²  (40.3 /sq mi)
Currency Somalishilling
Internet TLD .so
Calling code +252
Succeeded by

Maakhir (Somali: Goboleedka Maakhir, Arabic: ماخر ‎‎ Maakhirian), officially the Maakhir State of Somalia (Somali: Maamul Goboleedka Maakhiran; Arabic: ولاية ماخر الصومال‎‎ Wilaayatul baladul Maakhir balad- aṣ-Ṣūmmāal) was an autonomous region in northern Somalia, situated in an area disputed by the Somaliland and Puntland macro-regions. In January 2009, it was incorporated into Puntland.[1]


Maakhir was a self-proclaimed state that represented the political will of the Warsangali Darod within federal Somalia.[1] The Warsangali were one of the principal actors in the creation of the Puntland State as a successor to the Harti Sultanates after the collapse of the central government in Somalia in 1991. However, since the proclamation of an autonomous Puntland in 1998, some Warsangali felt that they were sidelined while the Majeerteen clan assumed a hegemonic role in the state.[2] Maakhir was brought back into the Puntland fold by General Abdullahi Ahmed Jama ("Ilkajir"), who contested the Puntland election. General Ilkajir became the de facto leader of Maakhir following the dissolution of the Maakhir administration.

Maakhir State proclaimed autonomy at a 1 July 2007 ceremony in Badhan in response to overlapping claims of Somaliland and Puntland over the western Sanaag and western Bari, both of which have led to several gun battles over control of the territory between Somaliland and Puntland.[3] Puntland and Somaliland have signed oil concessions in this part of Sanaag,[4] without the consent of the local leadership.[5] This contributed to the desire of the local Warsangali to administer their own affairs, and to resolve disputes with Mohamud Muse Hersi, the former President of Puntland.[6]

Maakhir's form of self-governance like that of Puntland rested on the bottom-up approach endorsed by the international community for a federal Somalia. This self-governing model, which mandates a decentralized local level of government within Somalia, was seen as a workable long-term political strategy in resolving inter-group disputes.[1]

Maakhir built institutions such as civil society, law enforcement, xeer (customary law), and Shariah-based district courts. It also established a local military and naval establishment that protects the region's marine and land resources and which provides safety and access to the flow and supply of humanitarian aid, the normal operation of international and local NGOs, as well as the implementation of programs of the United Nations Development Programme. Maakhir's other stated aim was to provide much-needed public services by opening up a treasury office in Badhan, to ensure governance structures for the safety and maintenance of Laasqoray Port, and the protection of private local enterprises whose operational management and ownership fall under the guidance of the private sector of Maakhir state.[7] A third objective was to manage the complex local conflicts by strengthening the already existing traditional mechanisms, which will be consolidated and run by the Department of Justice.

Maakhir sought to structure consensus around peace, internal security, market stability, cooperation and unity of purpose with its neighbors; and build bridges of trust and social harmony across dividing political lines and between opposing interests and groupings.

Neither Somaliland or Puntland have recognized the state. Despite rumored talks with Ali Mohammed Ghedi, the former Prime Minister of Somalia, the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia declined to comment on the status of Maakhir and regarded Puntland as the official authority of the region.[8]


Royal ground troops of the Warsangali Sultanate.

Maakhir State of Somalia was the descendant of the Sultanate of Mohamoud Ali Shire (Warsangali Sultanate) which is the oldest sultanate in Somalia with a rich history and heritage. The old capital of the Warsangali sultanate was Las Khorey.

The Sultanate of Mohamoud Ali Shire was considered by colonial authorities as having largely hegemonic authority over the other Harti sultanates, and the Warsangali played a large role in 19th century administration of Italian and British Somaliland. As the 20th century began however, the British and Italians ended the independence of the semi-independent Sultanates, and the Harti Confederation was dissolved in the midst of Italian and British rule, ending the traditional role of the Warsangali. Sultan Mohamoud Ali Shireh was exiled to the Seychelles – "the islands to which many prominent anti-colonial leaders used to be exiled".[9]

After independence, the Majeerteen emerged as the leaders of the Harti group following the USP's[disambiguation needed] merger with SYL[disambiguation needed]—active political parties on the eve of Somali independence. The Warsangali have however maintained their preeminent position as the traditional leaders of the Harti. This has challenged Puntland's attempts to assert its authority in Sanaag and western Bari.[10]

Disputes with Puntland[edit]

The disputes between Maakhir and Puntland had centered around ex-Puntland president Adde Musa's exploration deals with Range Resources, a mining and oil corporation registered in Australia and his refusal to recognize Maakhir's declaration of autonomy. Despite intensive gun battles at the border, Puntland state insisted that the territory was part of its sphere of influence. Moreover, Puntland continued to carry on business as usual, when such business was exactly what caused the Declaration of autonomy in the first place.

Conflicts with Puntland over charcoal[edit]

Maakhir banned charcoal production due to the desertification it causes to the fragile Somali environment. Puntland had ignored the ban and sent several expeditions into Maakhir, with Puntland militia protecting the charcoal traders. Clashes between Puntland militias escorting charcoal traders and Maakhir militias attempting to stop charcoal production had occurred numerous times since the ban, in Mijayahan,[11] Wa'iye and Sarmanyo.[12]

Puntland maintained its public statement that it did not recognize Maakhir.[13] The demand for charcoal from Arab states of the Persian Gulf, sometimes referred to as the "Black Gem" due to its profitability, has fueled the clashes.

In order to contain the charcoal expeditions, most of which are heavily armed and backed by big business interests, the Maakhir authority created a volunteer patrol force, the "Environmental Protection Corps".[14]

Blockade of Bosaso[edit]

A dispute with Puntland over the arrest of prominent Warsangeli businessmen from Bosaso prompted the Maakhir government to blockade the highway to Bosaso until the men were released.[15]

Somaliland military incursions[edit]

On 25–26 February 2008, a Somaliland-aligned, well armed force laid siege to Hadaftimo, causing a brief state of emergency before the force withdrew back to western Erigavo. Maakhir authority responded with a military buildup in the Maakhir-controlled part of Erigavo.[citation needed]

Hostilities re-emerged on 9 July 2008, when Somaliland invaded and occupied Laas Qoray port for few hours, under the pretext of a rescue mission (German citizens were allegedly being held hostage in Laas Qoray by pirates).[16]

Puntland incorporation[edit]

In January 2009, Maakhir and all cities within the region fell under the sovereignty of Puntland.[1]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Map of Maakhir.

Maakhir claimed the following administrative divisions:

Laasqoray, Maakhir, Somalia.

Cities and towns[edit]

The biggest cities in the area claimed by Maakhir Authority were Badhan, Las Khorey, Dhahar, Hadaftimo, Buraan, Elaayo, Galgala, Hingalol, Yubbe and Erigavo.

Politics and government[edit]

Parliamentary seats
Warsangeli seats
Subclan Seats Location
Adan Sa'iid, Cumar 4 Hadaaftimo, Badhan, Laasqoray, Mashaxaleed,ulxeed and Central and Coastal Sanaag
Bah-Majeerteen, Cumar 2 Badhan, Laasqoray, Eilbuh, Hadaaftimo, Central Sanaag
Gashanbur, Cumar 2 Buraan, East Sanaag
Warlabe 2 Badhan, Eilbuh, Laasqoray, Rad, Laako, Hidid, Durduri, Central and Coastal Sanaag
Ogayslabe 2 Badhan, Hadaaftimo, Ceerigaabo, Lasqoray, Coastal Sanaag
Reer Saalah, Cumar 2 Midigale, Xingalool,Badhan, Buraan, Habar-shiro, Central Sanaag
Muhumud, Cumar 1 Shinbirale, Western Sanaag
Rer Faatah, Cumar 1 Laasqoray,Badhan, Central Sanag respectively
Nouh Omar, Cumar 6 Erigavo, Yubbe,Hadaftimo Gelweyte, Xadhayeele,Waqdariya, North Sanaag And East-Sanag
Cumar| 1 Erigavo, Carmaale, Damale Haggare, Western Sanaag
Bahidoor, Cumar 1 Hingalool, South Sanaag
Jibrel Sa'iid, Cumar 1 Erigavo, Darasalaam, Western Sanaag
Adan Yakub, Cumar 1 Hingalool, South Sanaag
Reer Maxamed, Dubays 2 Dhahar, Haylaan and Bari
Reer xasan, Dubays 2 Haylaan and Bari
Reer yuusuf, Dubays 2 Haylaan and Bari
Reer maxamed, cumar Dubays 1 Haylaan and Bari
Xuseena Darays, Dubays 1 Haylaan and Bari
Reer cali muuse, Dubays 1 Haylaan and Bari
Reer cali Goray, Dubays 1 Haylaan and Bari
Xaniif, Dubays 1 Haylaan and Bari
reer cagla, Dubays 1 Haylaan and Bari
Awramale 5 Kismayo, Bulo Haji
Other seats
Minority group Seats Location
Women 5 Not specified
Dir clans 2 Laasqoray, Erigavo

The disputed status between Puntland has also meant that Sanaag as a whole may not have received all the available and apportioned aid from UN non-governmental organizations (NGO)s and aid agencies. The newly established Maakhir government has made this issue one of their first priorities, and appealed to the Warsangali Diaspora for assistance.[17]


Due to drought conditions, administrative problems and threats of invasion from Somaliland, the government of Maakhir was dissolved on 6 April 2008 by governmental and presidential decree. President Jibril promised a new government by June 2008, but Warsangelis decided instead to rally behind the campaign to elect General Ilkajir as President of Puntland. By the swearing in of the new president of Puntland, Abdirahman Mohamud Farole, Maakhir had fully rejoined Puntland.

The two branches of government in Maakhir (the Parliament and the Executive) were led by:

  • President Jibril Ali Salad - President of Maakhir
  • Eng. Ahmed Guure Aadan - The House of Representative Speaker

State secretaries[edit]

Maakhir State of Somalia had 17 state secretaries.

Former President Salad appointed seven people to his cabinet on 4 August 2007.[18] Ahmed Sheikh Salah resigned from the cabinet due to health reasons, and eleven more secretaries were added on 8 September 2007,[19] establishing the following State Secretaries (called Xoghayaashan in Somali):

  • Mr. Ahmed Hussein Yuusuf - Secretary of State for Interior and Security Department
  • ENG Saeed Adan Saeed - Secretary of State for Housing.
  • Miss Hodan Khalif issa - Secretary State for Finance and Commerce.
  • Mr. Iimaan Haji Warsame Faarah - Secretary of State for Environment.
  • Mr. Abdifitah Hussein Mohamed - Secretary of State for Social and Labor & Employers affairs.
  • Mr. Sa'iid Du'aale Mohamed - Secretary of State for Transports.
  • Mr. Sadik Abdi Misan - Secretary of State for Natural Resources
  • Mr. Ali Sa'iid Osmaan Qodah - Secretary of State for Trade and Manufacturing
  • Mr. Abdurrahman Sa'iid Ahmed - Secretary of State for International Relations
  • Prof. Ali Abdurrahman Hirsi - Secretary of State for Federal relations
  • Prof. Mohamed Ali Mohamed - Secretary of State for reconciliation and peace affairs.
  • Mr. Omar Liibaan - Secretary of State for justice and Religious affairs.
  • Ms. Zainab Ismaa'iil Mohamed - Secretary of State for Family welfare.
  • Dr. Ahmed Ali Mire - Secretary of State for Agricultures and Livestock
  • Mr. Abdulkadir Mohamed Sa'iid - Secretary of State for Fishing and marine resources.
  • Eng. Abdirizak Ali Mohamed (Black) - Secretary of State for Media and Culture.
  • Mr. Ali Mohamud Nuur (Ali Sanaag) - Commander of Maakhir Police Forces.

The Parliament of Maakhir had 38 members[20]


Maakhir had received legitimate political support from Asha Abdalla, who represented Sanaag in the Transitional Federal Parliament.[21] The state was never formally recognized by the TFG as a whole.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Somalia - Maakhir". Worldstatesmen. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
  2. ^ The Formation of Maakhir State of Somalia
  3. ^ "Issue 218". Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "Puntland Oil & Mining Deal:燭he Offspring of an Affair between Greed and Incompetence (Part I)". Archived from the original on 19 July 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "Puntland Oil & Mining Deal: The Offspring of an Affair between Greed and Incompetence (part II)". Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  6. ^ The rise of Maakhir State and the fall of Puntland.
  7. ^ Laas Qorey Port Operation.
  8. ^ Maakhir State of Somalia faces challenges and obstacles. Article in Markacadeey online on 23 August 2007.
  9. ^ A Touching Glimpse of History and the Reunion of a Somali Royalty
  10. ^ "Somalia: Breaking into even smaller bits? - The Economist". The Economist. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  11. ^ "Issue 218". Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  12. ^ Gun battle between Puntland Supported Militia and Maakhiri Forces in Southern Sanaag
  13. ^ "Issue 291". Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  14. ^ Environmental Protection Corps in Maakhir State of Somalia
  15. ^ Tensions build up in Northeastern Somalia «
  17. ^ Jibrell has called the Diaspora to reach out to increasing IDPs in Sanaag and establish Civil Society Organisations
  18. ^ "Maakhir State of Somalia names State Secretaries". 2007. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  19. ^ "Maakhir State of Somalia names 7 new State Secretaries". 2007. [dead link]
  20. ^ Maakhir State of Somalia increases its Parliament members
  21. ^ "Maakhir State gains support in Somalia parliament". Garowe Online. 2007-09-05. Retrieved 2007-11-21.