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Ogaden (clan)

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Regions with significant populations
Islam (Predominantly Sunni, Sufism)
Related ethnic groups
Jidwaq, Absame, Marehan, other Darod groups, and other Somali clans

The Ogaden (Somali: Ogaadeen, Arabic: أوغادين‎) is a Somali clan. The largest Darod subclan. Ogaden people mainly inhabit in Somali Region, Jubaland and NFD (kenya).


Ogaden ruler Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, leader of the Dervish movement.

Members of the Ogaden clan primarily live in the central Ogaden plateau of Ethiopia (Somali Region),[1] the North Eastern Province of Kenya, and the Jubaland region of Southern Somalia. They also inhabit Somalia's major cities such as Mogadishu and Kismayo.

Sultan Bihi Momeen of the Ogaden.

The Ogaden clan is known for resisting colonialism during the Dervish era and in Jubaland and North Eastern Province in Kenya when both were colonized by the British. Members of the Ogaden clan were fighting European colonizers in 2 of the 3 regions, the Somali territories were split into by colonial borders; Somali region in Ethiopia, Jubaland in Southern Somalia and the North Eastern Province. The most known anti-colonial Somali, Sayid Mohammed Abdullah Hassan hails from the Ogaden clan.

According to Human Rights Watch, the Ogaden is the largest Darod clan in Ethiopia's Somali Region, and may account for 80 to 90 percent of the Somali population in Ethiopia.[2] The Ogaden clan "constitutes the backbone of the ONLF".[3] In particular, the ONLF operates in Ogaden areas[4]

Frank Linsly James, one of the first Europeans to travel deep into Ogaden territory while being accompanied by Lord Philips and armed with Martini-Enfield rifles, describes his first encounter with Ogadens in 1884.

After marching for six hours, we were joined by two Ogadayn natives, who said they would show us the wells, which were close at hand. They pointed to our guns and asked their use. When we said, "for killing men and beasts," they laughed, and replied " they would be no use against sticks, let alone swords and spears." A Hornbill was sitting on a tree listening to this conversation, and echoed the natives' laugh with an assenting croak of scorn. Lord Phillips raised his despised firearm, and down fell the lifeless hornbill. Down, too, fell the Ogadayn natives, and remained for some time with their faces pressed against the ground, invoking the protection of the great Allah. [5]

Clan tree

There is no clear agreement on the clan and sub-clan structures and many lineages are omitted. The following listing is taken from the World Bank's Conflict in Somalia: Drivers and Dynamics from 2005 and the United Kingdom's Home Office publication, Somalia Assessment 2001.[6][7]

In Puntland the World Bank shows the following:[8]

  • Darod
      • Harti
      • Absame (Ogaden)
    • Marehan
    • Awrtable
    • Lelkase

Notable persons


  1. ^ "Collective Punishment", p. 14
  2. ^ "Collective Punishment", p. 13
  3. ^ "Collective Punishment", p. 4
  4. ^ "Collective Punishment", p. 27
  5. ^ The Unknown Horn of Africa: An Exploration From Berbera to the Leopard River, By Frank Linsly james, p.104
  6. ^ Worldbank, Conflict in Somalia: Drivers and Dynamics, January 2005, Appendix 2, Lineage Charts, p.55 Figure A-1
  7. ^ Country Information and Policy Unit, Home Office, Great Britain, Somalia Assessment 2001, Annex B: Somali Clan Structure Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine., p. 43
  8. ^ Worldbank, Conflict in Somalia: Drivers and Dynamics, January 2005, Appendix 2, Lineage Charts, p.57 Figure A-3
  9. ^ Mukhtar, Mohamed Haji (2003-02-25). Historical Dictionary of Somalia. ISBN 9780810866041.