Regions with significant populations

Somali and Arabic



Related ethnic groups

Dhulbahante, Meheri, Warsangali and other Harti and Darod groups.

The Majeerteen (Somali: Majeerteen, Arabic: ماجرتين‎, Muhammad Harti Amaleh Abdi Muhammad Abdirahman Jaberti; also spelled Majerteen, Macherten, or Majertain[1]) is a Somali clan. Its members form a part of the Harti confederation of Darod sub-clans, and primarily inhabit the Puntland region in northeastern Somalia.

The Majeerteen Sultanates played an important role in the pre-independence era. The clan has produced two presidents and three prime ministers since 1960, as well as a Sultan and a King (Boqor). Majeerteens also held many other important government posts in the 1960s and early 1970s, and continue to play a key role in Puntland.



Majeerteen members primarily inhabit the northern Bari, Nugaal and Mudug regions in Puntland. Others can also be found in the Kismayo and Wardheer regions of Somalia and Ethiopia, respectively.

The Majeerteen Sultanates

Sultan Yusuf Ali Kenadid, founder of the Sultanate of Hobyo.

The Majeerteen Sultanate was founded in the mid-18th century. It rose to prominence the following century, under the reign of the resourceful Boqor (King) Osman Mahamuud.[2] It controlled much of northern and central Somalia in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The polity maintained a robust trading network, entered into treaties with foreign powers, and exerted strong centralized authority on the domestic front.[3][4]

Osman Mahamuud's Sultanate was nearly destroyed in the mid-1800s by a power struggle between himself and his ambitious cousin, Yusuf Ali Kenadid. After almost five years of battle, the young upstart was finally forced into exile in Yemen. A decade later, in the 1870s, Kenadid returned from the Arabian Peninsula with a band of Hadhrami musketeers and a group of devoted lieutenants. With their assistance, he managed to overpower the local Hawiye clans and establish the Sultanate of Hobyo in 1878.[2][5]

In late 1889, Boqor Osman entered into a treaty with the Italians, making his realm an Italian protectorate. His rival Sultan Kenadid had signed a similar agreement vis-a-vis his own Sultanate the year before. Both rulers had signed the protectorate treaties to advance their own expansionist objectives, with Boqor Osman looking to use Italy's support in his ongoing power struggle with Kenadid over the Majeerteen Sultanate. Boqor Osman and Sultan Kenadid also hoped to exploit the conflicting interests among the European imperial powers that were then looking to control the Somali peninsula, so as to avoid direct occupation of their territories by force.[6]

With the gradual extension into northern Somalia of Italian colonial rule, both Kingdoms were eventually annexed to Italian Somaliland in the early 20th century.[6] Much of the two Majeerteen Sultanates' former domain is today coextensive with the autonomous Puntland region in northeastern Somalia.[7]

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.[8][9]

Prominent figures

  • Omar A. Ali, entrepreneur, accountant, financial consultant, philanthropist, and leading specialist on Islamic finance.
  • Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, first Prime Minister of Somalia, second President of Somalia (10 June 1967 until 16 October 1969)
  • Abdirizak Haji Hussein, former Prime Minister of Somalia, 1964–1967
  • Haji Bashir Ismail Yusuf, first President of Somali National Assembly, Minister of Health and labor 1966-67[list membership disputed]
  • Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, former President of Somalia, President of Puntland and leader/co-founder of the Somali Salvation Democratic Front.
  • Aden Mohammed, banker and entrepreneur.
  • Ayan Hirsi Ali, the first Somali-born member of parliament of a European country, author and political activist[10]
  • Hassan Abshir Farah, former Mogadishu mayor, Somali ambassador to Japan and later to Germany, interior minister of Puntland, prime minister of Transitional Federal Government from Arta, and current TFG minister of fishing and marine resources.
  • Abdirahman Mohamud Farole, President of Puntland
  • Abdisalam Issa-Salwe, Ph.D., scholar, writer; associate professor at Taibah University.
  • Abdulqawi Yusuf, lawyer and judge at the International Court of Justice since February 6, 2009
  • Mohammed Awale Liban, designed the flag of Somalia
  • Mohammed Said Hersi Morgan, son-in-law of Siad Barre and minister of defense of Somalia
  • Mohamud Muse Hersi, third President of Puntland
  • Mohammed Jibril Muse, Majeerteen, former Chief of Somali Secret Service, General and later on Police chief of state of Puntland[11]
  • Abdilwali Hersi Abdille Indhaguran, former Minister of Electricity and Power Generation of the Somali national government (TNG), and Minister of Federal and Somali Affairs of Puntland
  • Abdirashiid Irro, TFG Business Minister, former member of TFG parliament.[12]
  • Abdi Kusow – Somali Associate Professor of Sociology at Iowa State in Ames, Iowa. Has written extensively on Somali sociology and anthropology.
  • Abdulqawi Yusuf, international lawyer and judge with the International Court of Justice.
  • Ali A. Abdi, anthropologist, professor of education and international development at the University of Alberta.
  • Abdulkadir Isse Ahmed Salah, Sultan of the Ugaar Saleebaan of Majeerteen
  • Abdullahi Ahmed Yusuf Irro, Somali general, commander at the Godey Front in 1977 Somali-Ethiopia War, and later a professor of strategic studies at the National Academy.[13]
  • Ali Jimale Ahmed – Somali poet, essayist, scholar, and short story writer. Published on Somali history and linguistics.
  • Hirsi Magan Isse, scholar and revolutionary leader with the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).
  • Mohamed Abdi Aware, Puntland judge and member of Supreme Judicial Council.
  • Jama Ali Jama, Colonel in the Somali military and former President of Puntland
  • Maxamed Daahir Afrax, novelist, playwright, journalist and scholar
  • Mire Hagi Farah Mohamed, Somali Finance Minister 2004–2006, and former mayor of Kismayo
  • Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, former Prime Minister of Somalia, and son of Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke
  • Osman Yusuf Kenadid, inventor of the Osmanya writing script
  • Sayidiin Xirsi Nuur, Prominent member of Somali Youth League.[14]
  • Yaasiin Cismaan Keenadiid, traditional Somali linguist
  • Yasin Haji Osman Sharmarke, leader and co-founder of the Somali Youth League; also the author of the first Somali Dictionary who added the word "Erey Koobe" which means dictionary in the Somali language.


  1. ^ Central Intelligence Agency (2002). "Ethnic Groups". Somalia Summary Map. Perry–Castañeda Library. Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Helen Chapin Metz, Somalia: a country study, (The Division: 1993), p.10.
  3. ^ Horn of Africa, Volume 15, Issues 1-4, (Horn of Africa Journal: 1997), p.130.
  4. ^ Transformation towards a regulated economy, (WSP Transition Programme, Somali Programme: 2000) p.62.
  5. ^ Lee V. Cassanelli, The shaping of Somali society: reconstructing the history of a pastoral people, 1600-1900, (University of Pennsylvania Press: 1982), p.75.
  6. ^ a b The Majeerteen Sultanates
  7. ^ Istituto italo-africano, Africa: rivista trimestrale di studi e documentazione, Volume 56, (Edizioni africane: 2001), p.591.
  8. ^ Worldbank, Conflict in Somalia: Drivers and Dynamics, January 2005, Appendix 2, Lineage Charts, p.55 Figure A-1
  9. ^ Country Information and Policy Unit, Home Office, Great Britain, Somalia Assessment 2001, Annex B: Somali Clan Structure, p. 43
  10. ^
  11. ^ Africa analysis: the fortnightly bulletin on financial and political trends, Issues 1-12, (Africa Analysis Ltd.: 1986), p.65.
  12. ^ (Somali)
  13. ^ (Somali)
  14. ^ (Somali)

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