Baidoa is a city in south-central Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

, situated 256 kilometres (159.1 mi) by road northwest of the capital Mogadishu
Mogadishu , popularly known as Xamar, is the largest city in Somalia and the nation's capital. Located in the coastal Benadir region on the Indian Ocean, the city has served as an important port for centuries....

. It is the capital of the Bay
Bay, Somalia
Bay is an administrative region in southern Somalia.-Overview:It is bordered by the Somalian regions of Bakool, Lower Shabele, Middle Juba and Gedo....

 region, which is traditionally inhabited by the Digil and Mirifle (Rahanweyn
The Rahanweyn is a Somali clan, composed of two major sub-clans, the Digil and the Mirifle. It makes up about 17% of the population of Somalia, and is one of the five major Somali clans residing in the Horn of Africa.-Overview:The Digil sub-clan mainly consists of farmers and coastal people, while...

) clans.

Baidoa is the third largest city in Somalia, the fourth most important after Kismayo. For a brief period during the mid-2000s, it also served as the nation's provisional capital. Its population is estimated at over 800,000.


Various factions of the Rahanweyn Resistance Army
Rahanweyn Resistance Army
The Rahanweyn Resistance Army , also known as the Reewin Resistance Army, is an autonomist militant group operating in the two southwestern regions of Somalia, Bay and Bakool. It was the first Reewin armed faction to emerge during the Somali civil war...

 (RRA) struggle for control of the city. On 30 May 2005 forces loyal to Hasan Muhammad Nur Shatigudud, former RRA chairman, and Sheikh Adan Madobe, former first secretary, attacked the town, which is controlled by the forces of Muhammad Ibrahim Habsade
Muhammad Ibrahim Habsade
Muhammad Ibrahim Habsade is former rebel soldier of the Rahanweyn Resistance Army, former Minister of Land and Air Transport, and current Minister of Agriculture in the Somali Transitional Federal Government....

. This had followed months of building tensions as the various militia factions built up their arsenals. In the immediate aftermath of the fighting, both the Shatigudud/Madobe and Habsade militias were seen to be preparing for further clashes.

Baidoa Seat of the TFG Parliament

The Transitional Federal Government
Transitional Federal Government
The Transitional Federal Government is the current internationally recognized government of the Republic of Somalia. It was established as one of the Transitional Federal Institutions of government as defined in the Transitional Federal Charter adopted in November 2004 by the Transitional...

 was able to convene a parliamentary sittings of 275 members in Baidoa in February, 2006, inside a grain warehouse that had been temporarily converted. Despite the symbolic importance of the occasion, there have been no additional moves to establish government bodies or agencies in the city, beyond simply maintaining a militia presence there.

Since the collapse of the Somali Centernal Government, subsequent temporary governments sought refuge between Jowhar and Baidoa. The country's regular capital, Mogadishu was too dangerous for any government services.

On July 20, 2006 it was reported by the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff... that a column of 100 Ethiopian military vehicles including armoured personnel carriers had crossed from the border town of Dolo Odo
Dolo Odo
Dolo Odo is one of the 47 woredas in the Somali Region of Ethiopia. Part of the Liben Zone, Dolo Odo is located in the angle formed by the confluence of the Ganale Dorya with the Dawa River, and bordered to the west by Moyale, to the northwest by Liben, on the north and east by Afder Zone, and on...

 into Somalia. This follows reports of ICU forces advancing to within 60 km of Baidoa. Further reports stated that Ethiopian troops had been seen in uniform on the streets of the town. However, the Ethiopian government denied that its forces had entered Somalia.

On September 26, according to Stratfor
Strategic Forecasting, Inc., more commonly known as STRATFOR, is a global intelligence company founded in 1996 in Austin, Texas by George Friedman who is the founder, chief intelligence officer, and CEO of the company..., "Uganda flew a planeload of troops [...] to Baidoa, the seat of Somalia's interim government, aiming to keep Somalia's Islamists from becoming a force to support Islamist insurgents throughout the region."

On November 24, the Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists... reported that hundreds of Ethiopian troops had arrived in Baidoa to protect Somalia's government against the Conservative Council of Islamic Courts (a new name adopted by the ICU in June The troops proceeded on to Baidoa in a convoy of more than 130 trucks.

On December 24, Baidoa was reported to be one of several targets of Ethiopian airstrikes. On January 30, 2009, Al-Shabaab
Al-Shabaab (Somalia)
Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen , more commonly known as al-Shabaab , is a terrorist group of militants fighting to overthrow the government of Somalia. As of 2011, the group controls large swathes of the southern parts of Somalia, where it is said to have imposed its own strict form of Sharia law...

 captured the city, leading to the expulsion of the Transitional Federal Government.

See also

  • Battle of Baidoa
    Battle of Baidoa
    The Battle of Baidoa began on December 20, 2006 when the Somali Transitional Federal Government's forces allied with Ethiopian forces stationed there attacked advancing Islamic Courts Union forces along with 500 alleged Eritrean troops and mujahideen arrayed against them.The battle began with...

External links

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