Author(Abdirashid Muse Abdi)
Somali is a society of major ethnic groups do dwell on the north-eastern horn of African continent. They are linguistically, ethnically and religiously one of the largest peoples inhabiting the Horn of Africa across four recognized states: the Republic of Somalia, south-east Ethiopia, Djibouti and north-east Kenya.
Somalis are usually categorized as a “Cushitic” since it has been considered ethnically homogeneous , the better known pastoral nomadic section of society was perceived as representatives And they are restricted their norms and beliefs that they are known to apartheid each other as clans and tribes which is the footsteps of their ancestors according to all Somali tribes wherever they do dwell.
Though, they(Somalis)all discriminate one same clan among them called Gaboye by discriminating in a same way the outcaste groups are collectively referred to as “Midgan” or “Madhiban,” the former term being much more disrespectful and insulting than the latter one. However, there are actually many more Somali outcaste groups. Each is connected as clients, former slaves or servants to a noble clan group.
The Midgan constitute the largest Somali outcaste family, and its sub clans include the Madhiban, Mohamed Gargaarte, Muuse-Dariye, Tumaal, Yibir, Hawle, and hidden others. Each outcaste clan has its own dialect. When the noble tribes’ patrons and rulers engage in conflict, their outcaste Midgans clients are forced to fight for them. However they are neither protected nor defended, nor given any share of the resources. Even the most heroic and accomplished Midgan outcaste fighter cannot dream of socializing as an equal or marrying into the noble clan that he is attached to. When convenient, the Midgan outcaste clients are counted numerically as part of the noble clan they come under. When the Midgan outcaste oppressed groups try to organize, (as all the noble clans do), they are threatened, abused, and physically attacked. Due to the power and arms of the noble clans, most Midgan outcaste Somali people have been forced to keep silent. Any attempt to protest inequality or gain redress meets brutal reprisals.
The Midgan outcaste groups control no land of their own; they are also not usually allowed to live in villages to drink or get water from the “pure” wells or to use the plates, cups or utensils of the noble clan’s people. Their status can be compared to the Dalits of India or “untouchables” of South Asia. Yet, they do not even have the constitutional guarantees that (reserved places) of Indian Dalits have, at least in theory. Only under the last government of Somalia General President Mohamed Siad Barre did Midgans have some rights in their own country. But, when he was deposed, they suffered reprisals from his noble clan rivals who accused them of supporting him. The Midgan-Madhiban is the largest of several Somali minority outcaste clans. Thus they are collectively designated as Midgan-Madhiban. Somali society is divided into patrilineal kinship-based clans and sub-clans. All Somalis can trace their ancestry to a clan or sub clan. The three main large clans (Darood, Hawiye and Isaak), traditionally control large areas of lands, many resources and exercise great political power. Certain smaller clans have respectable status but fewer resources and less political leverage due to their smaller populations. Often those small, respected clans must affiliate with and relate to nearby clans as clients and for incase of conflicts. Midgan-Madhiban, Tumal and other outcaste groups are still facing restrictions, prejudice, discrimination, harassment, abuse and attacks everywhere in the world. Not only this treatment is a continuation of their historic exploitation but it is also because they are known for impure and downplayed who is the lower level status among Somali community. It is deeply rooted historic perspectives that is long-timed norm, in spite of being very hard to bring an end the hidden feelings and beliefs that bear in community’s mind, now Ethio-Somali regional state initiated good beginning to come an end.
Though, it is not held international meeting discussed about this long-termed issue in order to take mutual understandings and break this long -termed attitudes now Ethiopian-Somali regional state president Mr. Abdi Mohamud Omer took an unforgettable brave decision to come an end for this long-timed norm that has no roots to Somali ritual beliefs and faiths. ESRS president Mr. Abdi Mohamud Omar intentionally concentrated how to break this deeply rooted evil norm by initiating annual meeting forum held in raaso woreda of afdher zone that the whole different parts of the community such as community elders, religious leaders, politicians, scholars, young generations, women, etc came to gather.
In fact, it was highly conducted grass root panel discussions took for days and months so the president addressed highly admirable historic speech by narrating the origin of this long lasted evil norms and how they are ignored their rights and badly treated by using these misinterpreting abusive words, we mentioned below whereas the original meanings of those abusive words of out coasted group mid-gan means “Shoot your bullet gun by one” which construes “saving bullets” and since the daily life of mid-gans were based on hunting and also they were poor comparing to other Somali tribes life style.
However, the origin of mid-gan word the president said in panel discussions, “is from the old hunting system plus poverty meaning shoot your bullet gun by one and that indicates a kind of saving bullets pointing every single bullet shouldn’t miss its target and also shows that their skills of hitting the target.’’
In addition, Tumaal is one of the outcaste Somali groups under gaboye which “the word Tumaal stands blacksmith in Somali language- a person who makes and repairs things in iron by hand. Tun means repair and Maal means finance or invest, “as president Abdi stated. By giving the exact and original meaning President Abdi M. Omar also expressed Ma-dhibaan the stable ones which means easy going or trouble free people those do not disturb any one.
The different meetings and panel discussions held at regional level were also discussed and agreed that every action resulting despising towards these out coasted groups should be erased totally in the region however its powerful historic evil norms lasted long and however it is not forgettable that the psychological construction impacts of this outcaste groups yet, their self deception is insidious and stealthy and it is well recognized that we discriminated them how they are professionally and technically better than others. This is why somalis started making misinterpreted abusive words but likely pointing their technical profession is dirty and unique for them.
Eventually, Gaboye have traditionally held a client relationship with a patron group working and technically fit as smiths, barbers and leather workers, as well as midwives. Gabooye women and men perform infibulations and circumcision respectively. Other Gaboye are tailors, singers, and butchers. Getting know this inherits that these people are more civilized than other Somali tribes due to what they are discriminated since Somali elite elders misinterpreted without any reason except their arrogance and tribalism ideology because all other tribes or clans haven’t technically professional people, they are dependent on these out casted groups and this is the footsteps of elite elders.
Though, there has been an effort by some Somali civic and cultural leaders to discourage use of this term yet this has run up against deeply-entrenched prejudice. unfortunately Somalia government faced political chaos and human made catastrophic that resulted absolute devastation both human and property, Now Ethiopian-Somali regional state successfully buried this evil historic norm after long panel discussions mutually recognized that the Raaso meeting would be the first historic meeting that was underlined and come to an end this long -lasted evil norm and this score is enclosed in Ethiopia Somali regional state, especially the young visionary president Mr. Abdi Mohamud Omer who firstly brought this admirable conception of ending discrimination
Finally, president Abdi settled new strategic that can bring for long term solution to the whole Somali community by making well and widely arranged intermixed marriage ceremony from both tribes outcaste and noble tribes which the state and entrepreneurs cooperated each other full filling and accomplishing this memorable marriage ceremony of 29 intermixed marriage couples which was successfully held wide wedding ceremony participated by all regional officials and the different parts of the Somali society and then rewarded modern building G+1 houses each, two hundred thousand birr allocated to entice and beautify their homes and five hundred thousand birr to establish new businesses.
THANKS MR. PRESIDENT FOR YOUR VISIONARY AND ADMIRABLE SIGHT YOU PUTT IT AWAY THE GARBAGE LONG EXISTED BLEIF AMONG THE SOMALIS. IT’S REALLY HISTORICAL EVENT THAT IS BENIFITABLE TO THE NEXT GENERATIONS.