Italian Somalia during and after the World War

By | December 15, 2021

Governance. – Italian Somalia is governed and represented by a governor, who depends on the viceroy of Ethiopia and resides in Mogadishu and has a secretary general and a commander of the troops under his direct dependency. The government is made up of various directorates general: Civil and political affairs; Corporate business; Financial affairs; General and personal affairs; Accounting. The territory is divided into eight regional commissariats: Basso Giuba (capital Chisimaio, residences: Afmedò, Gelib, Bardera, Margherita); Alto Giuba (chief town Oddur, residences: Lugh, Baidoa and Bur Acaba); Basso Uebi Scebeli (capital Merca, residences: Brava, Vittorio d’Africa, Audegle, Afgoi, Uanle, Genale); Alto Uebi Scebeli (capital Bulo Burti, residences: Balàd, Villaggio Duca degli Abruzzi, Itala, Mereg, Belet Uen); Mogadishu; Mudug (chief town Rocca Littorio, residences: Obbia and El Bur); Nogal (capital Eil); Migiurtinia (Dante’s capital, residences: Alula, Bender Cassim, Càndala). During the military operations of 1935 and 1936 in the territories conquered in Abyssinia, the residences of Neghelli for the Boran, Callafò for the Sciaveli, and Gorrahei for the Ogadēn were established.

Italian Somalia during the world war. – The Italian colony of Somalia could not entirely escape the harmful influence of the world war. The opponents of Italy found support in the young heir to the throne of Ethiopia, Ligg Iasu, who – who converted to a pro-Muslim policy and went to Harar – wanted to make this region bordering Somalia the basis for aggressive actions, in accordance with the Mullah and with the sultans of Aussa and Danakil. When armed Shea masses massacred the Somalis and the Muslims living in that territory, it seemed that the Mullah should proclaim holy war against all infidels, white and colored; all the more so since the British forces present in Somaliland had appeared sufficient to contain the raids of the dervishes. But the Mullah did not know how to seize the opportune moment and, when the war was over (1919), he saw the mass of his armies dissolve by desertion and supply decreases, while the Italian action intensified both in Migiurtinia and from Benadir and the English (January-February 1920) pushed the repression to the bottom with full success. Against the Italian territory during the World War the raids had intensified; and the dervishes of the upper Shebeli attacked by surprise a tiny garrison at Buloburti (27 March 1916) and killed its commander, Captain Battistella, and some gregari. Pursued by major forces led by Colonel Bessone, the rebels were severely punished and dispersed in Belet Uèn, their place of concentration. Later the Mullah, beaten by the English, again turned against the Italians; but suffering from illness, he ceased to live on November 23, 1920. For Somalia 2006, please check

After the World War. – The allies of Italy, taking advantage of the period of internal confusion that characterized the immediate post-war period in Italy, as elsewhere, had ensured that only a small part of the colonial compensation due to it remained. There were few and insignificant changes to the borders of Libya and the cession of English territory in the Oltregiuba. This promise was fulfilled after laborious negotiations; only on 15 July 1924 was the treaty signed in London (ratified by the English parliament in February 1925) which ceded that British territory to Italy as compensation for the colonial acquisitions of England in dependence on the common victory. The transfer of powers took place on 29 June 1925 in Chisimaio.the July 1926, the Jubaland became an integral part of Italian Somaliland, with the advantage of unifying the economic and agricultural system of the Juba valley.

Occupation of Northern Somalia. – After the death of the Mullah, the Nogal territory was disputed by the sultans of Obbia and the Migiurtini. The governor De Vecchi of Val Cismon decided to act with energy to put an end to the disputes between Italy’s proteges which were harmful to Italian interests and prestige.

On 1 October 1925 operations began with the occupation of Hordio, followed in the following days by the occupation of Alùla, in Migiurtinia, of El Bur and of Obbia. While in the sultanate of Obbia the resistance of the residents was overcome with relative ease, in Migiurtinia it was necessary to resort to the blockade of the coasts, naval bombardment and the armed occupation of Afgalaio, Bereda, Gallacaio, Bender Cassim and Bender-Zidda. After that, the forces of Obbia were also concentrated in Migiurtinia, as well as the 3rd Eritrean battalion from Massawa (while the concentration was taking place, the Italian garrisons suffered bloody attacks) in March 1926 the first operations took place in the Nogal territory with two columns that met in Buballe (April 15) to proceed beyond the Gullalè – strenuously defended by the enemy – until the occupation of Eil and Callis. During the summer, operations continued in the Lower Darror region. The last rebels, missing, passed into British territory at the end of 1926, and there they were disarmed.

Italian territorial sovereignty succeeded the protectorates and the colony was divided into the following regions: Giuba (capital Chisimaio), Centro (Mogadishu), Uebi Scebeli (Mahaddei), Confine (Oddur), Obbia, Nogal and Migiurtini.

Italian Somalia during and after the World War