Xusuus-Dhagaxtuur -Febraayo 20kii,1982-Hargeysa/Somaliland.
Barre Hagi Elmi Ahmed:
"Tribute to an unknown martyr"
Barre Hagi Elmi Ahmed, nicknamed Badho, was the son of known merchant in Hargeisa who owned a shop in
downtown Hargeisa. Barre lost his mother when he was a child. He attended the Biyodhacay Elementary
and Intermediate School in Hargeisa, although, from time to time, he took some classes at the Qalax
Boarding School in Gabiley. He then started his secondary school education at Halane (Hargeisa). After
he completed the first school year, he transferred to the 26th June secondary school in Hargeisa, and
six months later he again transferred to Ga’an Libah secondary school in Hargeisa. Barre was slender
and tall, and a handsome teenager. He had long black and straight hair. A young man with bright
future, Barre was cheerful and lively. He was seventeen when on the first day of the “Dhagaxtuur”(1)
students’ protest against the arrest of “My Teachers’s Group”(2), on the 20th February 1982, around
12:45 a.m., he received the deadly bullet on his chest from the Dictator Siad Barre’s army. His short
and promising life ended under the Jirde Hussein Building in front of Hindgiii Jaantilaal’s corner-
shop, while his classmates and friends were rushing him to the hospital. Barre was buried at
Xawaadleh cemetery in Hargeisa around 6:00 p.m. the same day.
People who knew Barre told me that he was lovable and a very brave man, and he had a wonderful sense
of humour. He was a good role model for the young and possessed a leadership spirit. His friend,
Yussuf Isse, who was present when Barre was dying, and who was jailed by the Somali regime after that
eventful day, said "we missed Barre for his sense of friendship, his sense of fearlessness and
bravery, and for his sense of laughter". Barre died for a cause that he believed was right. He left
this world as he lived in it, conscious of the danger, fearless of death, and sure that the students’
struggle against the military regime could carry us a long away. People like him never expected
repayment for their deeds, for no one can repay what Barre offered to us; his young life. Their reward
is acknowledging that they did the right thing, and to let the younger generation know of the
sacrifices they made.
I and Barre did not know each other, even though our paths may have crossed during the school years
and during the “Dhagaxtuur” event on that dreadful day. I pay this tribute to him as a young hero who
has given so much to us in his short lifetime and who continues to do so even after his passing, as he
will be remembered as a symbol of my generation - a generation that paid much for freedom and had
survived the cruel treatment of the military dictatorship of Somalia. I extend to his family members,
who I do not know personally, my deepest sympathy and condolence, after almost twenty years from his
untimely departure from this world. May Allah rest his soul in peace. Aamiin.
(1) “Dhaxtuur” in somali means “stone throwing”, and it’s the first protest of the students
of Hargeisa and other cities in the then Northern Somalia against the militery Government of Somalia
for the release of Hargeisa Selfhelp Group.
(2) “My Teachers’ Group” is the name the author called the
Hargeisa Selfhelp Group.
Comments and corrections are well appreciated. Write to email@example.com. The author thanks Yussuf
Isse and Hassan Haji Yaaxeen, both members of the Somaliland Forum, for their kind responses to his
call of “who knows Barre Hagi?”. (*)Jama Musse Jama is the author of “A note on ‘My Teachers’ Group’:
news report on injustice” (http://www.redsea-online.com/books/mtg). A book about the story of
“Hargeisa Self-help Group” or “UFFO Group” and their jailing. This article is a collage of excerpts
from that book.
Jama Musse Jama(*), Pisa, Italy
(first time published in October 2002)
Soo Bandhige: Fu'aad Sh.
Bahda Mareegta Farshaxan