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The History of the Struggles of the Gurgura People


The Gugura people have fought a number of wars in order to defend their religion and land from aggressors.  They continuously refused to accept the expansion of the Abyssinian emperors in the last few hundred years.  Early 15th century, the Gurgura people with other Somali tribes under the leadership of Ahmed Ibrahim (Gurey) decisively repulsed the Abyssinian aggression and pushed them back to the heart of their kingdom.  See Fatuh Al-Habash for the Gurgura involvement in these strugles

In 1887, the Abyssinian forces of the King Menilik attacked the people who lived in the area of Harar.  The Gugura shiekhs leading their people and the other Somali and Oromo tribes ought back fiercely and killed many enemy soldiers.  The Gugura heroes who lost their lives for defending their land and religion include Mussa Yero and Ibrahim Dagakalo who died in  the battle Chalanko.   The Abyssinian forces who were better trained and equipped than the Somali tribes occupied the first part of the Somali territory, mainly populated by the Gurgura people.

To consolidate their gains, the Abyssinian  did not stop their attacks.  In 1945, the forces King Haile Silase lounched savage attacks on the Gurgura nomads who lived in the area of Garaba-loukou, west of Hurso.  Thousands of people were massacred, farms and wells destroyed, and wealth looted.  Dire Dawa and other Gurgura cities were put under military rule.

The pressure did not stop the Gurgura people from continuing their holy struggle.  In the sixties and seventies, many Gurgura men and women had the opportunities to be trained in the Western Somali Liberation Front.