INTRODUCTION: THE GHARRI PEOPLE ARE ALSO KNOWN AS GURRE, GARRE, OR GARRI BY THE COLONIALIST, AND THEY ARE LOCATED IN THE HORN OF Africa. by Isaac Omar
the brother of Assarre , had seven sons, they were Hodkoya, Birkaya, Hoytra,
Darawa, Kalwesha, Hurdeq and “SUBUKITRE”.
the second half of the Gharri branch is Tuf. Tuf is believed to be the uncle and
father in law’s of Quran or quranyow, and he had two sons, Ali and Adola.
Adola had eight
sons. They were Kalwina, Kalmassa, Bursuni, Odomai, Maqabille, maid, Rer Mug and
Adola had eight
sons. They were Kalwina, Kalmassa, Bursuni, Odomai, Maqabille, maid, Rer Mug and
Tuf’s second son Ali had three
their names were Kalula, Tawulle and Sabdhawa.
TODAY, ALMOST EVERY GHARRI PERSON IS BELONGING TO ONE OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED
GROUP OF THE SUB CLANS OF THE GHARRI PEOPLE.
GHARRI REGION IS ONE OF THE
RICHEST REGIONS IN EAST
AFRICA, REGARDING GOLD, COOPER, SALT,
CLAY AND OTHER MINERAL RESOURCES.
"In a radius 15-50 Kilometers, East of Moyale are found Harmesem, Harsamte, and ChamuK areas, rich with gold mineral deposit totaling 1412 Tons, but so far these areas are subjected to only traditional gold mining." These are three Gharri young females gold-miners.
WERE RULED AND OCCUPIED BY RUTHLESS AND INHUMAN MONARCHS AND DICTATOR OF
MENELIKE SUBJECTED THE GHARRI PEOPLE TO PAINFUL POLITICAL AND ECONOMICAL
REPRESSION. HAILE SELASSE CARRIED OUT THE TORCH AND COMMITTED GENOCIDE
ON THE GHARRI PEOPLE. DURING HAILE SELASSE'S ADMINISTRATION, THE GHARRI PEOPLE
SUFFERED YEAR AFTER YEARS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL FIXATION, POLITICAL AND ECONOMICAL
ISOLATION. GHARRI MALES WERE SUBJECTED TO PHYSICAL TORTURE AND THEY LOST OVER
500 BILLION HERDS TO LOOTING BY HAILE SELASSE AND MENGISTU HAILE MARIAM'S
GOVERNMENT SOLDIERS. ADHESIVE RESISTANCE OF THE GHARRI PEOPLE AND MANY OTHER
ETHNIC GROUPS SUCCEEDED TO TOPPLING THE HAILE SELASSE MONARCHY DOWN IN 1974.
THE GHARRI PEOPLE, WHO HELPED TO OVERTHROW THE MONARCHY, WERE DENIED THE RIGHT OF SELF-RULE AND REGIONAL AUTONOMY. A MILITARY DICTATOR WHO WAS WORST AND CRUELER THAN THE MONARCHY ADMINISTRATION RULED THE COUNTRY AND COMMITTED GENOCIDE AGAINST THE GHARRI PEOPLE. BETWEEN 1958 AND 1966, THE HAILE SELASSE GOVERNMENT SLAUGHTERED 600 THOUSAND GHARRI CIVILIANS. ALSO, BETWEEN 1974 AND 1991 OVER THE DICTATOR MENGISTU HAILE MARIAM’S GOVERNMENT MURDERED 800 THOUSAND GHARRI CIVILIANS.
THE GHARRI LAND
TAKEN AWAY AND GHARRI PEOPLE WERE SUBJECTED TO UNTOLD AND UNDOCUMENTED HATE
CRIMES, WHICH WERE COMMITTED BY VARIOUS FACTIONS IN ETHIOPIA. THE DICTATOR
MENGISTU HAILE MARIAM PORTRAYED THE GHARRI PEOPLE AS FOREIGN TERRORIST AND
AUTHORIZED ANIMOSITY AND TERRORIST ACTS EITHER OPENLY OR COVERTLY AGAINST THE
GHARRI PEOPLE. AS A RESULTS I LOST MY OWN FATHER, UNCLES, NEPHEW AND OVER 400
EXTENDED FAMILY ONE DAY IN 1966, IN CITY OF
MOSQUES WERE RAIDED BY THE DICTATORS MILITARY JUNTA AND GHARRI MALES WERE
MURDERED EXECUTION STYLE. IN ONE INSTANCE, 60 MEN BETWEEN 16 AND 32 WERE TIED UP
TOGETHER AND EXECUTED IN COLD BLOOD. EACH ONE OF THE MEN WAS SHOT AT LEAST 25
TIMES. MIRACULOUSLY, ONE MAN SURVIVED AFTER BEING SHOT 28 TIMES. MANY OTHER
GHARRI MEN WERE KILLED BY HANGING AND THEIR BODIES WERE DISPLAYED IN THE MAIN
CITY SQUARE FOR SEVERAL DAYS. PEOPLE
WERE FORCED OUT OF THEIR HOUSES TO GO AND WATCH THE DECEASED TORTURED BODIES.
IN 1968, ONE GHARRI MAN WAS ACCUSED OF PLANTING LAND MINES AND OTHER TERRORIST ACTS AGAINST THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT. HE WAS TIED UP ON THE MILITARY JEEP BACK BUMPER, AND DRIVEN AROUND THE CITY BLOCKS AND TORTURED TO DEATH. HIS FLESH WAS DISPLAYED ON DESIGNATED AREAS ON THE MAIN STREET FOR SEVERAL DAYS BEFORE THE FAMILY COULD PICK THE BODY UP AND BURY HIM. DURING BOTH ADMINISTRATIONS (HAILE SELASSE AND MENGISTU HAILE MARIAM), THE GHARRI PEOPLE WERE HUNTED UNDER THE LABEL OF MUSLIM EXTREMIST ORSomali TERRORIST. AGAIN IN 1991-92 VARIOUS OPPOSITION GROUPS FROM DIFFERENT ETHNIC BACKGROUNDS INCLUDING THE GHARRI PEOPLE MANAGED TO OVERTHROW THE DICTATOR MENGISTU HAILE MARIAM'S GOVERNMENT. STILL THE GHARRI PEOPLE HAVE BEEN DENIED OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE IN THE NEWLY ESTABLISHED TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT OF ETHIOPIA. INSTEAD THE O.L.F. REPRESENTING THE LARGEST ETHNIC GROUP AND HOLDING MAJORITY IN PARLIAMENTARY SEATS MADE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE GHARRI PEOPLE TO HAVE THEIR REGIONAL AUTONOMY. THE OROMO LIBERATION FRONT (O.L.F.) CLAIMED THE GHARRI REGION AS PARTS OF THEIR OWN REGION. THE O.L.F. WAGE A CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE GHARRI PEOPLE, STATING THAT THE GHARRI PEOPLE ARE SOMALIAN, THEREFORE, THEY HAVE NO RIGHT TO CLAIM ANY REGION IN SO CALLED ETHIOPIA.
IN 1895, THE GHARRI WERE DEFEATED BY THE BRITISH AND THE ETHIOPIAN
EMPIRE. Mr. ALI ABDI THE GHARRI'S LEADER WENT TO THE ITALIAN FRONTIER IN SOMALI
LAND AND ASKED FOR MILITARY ASSISTANCE, IN RETURN, THE GHARRI WOULD GRANT THE
ITALIAN GOVERNMENT THE RIGHT OF PASSAGE IN TO ETHIOPIA.
ITALY AGREED AND GAVE MILITARY EQUIPMENTS TO THE GHARRI AND THE ETHIOPIAN
ARMY WAS DEFEATED.
THE GHARRI GAINED CONTROL OF ITS REGION.
IN 1913, THE ETHIOPIAN AND THE BRITISH MADE A JOINT MILITARY CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE GHARRI AND INVADED THE GHARRI LAND. THEY COMMITTED GENOCIDE AGAINST THE GHARRI PEOPLE. THEREFORE, THE GHARRI PEOPLE ENDURED A HEART BREAKING SITUATION DUE TO CENTURIES OF COLONIALIZATION BY THE BRITISH AND ETHIOPIA.
THE BRITISH OCCUPIED THE GHARRI COUNTRY FOR 61 YEARS. DURING THE 61 YEARS OF OCCUPATION, THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT PRACTICALLY ROBBED THE GHARRI OF THEIR LIFE STOCKS AND DESTROYED WILD ANIMALS SUCH AS RHINO, ELEPHANTS, BUFFALO, AND TIGERS. THE BRITISH AND ETHIOPIAN IMPERIALISTS COLLECTED CATTLE AS FORM OF TRIBUTE AND TAXES. IN SOME CASES THEY RAIDED THE GHARRI VILLAGES AND LOOTED THEIR HERDS. THEY JUSTIFIED THE RAID BY STATING THAT THEY ARE ENFORCING THE LAW TO COLLECT TAXES FROM THOSE GHARRI "GANGS" WHO DEFIED THE LAW.
THE BRITISH ALSO HELPED THE ETHIOPIANS TO OCCUPY THE GHARRI COUNTRY IN ORDER TO STOP THE GHARRI PEOPLE FROM MOVING AND KEEPING THEIR RESOURCES TO FAR NORTHERN GHARRI, WHAT IS KNOWN TODAY AS THE SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA.
THE GHARRI LEADERS WERE CAPTURED AND MANY OTHERS WERE MURDERED,
GABABA MAHAD, HIS SON HASSAN GABABA, ALI ABDI WERE AMONGST THE LEADERS THAT WERE CAPTURED BY BRITISH OCCUPYING FORCES. GABABA MAHAD WAS ARRESTED IN NAIROBI FOR 10 YEARS. HE WAS TORTURE IN PRISON AND LATER RELEASED. BUT, HE DIED LATER FROM TRAUMA AND HEAD INJURY.
HIS SON HAJJ HASSAN GABABA ALSO WAS CAPTURED AND KEPT UNDER HOUSE ARREST IN MARSABIT. THE BRITISH OCCUPYING FORCES CONSIDERED HIM AS MILITANT, UNRULY, AND ANTI BRITISH COLONIALIST. THEREFORE, HE WAS DETAINED UNDER BRITISH MILITARY (DEFENSE) REGULATION OF 1939 SECTION NUMBER 23 AND 24.
HE WAS KEPT IN MARSABIT FROM DECEMBER 1942 TO 1950. HE LATER ESCAPED TO ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA AND DECLARED WAR AGAINST BRITISH COLONIAL FORCES, BUT, HE WAS LATER KILLED BY EMPEROR HAILE SELASSE IN 1964.
The traditional Gharri folktales /history
to the Gharri’s oral traditional history and British colonial era records based
on interview they had with then Gharri elders, regarding the origin of the
Gharri people, the Gharri people came from red sea coast and settled at “Serar”,
what is now known as arusi province of Ethiopia, They build mosques and homes
made of stones. Then during the 1600th exodus of people’s movement, from the
north reached the Gharri kingdom and fighting ensued because the enemies started
looting the Gharri properties and herds. The Gharri were outnumbered and they
were forced to immigrate toward southwest, and settled around filtu and Wachile
The Gharri traditional historians state that the Gharri lived there for period of about 60 years without any disturbances. During that time they build stone houses and mosques around filtu and wachile especially around the dawa riverbanks in around fifty miles corridors from Malka Mari through Malka Dirir area.as it were a standard way of building houses. Then later on the exodous of the Borana reached there. It was believed that was the first time they came in contact with the Borana
So, during late 1600 and early 1700, they lived with the Borana. Later on, things changed, and the Gharri were outnumbered by the Boran and the Borana tried to make them subjects and demand tribute. So, the Gharri decided to move back to their previous region of Confur through Juba land. One of the Gharri leaders Sheikh Bule Hussein set out with one of his slave to search for a new country. He traveled down the juba through Rahanwein to Confur and decided that it was a good country. On his return he came out with excellent strategy, that he told the Gharri people to spread the rumors among the Boran that he had acquired a terrible disease on his travels. He and his slaves went to a big baraza of the Borana, but first he prepared a blood like red drink by boiling the bark of a thorn tree; just before the baraza they drank bowls of it. As soon as they sat down, the slaves’ acted purposely as if they were sick and began vomiting red blood like substance at the baraza. A moment later Sheikh Bule Hussein himself acted sick and the Borana got up in shock and fled.The Sheikh Bule Hussein and his slaves dug up two graves and set up tombstones (gravestones.) Upon returning, the Borana witnessed what appeared to be two graves concluded that the new disease was indeed fatal and moved out westward far away from the Gharri area. Then sheikh Bule seized the opportunity and led his tribe away to the east through the desert country of northern juba land.
THE GHARRI PEOPLE SPEAK MULTI LANGUAGES. THEY SPEAK GHARRI KOFFAR, SOMALI, SWAHILI, ARABIC, AFFAN GHARRI, AND AMHARIC. MANY OF THESE LANGUAGES WERE LEARNED THROUGH GEOGRAPHICAL COHABITATION WITH OTHERS. THE OTHERS WERE IMPOSED ON TO THEM BY THE COLONIALIST.
THE GHARRI POPULATIONS ARE 100% MUSLIMS.
THE GHARRI PEOPLE LOST THEIR LIVELIHOOD DUE TO LOOTING AND FAMINE. THEIR LIVE STOCKS WERE LOOTED BY THE EMPEROR HAILE SELASSE AND BY THE DICTATOR MENGISTU HAILE MARIAM GOVERNMENT'S SOLDIERS.
the gharri people are peace loving, god fearing people with traditions and customs peculiar to themselves.
the Gharri people practice arranged marriages. First, the parents of a groom SEND
about a pound OF COFFEE,
tea and Sugar,
tied to the corner of small white sheet, possibly about two yards as a proposal
to mary their daughter. If the family accepts the offer, they (bride family)
respond by saying we heard you (la issan dhageene)
later, the groom’s family follow up with something a little bit bigger to the
mother of the bride as a gift to complete the engagement. Then the bride’s
La Issani Dhabnee or kennine”
agreed for your son to marry our daughter) Depending on the season, soon after,
the family of the groom will ask the bride’s family when they want to set a
wedding date. At this point they either ACCEPTS
the date or request to change the date to WHATEVER
date that is convenient for them. On the wedding ceremony day, women from both
side, the bride and the groom’s family supporters sing songs called “Isso
Allima”, they sing about the bride’s family or clan usually a form of
praising their son and daughter or TEASING ONE another, they sing a song about
their son’s strengths and values.
and female traditional songs,
Gharri young boys sing songs about beautiful girls, as well as teasing songs
that includes an insult and is embarrasements.
“arrab ilman dhira.”
addition, the gharri young men plays gonni, sarki, and Obbee tabachu. Gonni
is a tagging game, or playing tag. Sarki
is a form of dancing and show of stregnth for young men. it also, involves
some form of wrsttling. and Obbee tabachis is target shooting with sharp
sticks (Lawe) while obbee, (an circular object) is
The Gharri young girls sing
they sing about their handsome brothers and beautiful sisters, as well as about
their particular sub clan. also they sing songs to tease fellow girls.
Every Gharri household sacrifices
has a feast to pray for their newborn sons and also gives the newborn an animal
usually a calf or a heifer. In addition, they give their son an animal at the
time of circumcision, if he does not cry during the circumcision as a gift for
The Gharri people do have Fortunetellers. Tools needed to perform are as
follows: Funno, (rope) Sandy ground for Faal, and Kopee
(shoes). Funno is a short rope, approximately, about two yards long and it is
performed mostly by middle age women.
PERFORM KOPEE AND FAAL.
However some women can perform Faal too. It
is used mostly during war time to predict numbers of casualties as well as
successful operation. also it is used to locate lost herds, and or to predict a
future event or events.
Inventions and Discovery:
among many inventions, Gharri INVETED ELEGANT Dasse, and Uttuba, (roofing and
home building materials), Qorri, (wood Plat) muduna, (Wooden Cup) Moqa, (wooden
Spoon) Garbisar, (Scarf) Borrati
(Pillow), Sirre, Alluu,(red Paint) Uchum,(match), kokeed
(wood shoes), Kopee Goga (lether shoes), , and many more.
to treat Gonorrhea and tape worms. Also, is used to treat a broad range of
infections, muscle spasms, and backheach.
is used to wash garments.
Ollombo ((Anti inflamation) is usedprimarily to treat infected skins and to relief of pain and inflammation for both human and animals.
Urr:is used to treat infectious disease caused by insects bits (forANIMALS) ONLY.
Salmac(laxative) is used to treat constipation
Qol Sotowesa: is used totreat hepatitis and Jaundice.
Ampee qumbi:is used to make INKS (Anqasti) FOR quranic writing, cast and incense
Dharkeen:is used primarily to treat fungus infections.
is used as alternative tea and to make red paints for uttuba.
Anan Dana:is used primarily to treat eczema (Robbi)
THE GHARRI POPULATION IS ABOUT 1.9 MILLION TODAY.
BETWEEN 1950'S AND 1979, THE GHARRI WAS REDUCED FROM 6 MILLION TO 1.89 MILLION.
THIS PERIOD BEGINS WITH EMPEROR HAILE SELASSE AND ENDS WITH HIS SUCCESSOR DICTATOR MENGISTU HAILE MARIAM, WHO CONTINUED TO THREATEN THE GHARRI PEOPLE WITH CRUELTIES, GENOCIDE, LOOTING OF THEIR LIFE STOCKS, AND THEIR MINERAL RESOURCES.
THE ETHIOPIAN MONARCHIES AND DICTATOR GOVERNMENTS WERE USING THE BORANA CLANSMEN AS A FORM OF CANNON OR TRAINED DOG TO LOCATE THE GHARRI’S HIDE OUTS. THEY CREATED ETHNIC CONFLICTS, WERE ITS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE TWO INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OR CLANS TO LIVE TOGETHER IN HARMONY. DURING THE 1980S TO PRESENT DAY, THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT SUCCEEDED PUSHING THE GHARRI PEOPLE OUT OF THEIR HOMELANDS AND CITIES TO UNSATURATED DESERT AREA, EXACTLY THE SAME WAY THE WHITE SOUTH AFRICAN DID TO THE MAJORITY of the BLACK SOUTH AFRICANS DURING THE APARTHEID ERA. OFTEN, THEY GO AND CAMP AROUND THE WATER WELLS, AND BLOCK THE INNOCENT GHARRI CIVILIAN FROM GETTING WATER FOR THEIR FAMILIES AND FOR THEIR HERDS.
THEREFORE, THEY LOOTED AS MANY HERDS AS THEY WANTED AND MURDERED AS MANY PEOPLE THEY WISH TO MURDER.
THEY COMMITTED HORRENDOUS CRIMES AND GENOCIDE AGAINST THE GHARRI PEOPLE.
THE ETHNIC CLEANSING THAT WAS TALKED ABOUT IN THE 90S, WAS PRACTICED BY THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT AGAINST THE GHARRI PEOPLE. THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT RECRUITED THE BORANA CLANSMEN IN TO THEIR MILITARY, FOR THE PURPOSE OF ERADICATING THE GHARRI PEOPLE. THE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS KNEW THAT THIS GROUP OF GALLAS OR BORANA CLANSMEN ARE NON-RELIGIOUS PAGANS AND WITH CANNIBALISTIC BEHAVIOR, IN WHICH KILLING AND MUTILATION ARE PARTS OF THEIR SOCIAL AND RITUAL PRACTICES. SO, ALL OF THE RECRUITS WERE SENT TO STATION IN THE GHARRI REGION. THEREFORE, THOSE MILITARY PERSONNEL'S CONTINUED PRACTICING THE SAME RITUALS AS THEIR COUNTER PARTS. THEIR MEMBERS WHO DID NOT MURDER AND MUTILATE A MALE PERSON'S GENITALS INCLUDING THE UNBORN CHILD IS CONSIDERED AS HAVE BEEN FAILED TO DEMONSTRATE HIS MANHOOD SUFFICIENTLY, AND LOOK DOWN UPON HIM AND SEE HIM AS UNFITS TO PARTICIPATE IN A SOCIAL EVENTS BOTH FOR THE PURPOSE OF HAVING A GIRL FRIEND AND AS WELL AS FOR MARRIAGE.
SO, THEY GO AND MURDER THE GHARRI CITIZENS AND MUTILATE THEIR BODY PARTS. THEY TOOK HOME THE MALE GENITALS OR PENIS AS EVIDENCE AND TROPHIES.
MANY TIMES THEY KILL PREGNANT WOMAN FOR THE UNBORN CHILD TO SEE IF SHE IS CARRYING A BOY. SO, THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT SOLDIERS KILL THE GHARRI MALES, YOUNG AND OLD ALIKE, IN THE PROCESS, ACHIEVES RECOGNITION AS HEROES. THOSE VICIOUS MONARCHS AND DICTATOR GOVERNMENT OF ETHIOPIA TOOK ADVANTAGE OF CIRCUMSTANCES AND COMMITTED AN UNTOLD ETHNIC CLEANSING AGAINST THE GHARRI PEOPLE.
STILL TODAY, THE GHARRI PEOPLE ARE BEING PREYED UPON FROM TIME TO TIMES, AND THEIR HORROR EXPERIENCES HAVE NOT BEEN TOLD OR REPORTED TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITIES.
The above article was written by Isaac Omar and posted by Gur Gharri
The above article was written by Isaac Omar and posted by Gur Gharri
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