Abshir Dhoore and The Battle of Beledweyne

Abshir Dhoore (Abscir Dorre) is most notable for being deputy commander of the notorious Dervish movement and the brother-in-law of Siyyad Mohammed Abdullah Hassan. However, Dhoore continued to mount a rebellion against colonial powers long after the collapse of the Dervish state in 1920.


Abshir Dhoore, along with some of his followers, sought refuge in Ethiopia. At the request of the Italian’s, Ras Tafari Haile Selassie promised to closely monitor Dhoore and keep him confined in Addis Ababa.  Shortly thereafter, he fled from the capital and mounted a rebellion against Italian troops in what is known as ‘The Battle of Beledweyne‘ (La battaglia di Belet-uen).  Dhoore would die in battle against Italian colonial forces.

From The Magazine of the Italian Colonies in 1928 ( Rivista delle colonie italiane). Below is a translation:

In Somalia the perfect organization of irregular bands for border security has had a brilliant confirmation in two fights with groups of exiles who had tried in considerable forces a coup against our seat and the tribes under our submission. On November 23, several armed men under the command of a notorious rebel, Abscir Dorre, who in the past was the author of repeated predatory acts in southern Somalia, suddenly attacked one of our group of border bands north of Belet-Uen.

Our forces repulsed the attack, they counter-attacked definitely chasing the outlaws and inflicting thirty dead including Abscir Dorre and regaining two machine guns, which the rebels had managed with a shot of treason, to take over in 1925 in El Bur. In Abyssinian territory, they formed a pivot and gained support for continuous attacks and raids on our peaceful population.

While our irregular bands settled after the battle, on the day of December 1 they were again attacked by surprise by other forces composed mainly of exiles from the elements of Migiurtinia Merehan our subjects exiles, led this time by Erzi Bogor, son of the Sultan of Migiurtini Osman Mahmud.

After a violent and bloody confrontation, these forces were brilliantly rejected and chased. The enemy losses were a hundred and seventy dead and an unknown number but very significant injuries. A hundred and sixty eight guns were caught. For our part, we had fifty-eight dead and forty wounded, all irregulars.

In relation to the territory where the fighting took place and the means available to the rebels, it had the proportions of a great battle, which will remain reliable for many years as a reminder and warning of our power between these populations and an episode of the noble unshakable loyalty of our subjects, who have, once again, demonstrated their ability to heroically shed their blood for the prestige of our flag, which they now know to be closely related to their well-being and the peace of their country. All of the border populations have received with joy the news of the victory.


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