In 1980, Ahmed Farah Ali (also known as Idaajaa) conducted an interview an old Somali soldier who served in the Italian colonial army and fought on their behalf during their military campaigns against the Obbia and Migiurtinia Sultanates.
The first part of the interview touches on a number of topics including the establishment of the Obbia Sultanate, important figures in its foundation, its territorial limits, conflicts with neighboring states, and finally the Italian military campaign against the sultanate.
The second part of the interview discusses the Italian military campaign against the Sultanate of Migiurtinia and why more Somalis did not join resistance movements such as those led by Hersi Boqor and Omar Samatar.
The interview provides important and much needed insight into the mindset of the Somali colonial troops. This alternative narrative allows us to contextualise Somalia’s pre-colonial history and the events that led to the subjugation, occupation and colonisation of the two sultanates.