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Abdi Hasan Awale or Abdi Qeybdiid (Somali language: Cabdi Xasan Cawaale (Qeybdiid) , Arabic language: عبدي حسن عوالي قيبديد‎) was born in 1948 in Galkacyo, Somalia. He was elected on August 14, 2012 as the new president of Galmudug state, a semi-atonomous region in Somalia. In December 2006, he led an engagement on behalf of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), backed by a sizable contingent of Ethiopian troops, known as the Battle of Bandiradley. He is also the "Mad Abdi" of the July 12, 1993 Abdi House Raid, which presaged the First Battle of Mogadishu.[1]

Career synopsis[]

Qeybdiid rose to prominence as Mohammed Farrah Aidid's interior minister in its clashes with UN forces during the so-called "nation-building" phase of UNOSOM II in 1993. Like Aidid, he is a member of the Sacad sub-clan of the Habar Gedir clan.[citation needed]

In 1993, an assault force of Delta Force commandos backed up by nearly 140 United States Army Rangers and four US Army Special Forces operators under the command of Gen. William F. Garrison and Col. Lee Van Arsdale captured Qeybdiid together with Osman Ali Atto. He stayed in American custody for some months. The arrest is portrayed in the film Black Hawk Down.

By 2001, he was the chief of police over Mogadishu as part of the new Transitional National Government (TNG).[2]

In 2006, he fought with the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT) against the Islamic Courts Union in the Second Battle of Mogadishu. They surrendered on 11 July 2006, the last Alliance forces to do so.[3]

An August 24, 2006 article in the Sudan Tribune alleges Qeybdiid's involvement with a shadowy Ethiopian-backed intelligence unit known as the Central Revolutionary Investigation Department.[4]

In late 2006, after retreating from Mogadishu, he fought under the name of the newly formed autonomous region known as Galmudug but without any known affiliation or permission as yet. He led its forces, fighting alongside Ethiopia and Puntland allies, in the Battle of Bandiradley.

On January 1, 2007, he returned to Mogadishu where he pled for there to be no reprisals against the defeated Islamists.[5]

Arrest in Sweden[]

In 2005, he was arrested in Lund, Sweden on suspicion of genocide, but released after a hearing in Gothenburg found insufficient evidence for a prosecution. In October 2005, the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reported that a video recording incriminating Qeybdid had circulated amongst politically active exiled Somalis for a long time. The film showed how the police chief participated in the execution of young boys in the Somali town of Kismayo in 1991. The sequence is described as brutal, showing someone allegedly looking like Qeybdid interrogating a group of captured child soldiers before giving his militamen orders to open fire on them and kill them.[6] Other claims related to his role in the militia of Mohamed Farrah Aidid in 1993, the time of the First Battle of Mogadishu.

The Swedish authorities' attempts to interrogate Qeybdid proved fruitless, as he refused to answer questions on the grounds that the interpreter provided for him was a member of an enemy clan. The defence attorney appointed to him said, however, that he maintained his innocence. It is believed that the murder of Swedish journalist Martin Adler in Mogadishu could have been carried out by his followers in retaliation for this arrest. However, rumors abound about the motives behind the killing, and no evidence linking Qeybdid to the murder has ever been produced.[7]


  1. Chris Albin-Lackey, Human Rights Watch (Organization), "So much to fear": war crimes and the devastation of Somalia, Human Rights Watch, 2008, p. 44
  2. "Disorder reigns, but Somalia rulers see calm, progress". 2001-03-12. Retrieved 2007-01-29. 
  3. Somali Islamists win city battle, BBC, July 11, 2006
  4. "Ethiopia: Zenawi’s sea of lies". 2006-08-24. 
  5. "Somalia: No revenge against Islamists - former warlord". SomaliNet. 2007-01-01. Archived from the original on 28 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-29. 
  6. [1] includes a picture from the scene in the video, in which a 17-year-old is captured and killed.
  7. Swedish journalist's murder in Somalia may have been act of revenge, International News Safety Institute, June 25, 2006

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