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Mohamed Qanyare Afrah (Somali: Maxamed Qanyare Afrax, Arabic: محمد افراح قنياري‎) (born c. 1941) was a Somali faction leader and politician who was based south of Mogadishu in the Daynile District.[1] He came in third position in Somalia's first election as a federal country[2] on 10th October 2004 and subsequently appointed as Public Security Minister in the government of Prime Minister Mohamed Ali Gedi, He served as Minister of Security in 2006 but was dismissed after ignoring calls by the Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Ghedi to stop fighting forces of the Islamist Courts.[3] He continued to participate actively in Somali political affairs being reelected to the first post transitional federal parliament of Somalia as a member of parliament, he resigned from his seat representing his (Murusade) clan in the summer of 2013, his seat in the Federal Parliament of Somalia was taken over by his son Cabdiweli Mohamed Qanyare.

Mohamed Qanyare Afrah
محمد قنيري افرح
Somali Faction Leader
In office
May 1995 – July 2008
Preceded byIbrahim Omar Shaaweye
Succeeded byMohamed Nur
Personal details
Born (1941-08-01) August 1, 1941 (age 78)
Ceelbuur, Galguduud, Somalia
Other political
United Somali Congress
ResidenceNairobi, Kenya
OccupationPolitical Activist


Personal lifeEdit

Mohamed Qanyare Afrah joined the Somali Police Force after Somali independence in 1960, he rose to the level of Police Corporal before fleeing into exile in neighboring Kenya in the 70's. In Kenya his brother Hassan Qanyare Afrah a well established business man who had built Speedways Trans - Africa a road haulage company, that grew into one of the preeminent commercial transportation enterprises in East and Central Africa of the 1970s and 1980s, invested in and became a shareholder in Mohamed Qanyare truck haulage company.[4] In exile Mohamed Qanyare was a noted critic of the regime of Somali dictator Siad Barre, financially supporting different opposition movements against the former dictator, this support led to him being declared persona non-grata by the then President of the Republic of Kenya and close personal friend of Siad Barre Daniel arap Moi. Mohamed Qanyare currently lives in semi-retirement in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

Somali Civil WarEdit

United Somali CongressEdit

Qanyare was one of the founding members and financiers of the United Somali Congress (USC) created in Rome Italy on January 27th 1987 he had been from the start a strong supporter of the legitimacy of the self proclaimed government of Ali Mahdi and was a key facilitator of the splinter faction known as the "USC Mahdi," because of their following of Ali Mahdi Mohamed (Abgaal clan). The USC Mahdi faction was distinct from the another branch run by Mohamed Farah Aideed, but he eventually changed sides serving as Minister of Interior in the so called "Saalbalaar" government administration set up by the USC/SNA faction led by Mohamed Farah Aideed.

During the early period of the civil war between 1993-1999 Qanyare was an active participant in several peace conference's held in Egypt, Ethiopia & Kenya, he was considered to be a fairly well established warlord, who derived income from several checkpoints around the main Bakaraa market commercial area of Mogadishu, as well as taxing the activities of the Dayniile airstrip, one of the many airstrips around the city of Mogadishu open at that time due to the closure of the main airport, as well as being a shareholder in the El-Ma'an port[citation needed]. used by Mogadishu businesses in lieu of the decade long closure of the main Mogadishu port.

Transitional National GovernmentEdit

In February 2001, Qanyare was persuaded to join the Transitional National Government (TNG).[5] He served as the fisheries minister. In 2004, he was a presidential hopeful, but lost to Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed.[6]

Transitional Federal GovernmentEdit

In December, 2004, Qanyare was appointed the position of Security Minister in the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). At the time, he was described as "one of Somalia's most heavily armed politicians" having a 2,000 man militia with dozens of technicals. He was also described as "a prominent businessman who runs an airstrip near the capital used by international aid agencies and importers of the stimulant leaf qat grown in Kenya and chewed by Somali men."[7]

On November 8, 2005, a noticeable rift in the TFG was reported when Qanyare, along with fellow fraction leader and Commerce Minister Muss Sudi Yalahow, refused to meet with Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi until the capital was relocated to Mogadishu. At the time, Jowhar, the seat of rival fraction leader Mohammed Dheere, was being considered as a capital seat instead because it was less violent. In early February 2006, Qanyare was pushing an alternate proposal to move the government seat to Baidoa, which irked Dheere greatly.

Qanyare later lost his post after entering into battle with the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) in the Second Battle of Mogadishu.

Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT)Edit

Mohamed Qanyare was a member of the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT), a group of Mogadishu warlords who sought to counter the growing influence of the ICU. The group was funded by the US CIA. Intermittent fighting between the ARPCT and rivals, including the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) took place early in 2006, such as a four-day battle which concluded on March 27, 2006.[8]

Second Battle of MogadishuEdit

During the months of May - June, 2006, the ARPCT fought with the ICU for control over the ruined capital. The ARPCT lost, and Qanyare and other warlords were forced to flee or capitulate to the ICU.

On June 5, Qanyare and his forces were forced out of the Deyniile neighborhood. Garam-Garam was the "chief Commander of the militiamen loyal to Mohamed Qanyare" until he surrendered after the Second Battle of Mogadishu.[9] Qanyare was the only warlord in Somalia who have never been supported by Ethiopia. In any regard, after the battle, Qanyare stayed in Somalia while all other warlords defected to Ethiopia.[10]

For Qanyare's disobedience acting against the TFG government in entering into the conflict with the ICU, Qanyare along with other warlords were relieved of their government posts.

Return to SomaliaEdit

On July 23, 2006, after regrouping a force of 150 men in Derri in central Somalia and escaping an assassination attempt by the ICU, Qanyare joined the TFG government at Baidoa to seek safe haven. Mohamed Dooli was mentioned as one of Qanyare's militia commanders at this time.[11] Islamists bristled at the news.[12]

Return to MogadishuEdit

On December 29, after the Fall of Mogadishu to the government, Mohamed Qanyare returned to the capital and made a plea for the federal government to not disarm the militias.[13] On December 31, surrounded in headquarters compound by a dozen technicals, he claimed to have 1,500 men under his command, and asserted government control over Mogadishu was an illusion, owed to the military might of Ethiopia.[14]

Disarmament of MilitiaEdit

On January 17, 2007, Mohamed Qanyare, along with Muse Sudi Yalahow were the first warlords of Mogadishu to disarm, turning over their weapons and committing their militiamen to the government, though some of Sudi's arms remained in other locations controlled by Qanyare and Mohammed Dhere. The arms were accepted by the chief commander of the government army, General Naji.[15]


  1. ^ Meehan, Emily (2008-08-19). "Notes From a Failed State". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  2. ^ Turner, B. (2017-02-07). The Statesman's Yearbook 2006: The Politics, Cultures and Economies of the World. Springer. ISBN 9780230271340.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Faction leader joins interim government IRIN
  6. ^ Somalia's presidential hopefuls BBC
  7. ^ AU Hails Somalia's New Cabinet and its leadership Geeska Afrika
  8. ^ SOMALIA: Uneasy calm as guns fall silent in Mogadishu IRIN
  9. ^ Warlords lost Mogadishu Control after their militiamen gave in
  10. ^ Ethiopia: Zenawi's Sea of Lies Geeska Afrika
  11. ^ Somalians protest as rebels enter new towns Sapa-AP
  12. ^ Somali Islamists Chide Govt AFP
  13. ^ "Somalia: News summary for December 29, 2006". SomaliNet. Archived from the original on 17 January 2007. Retrieved 20 November 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  14. ^ AP Interview: Former warlord calls government control of Somali capital an illusion Associated Press
  15. ^ "Somalia: Warlords lay down weapons". SomaliNet. 17 January 2007. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 20 November 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)