Barre Adan Shire Hiiraale

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Barre Adan Shire
باري ادن شاير
Minister of Defense of Somalia
In office
Personal details
BornGeladi, Ethiopia

Barre Adan Shire (Somali: Barre Aadan Shire, Arabic: باري ادن شاير‎), also known as Barre Hiiraale, Barre "Hirale" Aden Shire, or Abdikadir Adan Shire, is a former Minister of Defense of the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG). He was previously the TFG Minister for National Reconstruction and Resettlement. Hiiraale was also the Chairman of the now defunct Juba Valley Alliance, which controlled Southern and Southwestern Somalia, including the nation's third-largest city, the strategic port town of Kismayo. During his time in office, Hiiraale presided over the country's largest autonomous area, as well as commanding an extensive militia.[citation needed]


Barre Hiiraale was born in Geladin, which today is part of the Ogaden region in Ethiopia, he later moved to neighbouring Abudwak in the Galgadud region of Somalia, and from there on to Mogadishu for secondary school. For his post-secondary education, Hiiraale attended the prestigious United States Military Academy at West Point;[1] that scholarship and patronage were part of Cold War-era treaties signed by Mogadishu and Washington in exchange for Washington's use of naval facilities in the coastal Somali cities of Kismayo, Mogadishu, and Berbera. Hiiraale returned to Somalia with a degree in Military Science, as well as Political Relations in military warfare.

Somali Civil War[edit]

In the years of the Somali Civil War, he served as the commander of the Somali National Front (SNF).[1] Under Col. Hirale's command, the SNF defeated the forces of Mohamed Farah Aidid and his USC in the Gedo region; the SNF then took control of Kismayo and the Lower Jubba region with the defeat and ousting of Mohammed Said Hersi "Morgan" and his SRRC Allied militias composed of the Ogaden SPM, the Harti SSDF, and the Rahanweyn RRA.

Juba Valley Alliance[edit]

He was chairman of the Juba Valley Alliance (Isbahaysiga Dooxada Jubba), which declared autonomy from the rest of Somalia in 1998, and controlled Kismayo and the Juba Valley until the defeat of his forces by the ICU in 2006.

On August 6, 2001, after 10 days of heavy fighting in a battle involving 40 technicals and 1,000 militiamen, the JVA took the town of Jilib from the SRRC.[2]

With hopes to end the violence, Col. Hirale participated in the Somali Reconciliation Conference, held in Eldoret, Kenya, in 2002.[3]

Transitional Federal Government[edit]

Col. Hirale serves as Defense Minister in Somalia's Transitional Federal Government. In November 2005, he was instrumental in making a compromise proposal to help establish the TFG.[4]

He suffered the loss of Kismayo in September 2006,[5] and further defeat during ICU's takeover of the Juba Valley in October 2006.[6] On October 14, his wife was arrested in Kismayo, along with a number of other women.[7]

He regrouped his forces in Gedo region, and successfully lead the counterattacking TFG forces, who, alongside Ethiopian troops, won successive battles during December 2006, eventually forcing the ICU back to Mogadishu, where, on December 29, the TFG and Ethiopian forces took Mogadishu.

Retaking the Juba Valley[edit]

Fall of Mogadishu and advance on Kismayo, December 27–29, 2006

On December 29, 2006, TFG forces under Defense Minister (and former head of the Juba Valley Alliance) Barre Adan Shire Hiiraale entered Bu'aale, approximately 150 km north of Kismayo.[8] Ethiopian jets continued to patrol over Jilib,[9] and a column of 15 tanks was reported heading towards Bu'aale and Jilib; the Islamic militia reportedly mined the road to Jilib.[10]

Battle of Jilib[edit]


On December 31, 2006, the Battle of Jilib determined the control of the approaches to Kismayo; the result of the battle was the retaking of Kismayo on January 1, 2007, which was abandoned by ICU forces.

Peace Building[edit]

On December 31, 2006, the Defense minister and his army confronted two opposing militias who were disputing the control of a vehicle left behind. Apparently, upon the Defense minister approaching them, they both united their guns towards the Defense minister and his army, forcing them to defend themselves; the casualties reported numbered 10 for the combined militia and 2 for the Defense minister.[11][citation needed]

Pardon Offered to Islamists[edit]

On January 2, 2007, in Kismayo, Col. Hiiraale offered an amnesty to former members of the ICU forces, he also spoke about the strength of the new government: "You have heard a lot of times that the transitional government is weak... But I will confirm [to] you that the national army are in control of all regions in the country - east, centre and south."[12]

Arrest by Ethiopia[edit]

On May 3, 2011, it was reported Barre Hirale was arrested by Ethiopian forces near Dolow, in the Gedo region, but was released shortly thereafter.[13]


  1. ^ a b "Somalia: Current Conditions and Prospects for a Lasting Peace" (PDF). Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Simultaneous Heavy Fightings Erupt in Somalia". Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  3. ^ "SOMALIA: Interview with Barre Adan Shire, chairman of the Juba Valley Alliance (JVA)". Retrieved 15 October 2014. IRIN
  4. ^ "Rival lawmakers resolve to end rifts with Somali government". November 15, 2005. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  5. ^ "Somalia's Islamists Resume Their Momentum and Embark on a Diplomatic Path". Archived from the original on 22 April 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  6. ^ "War Clouds Loom over Somalia as Military Fronts Open Up Amid a Flurry of Diplomacy". Archived from the original on 22 April 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  7. ^ Somalia Islamists arrest women, incl. defense minister’s wife Garowe Online Archived October 21, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Ethiopia-Somalia forces seize control of southern Buale city". Archived from the original on 17 January 2007. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Somali prime minister arrives to cheers in Mogadishu". Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  10. ^ "Somali PM enters Mogadishu, crowds line route". Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  11. ^ "Barre Hiiraale's army disarm militia in Diinsoor". The Gedonet.
  12. ^ "Somalia's PM: Islamic fighters scattered, major fighting likely over". Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  13. ^ "Ethiopia Detains Former Somali Defense Minister". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2014.