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Yusuf Ali Kenadid

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Title: Yusuf Ali Kenadid  
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Subject: Cape Guardafui, Galkayo, Garoowe, Majeerteen, Somali people, Osmanya alphabet, Yusuf Ali, Hobyo, Sultanate of Hobyo, Dubats
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Yusuf Ali Kenadid

Yusuf Ali Kenadid
يوسف علي كينايديض
1st Sultan of the Sultanate of Hobyo
Portrait of Sultan Yusuf Ali Kenadid in the late 1800s.
Reign 1880s-early 1900s
Full name Yuusuf Cali Keenadiid
Predecessor inaugural
Successor Ali Yusuf Kenadid
Religious beliefs Islam

Yusuf Ali Kenadid (Somali: Yuusuf Cali Keenadiid, Arabic: يوسف علي كينايديض‎) was a Somali Sultan. He was the founder of the Sultanate of Hobyo in the 1880s.


Yusuf Ali Kenadid was born into a Majeerteen Darod family, the uncle of Osman Yusuf Kenadid, who would go on to create the Osmanya writing script for the Somali language.

Majeerteen and Hobyo Sultanates

Main articles: Sultanate of Hobyo, Majeerteen Sultanate and Somali aristocratic and court titles

Initially, Kenadid's goal was to seize control of the neighboring Majeerteen Sultanate (Migiurtinia), which was then ruled by his cousin Boqor Osman Mahamuud. However, he was unsuccessful in this endeavor, and was eventually forced into exile in Yemen. A decade later, in the 1870s, Kenadid returned from the Arabian Peninsula with a band of Hadhrami musketeers and a group of devoted lieutenants. With their assistance, he managed to overpower the local Hawiye clans and establish the kingdom of Hobyo.[1]

Majeerteen-Italian treaties

In late 1888, Sultan Kenadid entered into a treaty with Italy, making his kingdom a protectorate known as Italian Somaliland. His uncle and rival Boqor Osman would sign a similar agreement vis-a-vis his own Majeerteen Sultanate the following year. Both Sultan Kenadid and Boqor Osman had entered into the protectorate treaties to advance their own expansionist goals, with Kenadid looking to use Italy's support in his ongoing power struggle with Boqor Osman over the Majeerteen Sultanate, as well as in a separate conflict with the Sultan of Zanzibar over an area to the north of Warsheikh. In signing the agreements, the rulers also hoped to exploit the rival objectives of the European imperial powers so as to more effectively assure the continued independence of their territories.[2]

The terms of each treaty specified that Italy was to steer clear of any interference in the sultanates' respective administrations.[2] In return for Italian arms and an annual subsidy, the Sultans conceded to a minimum of oversight and economic concessions.[3] The Italians also agreed to dispatch a few ambassadors to promote both the sultanates' and their own interests.[2]


However, the relationship between Hobyo and Italy soured when Sultan Kenadid refused the Italians' proposal to allow a British contingent of troops to disembark in his Sultanate so that they might then pursue their battle against the Somali religious and nationalist leader Mohammed Abdullah Hassan's Dervish forces.[4] Viewed as too much of a threat by the Italians, Sultan Kenadid was eventually exiled to Aden in Yemen and then to Eritrea, as was his son Ali Yusuf, the heir apparent to his throne.[5]

See also



  • The Majeerteen Sultanates

External links

  • The Majeerteen Sultanates
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