Coordinates: 06°46′11″N 047°25′51″E / 6.76972°N 47.43083°E / 6.76972; 47.43083
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Galkayo is located in Somalia
Location within Somalia
Galkayo is located in Horn of Africa
Location within the Horn of Africa
Galkayo is located in Africa
Location within Africa
Coordinates: 06°46′11″N 047°25′51″E / 6.76972°N 47.43083°E / 6.76972; 47.43083
Country Somalia
Regional State Puntland
 • MayorsHassan Mohamed Jama (Jidka) (Puntland)
Mohamud Abdullahi Kulmiye (Galmudug)
 • Total745,000
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)

Galkayo (Somali: Gaalkacyo, Arabic: جالكعيو,[2] Italian: Gallacaio also known as Rocca Littorio) is the third-largest city in Somalia which serves as the capital of the north-central Mudug region. The city is divided into two administrative areas separated by a loose boundary.[3]

Geographically, Galkayo is divided into four main quarters: Garsoor, Horumar, Israac, and Wadajir. Galmudug fully controls Garsoor, Wadajir, and Horumar (The neutral areas are sited by the Old Galkayo market and the loose boundary, while Puntland controls israac in the north .[4]

Galkayo serves as the capital of the Galkayo District. The city has grown considerably in recent times and serves as a commercial hub.[5]


At its founding, the city was primarily inhabited by pastoralists, who sporadically fought in clan groups over resources like water and grazing land.[6] In particular, the Darod, dominant in the north of the city, and the Hawiye, dominant in the south of the city, fought over the city due to their long-standing rivalry.[6]

Galkayo was formally established in the late 19th century by Sultan Yusuf Ali Kenadid of the Hobyo Sultanate.[7] Kenadid, as part of an ongoing power struggle with his rivals in the Majeerteen Sultanate, signed a treaty with the Kingdom of Italy to become a protectorate, thereby passing the city into nominal Italian control.[7] Under Italian rule, the city's communities were split along the "Tomaselli Line" to prevent further conflict between the Darod and the Hawiye.[6]

After World War II, Italian Somaliland became the Trust Territory of Somalia under the guidance of the United Nations. At this time, the city saw significant unity among rival groups due to growing Somali nationalism, spurred by the growing influence of the Somali Youth League, a Somali nationalist political party.[7] Following the independence of Somalia in 1960, Galkayo was made the center of Galkayo District and the capital of Mudug region.[8]

The city fell back into conflict during the rule of Siad Barre, who actively took advantage of class differences within the city to exercise his power.[9] In particular, Barre, a member of a Darod subclan, backed the Darod people in their struggle over the city. On 12 November 1989, a group of Hawiye officers mutinied against Barre's regime for this clan favoritism.[10] This mutiny was put down a day later by a militia led by Maslah Mohammed Barre, Siad Barre's son.[10] Hawiye villages around Galkayo were punished in response to the mutiny by Barre's militia, furthering the divide between them and the Darod, and leading to a subsequent mutiny in Mogadishu on 5 December 1989.[10]

During the Somali Civil War, the Hawiye rebel organization United Somali Congress attacked Darod elements in Galkayo, starting a major clan war surrounding the city and Mudug region as a whole.[6] The fighting clans drew administrative borders through the city, splitting it between the Darod-controlled Puntland and the Hawiye-controlled Galmudug, strengthening the divide between them.[6] As the fighting of the Somali Civil War became more violent, the United Nations intervened with United Nations Operation in Somalia II, and negotiated peace within the Mudug region and the withdrawal of militant fighters from Galkayo.[6]

Conflicts between Puntland and Galmudug authorities continued to erupt over the status of Galkayo. In November 2015, anger over the construction of a road in Puntland caused a skirmish which left 20 dead, 120 injured, and 90,000 displaced.[6] Another conflict arose in October 2016 over construction rights in a disputed area of the city, which saw a ceasefire agreement meant to allow free transport of goods and people between the two administrations and establish a joint police force to protect the entire city.[6]



Galkayo is situated in north-central Somalia, in the heart of the Mudug region. Nearby settlements include to the east Godad (7.1 nm), to the northeast Bali busle (16.2 nm), to the north Halobooqad (4.4 nm), to the northwest Beyra (12.8 nm), to the west Xera Jaale-bayra (23.8 nm), to the southwest Saaxo (30 nm), to the south Laascadale (10.2 nm), and to the southeast Arfuda (13.0 nm).[11][12] The largest cities in the country most proximate to Galkayo are Hobyo (217 km), Garowe (219 km) and Qardho (358 km).[13] Shimbiris, the highest peak in Somalia, is located some 432 km to the north in the Cal Madow mountain range.[14]


Galkayo has a hot arid climate (Köppen BWh).[15]

Climate data for Galkayo
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 39.0
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 32.5
Daily mean °C (°F) 25.2
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 17.9
Record low °C (°F) 11.0
Average rainfall mm (inches) 0
Average rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm) 0 0 0 2 5 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 11
Average relative humidity (%) (at 14:00) 51 57 56 61 63 56 58 61 56 58 63 63 59
Percent possible sunshine 80 80 77 68 66 71 61 66 72 63 74 77 71
Source 1: Deutscher Wetterdienst[16]
Source 2: Food and Agriculture Organization: Somalia Water and Land Management (percent sunshine)[17]


Gakayo native Asha Gelle Dirie, a former minister in the Puntland government.

Galkayo is situated in the north-central part of Somalia, and is one of the most developed towns in the region.[18] The city is divided into four main districts called Garsoor, Horumar, Israac, and Wadajir respectively. The Puntland Administration fully controls Garsoor, Israac, and Horumar (The neutral areas are sited by the Old Galkayo market and the loose boundary, while Galmudug controls Wadajir in the South.

Although relatively stable compared to southern Somalia,[5] sporadic targeted assassination attempts by Al-Shabaab militants against Puntland public officials led to a police crackdown and comprehensive administrative reform in 2010 and 2011.[19][20] The Puntland and Galmudug administrations subsequently signed an accord in Garowe in February 2011, officially agreeing to cooperate on security, economic and social matters so as to strengthen inter-regional relations.[21]


An electronics store at a Galkayo shopping mall.

A lively trading city, Galkayo is a center for local business.[2][18] Hotels, guest houses, restaurants, supermarkets and newly erected office blocks earmarked for the government and NGOs line the streets, juxtaposed by the tall minarets of masjids. The city also offers numerous social services such as hospitals, petrol stops and police stations, with the former Somali Army barracks kept in good condition and renovated.[5]

Moreover, Galkayo is a hub of calligraphic art, serving as a training ground of sorts for local visual artists. Elaborate murals and phrases in Arabic and English adorn the walls of the city's many office and shop buildings.[5]


In 2010, the Food and Agriculture Organization noted that population estimates for Galkayo ranged from 75,000 to 315,000, with a United Nations Development Programme estimate for 2005 being 105,000.[22] The International Crisis Group gives a figure of 137,000 for 2015.[23]

The Arab Salah, Habar Gidir, Leelkase, Sheekhaal, Awrtable, and Majeerteen are mainly the dominant in Galkayo.

The neighborhood of Wadajir in the southern area of the city, which is controlled by Galmudug, is mainly inhabited by the Sa'ad sub-division of the Habar Gidir, a Hawiye subclan and the Saleebaan Abdalle and Qubeys both sub-divisions of the Surre Dir.[24][25]


East Africa University's Galkayo campus.

Galkayo has a number of academic institutions. According to the Puntland Ministry of Education, there are 40 primary schools in the Galkayo District. Among these are the Axmed Guray school in Israac, named after Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi (Ahmed Gurey); Al-Qudus in Horumar; and Barkhadle in Garsoor, built in honour of the 13th century scholar and saint Yusuf bin Ahmad al-Kawneyn (Aw Barkhadle).[26] Puntland secondary schools in the area include Haji Ali Bihi, Cumar Samatar Secondary School (CSSS), Yasin Nor Hassan and Galkayo High.[27][28] In addition, several new schools were opened in 2012.[29]

Institutions of higher learning with a presence in the city include the Puntland State University, Puntland University of Science and Technology, Galkayo University,[30] and Mudug University.[31] East Africa University (EAU) also has a Galkayo branch, one of its seven campuses in Puntland.[32] Additionally, the public Galkayo Vocational Training Centre and the privately owned Mudug Vocational Training Center provide technical training.


Galkayo is home to Awale Stadium, a sporting facility that is named in memory of Mohammed Awale Liban, a Somali nationalist who designed the flag of Somalia in 1954. The stadium hosts many local football clubs, including FC YAMAYS, RPS FC, Dowladda Hoose FC, Comced FC, Homboboro FC, Telecom FC and Galcom FC.[33] In addition, the city also has another stadium Abdullahi Issa stadium in the South, named after Abdullahi Issa, the Prime Minister of Italian Somalia during the trusteeship period, serving from February 29, 1956, to July 1, 1960. Various courts built specifically for basketball and volleyball also exist in the city.


Air transportation in Galacyo is served by the Abdullahi Yusuf Airport, operated by Puntland[34] and Oshaco International Airport operated by Galmudug.[35] Unlike Abdullahi Yusuf Airport, Oshaco International Airport does not have IATA and ICAO airport codes as it is not recognized by any international entity. In September 2013, the Somali federal government signed an official cooperation agreement with its Chinese counterpart in Mogadishu as part of a five-year national recovery plan. The pact will see the Chinese authorities reconstruct several major infrastructural landmarks in the Somali capital and elsewhere, as well as the road linking Galkayo with Burao.[36]


Various media organizations are based in Galkayo. These include Radio Daljir, Radio Galmudug and Radio Codka-Mudug. Radio Gaalkacyo, formerly known as Radio Free Somalia, also broadcasts from the city.[37]


Domesticated ostrich at the Taar City Hotel in Galkayo.

Several establishments in Galkayo offer accommodation. Among these hotels and guest houses are the Kamaal Hotel, the Classic Hotel and Restaurant, and the Saylan Hotel. The Taar City Hotel is especially noted for its domesticated ostriches.


Galkayo consists of the following neighborhoods: Israac, Horumar, Garsoor and Wadajir.[38]

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Galkayo City". Fortune of Africa. 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2023.
  2. ^ a b Dr Badal Kariye Ba Bsit Ma Mba & Phd, The Kaleidoscopic Lover: The Civil War in the Horn of Africa & My Itinerary for a Peaceful Lover, (AuthorHouse: 2010), p.116.
  3. ^ "Addendum to 2010 UNHCR Eligibility Guidelines for Assessing the InternationalProtection Needs of Asylum-Seekers from Somalia, relating specifically to the city of Galkacyo" (PDF). Retrieved 16 December 2021.
  4. ^ Somalia Regional Corridors Infrastructure Programme (SRCIP) (Report). African Development Bank Group. Retrieved 20 January 2023. The Puntland controlled area comprises of Garsoor, Horumar and Israac sub-districts while Wadajir sub-district is administered by Galmudug State
  5. ^ a b c d Abdul Latif Dahir, Suleiman Abdullahi (3 April 2011). "Galkayo: A peaceful island in Somalia". Africa Review. Archived from the original on 17 November 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "Galkacyo Conflict Assessment" (PDF). Interpeace. March 2017.
  7. ^ a b c "Galkayo City". Fortune of Africa Somalia. 2013-09-04. Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  8. ^ Somalia. Ministry of Information. Public Relations Section (1965). Somalia: A Divided Nation Seeking Reunification. Public Relations Service, Ministry of Information. p. 11.
  9. ^ Compagnon, Daniel (2013-10-22). "State-sponsored violence and conflict under Mahamed Siyad Barre: the emergence of path dependent patterns of violence". Reinventing Peace. Retrieved 2023-05-11.
  10. ^ a b c Clarke, Walter S. (December 1992). "Background Information for Operation Restore Hope" (PDF). Strategic Studies Institute.
  11. ^ "Gaalkacyo, Somalia". Falling Rain. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  12. ^ "Barri-Fintir, Somalia". Falling Rain. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  13. ^ "Gaalkacyo, Somalia". Weather-Forecast. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  14. ^ "Gaalkacyo distinction:25km". Weather-Forecast. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  15. ^ "Gaalkacyo, Somalia - Weather". AccuWeather. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  16. ^ "Klimatafel von Galkayo (Gallacaio) / Somalia" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961-1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  17. ^ "Long term mean monthly sunshine fraction in Somalia". Food and Agriculture Organization. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  18. ^ a b "Galkayo". Jubba Airways. Archived from the original on 21 March 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  19. ^ "Retired Puntland official killed in Galka'yo; calm returns in northern Somalia after clash". All Headline News. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  20. ^ Ahmed, Abdalle (21 April 2011). "Somalia: Puntland President fires Mudug governor, dissolves Galkaio district council". Raxanreeb. Archived from the original on March 30, 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  21. ^ "An Agreement Jointly Signed by Puntland and Galmudug" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 June 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  22. ^ "Livelihood Baseline Profile: Galkayo Urban" (PDF). Food and Agriculture Organization. October 2010. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  23. ^ Yusuf, Zakaria; Khalif, Abdul (10 December 2015). "Galkayo and Somalia's Dangerous Faultlines". International Crisis Group. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  24. ^ "Janes | Latest defence and security news".
  25. ^ "Clan fighting in central Somalia kills 20". International Pathfinder Solutions. 2010-12-08. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-05-24.
  26. ^ "Puntland - Primary schools". Ministry of Education of Puntland. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  27. ^ "Secondary".
  28. ^ "Puntland - Secondary schools". Ministry of Education of Puntland. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  29. ^ "Somalia: New schools and businesses open in Galkayo". Garowe Online. 10 July 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  30. ^ "Galkayo University". Galkayo University. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  31. ^ "Administration Office". Mudug University. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  32. ^ "A programme for improving governance, leadership and management capacity of the three health authorities in Somalia". Mannion Daniels Limited. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  33. ^ "Huge Demos in Central Regions Welcomed Galmudug Elections". Somali Update. Archived from the original on 21 October 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  34. ^ "Handy Galcaio airport information from Skyscanner". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  35. ^ "Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  36. ^ "Somalia: Gov't, China Officially Sign Cooperation Agreement". Dalsan Radio. 9 September 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  37. ^ Life & Peace Institute. "Galkayo". Horn of Africa Bulletin. 8 (1–6): 2.
  38. ^ "ReliefWeb Mobile - Report: Monthly Nutrition Update for Somalia Jun 2002". Retrieved 17 April 2018.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]