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Last updated: June 2022

COI summary

[Targeting, 4.2, 4.5]

Somali Bantu

Somali Bantu people reside mainly in towns and villages along the Jubba and Shebelle rivers. Locally, in the regions where they live, the Bantu are often majorities in terms of numbers, but they are marginalised in terms of power and education.

Somali Bantu are among the most segregated and discriminated minorities in Somalia. During the civil war, Bantu were among the main victims of violence in southern Somalia, falling victims to looting, rape, enslavement and killing on a very high scale. Physically, the Somali Bantu exhibit features that differentiate them from other Somalis. This is the reason for several derogatory terms used against them by other Somalis.

As in the case with other ethnic minorities, Bantu are considered inferior, which results in systematic exclusion, stigma, social segregation, denial of rights, and low social, economic and political status. They have no access to influential positions and are generally disproportionately vulnerable to conflict-driven displacement. They also cannot expect redress when their rights are violated. Majority clan members refuse to intermarry with Somali Bantu and thus, the members of this group remain isolated. Jobs which they are allowed to do by majority group members are crop farming, construction work, mechanics and other difficult manual labour.

In Lower Jubba, in and around Kismayo, Somali Bantu are facing repression by the majority clan militias working as Jubbaland security forces. In the Al-Shabaab controlled areas not far from Kismayo they face extortion by the extremist militia. Bantu women also enter in marriages with Al-Shabaab fighters that are described as sexual and domestic slavery. The Al-Shabaab fighters further ignore their children with the Bantu girls and women, whom they despise as racially distinct minority with low social status. Cases of abductions, torture and killings by uniformed Somali police or armed groups that the Somali government was unwilling or unable to control, have been also reported, in 2018.

Bantu groups started to organise and arm themselves and, in some locations, have gained strength and are able to fend for themselves.


The Bajuni live mainly in small communities along the coast south of Kismayo, Nchoni, Kamboni and on Bajuni islands. Their principal language is Ki-Bajuni and in general, Bajuni do not have a good knowledge of the Somali language.

Even though there are instances of marriages between Somali men and Bajuni women on the islands, it has been claimed that the local Bajuni population is being exploited by Somali businessmen.

As is the case with other minority groups, Bajuni are considered inferior, which results in systematic exclusion, stigma, social segregation, denial of rights, and low social, economic and political status. They have no access to influential positions and have little chance to get access to justice in case of conflict over land or property and they are generally disproportionately vulnerable to conflict-driven displacement.

Benadiri, including Reer Hamar

Benadiri is an umbrella term for several mostly urban minorities residing along the Benadir coast of southern Somalia extending actually also into Kenya. The Benadiri are generally not seen as a homogenous ethnic minority group. Most Benadiri live in Mogadishu, Merka and Barawa. After fleeing abroad in the early 1990s, the remaining Banadiri population is estimated to be very small, with those in Mogadishu estimated to be around 10 000.

The situation of Benadiri remained difficult also after the Somali civil war. In 2012, it was reported that they were forced to pay bribes and were subjected to extortion by majority clan members. During more recent years, direct security threats against the Benadiri have not been reported. However, in June 2021, the Benadiri community in Mogadishu held a press conference to complain about manipulation of their political rights, as the current Minister of Petroleum tried to encroach on their reserved seats in parliament.

Risk analysis

The acts to which individuals under this profile could be exposed are of such severe nature that they would amount to persecution (e.g. killings, abductions, sexual violence). When the acts in question are (solely) of discriminatory nature, the individual assessment of whether discrimination could amount to persecution should take into account the severity and/or repetitiveness of the acts or whether they occur as an accumulation of various measures.

Not all individuals under this profile would face the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution. The individual assessment of whether there is a reasonable degree of likelihood for the applicant to face persecution should take into account risk-impacting circumstances, such as: the specific minority group that the applicant belongs to, gender, area of origin and the local clan dynamics, etc.

Nexus to a reason for persecution

Available information indicates that persecution of this profile is highly likely to be for reasons of race.

The connection may also be between the absence of protection against persecution and one or more of the reasons under Article 10 QD (Article 9(3) QD).