Sultanate of the Geledi

The Sultanate of the Geledi (Somali: Saldanadda Geledi, Arabic: سلطنة غلدي) was a Somali kingdom that ruled parts of the Horn of Africa during the late-17th century and 19th century. The Sultanate was governed by the Gobroon Dynasty. It was established by the Geledi soldier Ibrahim Adeer, who had defeated various vassals of the Ajuran Sultanate and founded the House of Gobroon. The dynasty reached its apex under the successive reigns of Sultan Yusuf Mahamud Ibrahim, who successfully consolidated Geledi power during the Bardera wars in 1843,[1] and Sultan Ahmed Yusuf, who forced regional powers such as the Omani Empire to submit tribute. The sultanate was eventually incorporated into Italian Somaliland in 1908, and ended with the death of Osman Ahmed in 1910.[2]

Sultanate of the Geledi

Saldanadda Geledi
سلالة غوبرون
late 17th century–1910
The Geledi Sultanate circa 1915 AD
Common languagesSomali · Arabic
 late 17th century–mid 18th century
Ibrahim Adeer
 1878 – 1910
Osman Ahmed
late 17th century
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Ajuran Sultanate
Italian Somaliland


At the end of the 17th century, the Ajuran Sultanate was on its decline, and various vassals were now breaking free or being absorbed by new Somali powers. One of these powers was the Silcis Sultanate, which began consolidating its rule over the Afgooye region. Ibrahim Adeer led the revolt against the Silcis ruler Umar Abrone and his oppressive daughter, Princess Fay.[3] After his victory over the Silcis, Ibrahim then proclaimed himself Sultan and subsequently started the Gobroon Dynasty.

Geledi Sultanate was a Rahanweyn Kingdom ruled by the noble Geledi clan which controlled the entire Jubba River and extending parts of Shebelle River and dominating the East African trade. The Geledi Sultanate had enough power to force the southern Arabians to pay tribute to the noble Geledi Rulers like Ahmed Yusuf (Gobroon).[4]


The Geledi army numbered 20,000 men in times of peace, and could be raised to 50,000 troops in times of war.[5] The supreme commanders of the army were the Sultan and his brother, who in turn had Malaakhs and Garads under them. The military was supplied with rifles and cannons by Somali traders of the coastal regions that controlled the East African arms trade.


Rulers of the Sultanate of the Geledi:

1Ibrahim Adeerlate 17th century–mid 18th centuryEstablished the Geledi sultanate in the late 17th century. First ruler in the Gobroon Dynasty.
2Mahamud Ibrahimmid-18th-1828[6]Inherited throne from father. Bequeathed it to son.
3Yusuf Mahamud Ibrahim1828–1848[6]Rule marked the start of the golden age of the Geledis.
4Ahmed Yusuf1848–1878[6]Exacted tribute from the Omani king in the coastal town of Lamu by force and dominted the east African trade. He was able to defeat and free other East African Sultanates ruled by the Zanzibar Sultanate.
5Osman Ahmed1878-1910[6]Inherited throne from father. Reign marked the beginning of the decline of the Geledi sultanate.

See also


  1. Historical Dictionary of Somalia. p. xxix. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  2. Historical Dictionary of Somalia. p. 210. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  3. Luling (1993), p.13.
  4. Luling (2002), p.272.
  5. Transactions of the Bombay Geographical Society Bombay Geographical Society pg.392
  6. Historical Dictionary of Somalia. p. 26. Retrieved 2014-02-15.


Further reading

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