Misinformation by the Somali National Movement, a rebel movement against Siad Barre’s Somalia, caused this elementary school in northern Somalia to be bombed. They falsely reported it to ethiopian officials as a weapons bunker/military headquarters. Over 30 children died.

The 1984 Borama Air Raid: How misinformation caused a Borama elementary school to be destroyed.

In 1984, Somalia and Ethiopia were fighting a post-1977 Ogaden “cold” war, by funding rebel groups in the opposing country. Mengistu Haile Mariam (then president of Ethiopia) funded the Somali National Movement in the north of Somalia, and Siad Barre ( then president of Somalia) funded the Western Somali Liberation Front, and the Somali Abo Liberation Front (a pro-Oromo movement).

The rebel movements would pose significant threats to the other’s nation, causing instability and violence in multiple regions.

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Ethiopia conducted multiple air raids into Somalia in the 1980s. These air raids would assist rebel groups against Barre, conduct raids against government facilities.

Unfortunately on January 31st, 1984, one of these air raids struck an elementary school in Borama, Awdal, where over 30 children perished.

The Somali National Movement, one of the rebel groups against Siad Barre’s Somalia, informed their Ethiopian patrons that the Borama elementary school was a weapons depot for Siad Barre, and needed air cover in order to loot a nearby military base. Ethiopia then provided the necessary Air cover, but sadly destroyed the school and its students.

The raids against Borama and Goroyo-Awl were reported as one of the worst military encounters between Ethiopia and Somalia.

Radio Mogadishu broadcasted, in 1984  an emergency announcement by the Somali Defense Ministry that schools, homes, places of businesses, were the targets of USSR MiG-21 and MiG-23 fighter bombers, being operated by Ethiopia.

“These planes also targeted Goroyo Awl, an Awdal village that contained a Somalia military base, a site of SNM raids.” Little damage was reported, and the Ethiopian offenders were pushed back by the air defense forces and Somali military.

As the 37th-anniversary approaches, a small memorial is expected to be held in January of 2021, following covid 19 measures in Borama, Awdal.

Here are the names of the students that passed away on that dark day. May they rest in peace.

Victims of 1984 January Joint Ethiopian-SNM bombing raid on Borama. The first 1-11 listed here are pictured above.

Name Age Grade
1.       Ilyas Ibrahim Maydhane 12 4
2.       Ismail Muse Tuubeh 13 4
3.       Abadir Ibrahim Haji 11 4
4.       Ahmed Idris Ibrahim 12 4
5.       Ahmed Ibrahim Bookh 12 4
6.       Ubah Omar Maydhane 10 3
7.       Anisa Dahir Atayeh 10 3
8.       Mahmoud Mohamed Dahir 10 3
9.       Yasin Dahir Ibrahim 10 3
10.   Abdi Hassan Ali 9 3
11.   Abdi Ahmed Yusuf 10 4
12.   Hussain Mohamed Nur 12 3
13.   Sa’ada Abdulle Farah 10 3
14.   Mohamed Hasan Farah 10 3
15.   Naima Mohamed Hirsi 10 3
16.   Rashid Husain ‘Ige 10 3
17.   Abdi Ismail Hassan 11 3
18.   Mohamed Aw Adan Abdi 8 2
19.   AbdiRizak Sheikh Mohamed 10 2
20.   Sahra Aden 6 1
21.   Faduma Kadarag 6 1
22.   Faiza Ibrahim Muse 12 4
23.   Hibo Ahmed AliYey 11 4
24.   Mohamed Hassan Handuley 13 4
25.   Hinda Ahmed Elmi 10 3
26.   Hibo Barkhad Qayad 9 3
27.   Deqa Yusuf ‘Ige 10 3
28.   Mustafa Ilmi Weyrah 9 2
29.   Abdulahi Nuur Omar 14 8
30.   Ahmed Abdi Barre 11 3
31.   Warla Elmi Subagle 9 3
32.   Su’ad Ali Obsiye 14 7
33.   Ruqiya Maydane Mohamed 10 2
34.   Mohmed Idris Mi’aad 8 2
35.   Khadra Mohamed Hirsi 9 2
36.   Qayad Bakhrad Qayad 11 4
37.   Fadumo Kudarag 6 1



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