Issa is one of the major tribes in horn of Africa and live in Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somaliland. The Issa’s geographical homeland starts from northwest of Ethiopia’s city of Dire Dawa, Djibouti and to historic northern Somaliland city of Zeila at Salal Region. Issa crown their young tribal chief in Zeila City as part of ritual trip that started from Dire Dawa to Zeila, which covers the entire land of Issa tribe. This trip took about seven months and covered more than 200 kilometers.
The 19 year old chief tribe of Issa inherited more than 500 years old culture and bylaws of Issa tribe from his forefathers. The chief tribe of Issa Mustapha Mohamed Ibrahim born 1995 at the year that his successor passed away. This handsome and tall young chief was brought up under watchful of Issa’s elderly in Dire Dawa City of Ethiopia. The chief has special qualities like patience, tolerance, and peace. Ugaas Ibrahim is very quite and dependable man. He is God-fearing man who practices his religion regularly and a conservative.
It was amazing to witness the young chief following 500 years old tradition of his forefathers, after he drunk the milk of goat and cow that belong to a family who provided similar milk to every elected chief tribe of Issa in last five centuries.
The customs of Issa tribe is one of the oldest in the horn of Africa, and the chief is the most powerful man in the tribe and organizes social life of the community, and ensures unity. The chief is the main contact and symbol of Issa, and other neighboring tribes communicate to him directly in case of problem solving or cooperation. The history writes that former Issa tribal chiefs mediated other tribes of the region in civil wars.
The chief tribe is devoted to serve the community and possess experience and skills in problem-solving because he is the brain behind Issa tribe. The chief has consultants who are strong between the communities, and are widely respected.
The new tribal chief of Issa tribe comes after gap of about 14 years between the new chief and his late descendant who received the crown on 1935. The Issa tribe disclosed the identity of the new chief on last year’s 14th Ramadan.
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High-ranking officials from Somaliland, Ethiopia and Djibouti were present at the ceremony at Zeila City of Somaliland, including Premier of Djibouti and Ministers from Somaliland and Ethiopia. This illustrates the traditional link between the people of the three countries, who share culture, language and religion despite their love to peace and stability at time that region is passing through security instability particularly the vicious Somalia.
The government of Somaliland organized the ceremony in Zeila and cabinet members received the new chief to the city.
President of Djibouti Ismail Omer Gaileh is from Issa tribe, and welcomed the new chief to Djibouti – the modern homeland of Issa tribesmen. Issa share Djibouti with Afar and other Somali tribes. Reliable sources ensured that chief is much powerful than Gaileh when it comes to Issa’s affairs.
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By: Abdulaziz Al-Mutiari