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Bosaso, Somalia

Sister City since 2014.

Welcome: Marhaba سلام

Mayor: Hassan Abdallar

Miles/kms to Minneapolis: 8,159mi/13130.6 kms

Population: 700,000

History: Formerly known as Bandar Qasim, Bosaso's population is estimated at about 700,000 residents. It is the third largest city in the country after Mogadishu and Hargeisa. While Bosaso is a melting pot, with residents hailing from all the major clans of Somalia, most of its population is from the Harti confederation of Darod sub-clans.

Bosaso was previously known as Bandar Qasim, a name derived from a Somali trader of the same name who is said to have first settled in the area during the 14th century. It is believed that Qasim's favourite camel was called Boosaas, from which derived the current name of the town. The town was thus first called Bandar Qassim after its founder ("Qasim's town"), then later dubbed Bosaso after its founder's trusted camel. This story is, however, purely speculative. Historically, Bosaso has been a Harti Darod stronghold, and evolved as a coastal outpost of their Sultanates. Near Bosaso, at the end of the Baladi valley, lies a 2 km to 3 km long earthwork. Local tradition recounts that the massive embankment marks the grave of a community matriarch. It is the largest such structure in the wider Horn region.

In the mid-18th to early 20th centuries, the city was among the areas ruled by the Majeerteen Sultanate (Migiurtinia). Later forming a part of Italian Somaliland, Bosaso was represented in the parliament of the succeeding Trust Territory of Somalia by the MPs Haji Bashir Ismail Yusufand Ugaas Yassin Ugaas Abdirahman. The town would eventually be administered through the official Bari region in the post-independence period. With the start of the Somali Civil War and the subsequent formation of Puntland in the 1990s, Bosaso has become the business capital of the northeastern regions of Somalia. In recent years, it has served as a refueling station for maritime transport between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf ports, and has also become an important commercial point of entry.

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