Victory Pioneers (Somalia)

Victory Pioneers (Somalia)

The Victory Pioneers ( _so. Guulwadayaal) were a neighborhood-level internal security unit active in the closing years of the Siad Barré regime in Somalia, until its ousting in 1991. Numbering approximately 10,000, they were also known as the "People's Militia".


According to a U.S. Library of Congress Country Study published in 1993, "Pioneer units, [existing] in every town and village, ensured loyalty to Siad Barre's regime by encouraging people to spy on each other in the work place, schools, mosques, and private homes." [cite web
author = Federal Research Division, Library of Congress ; edited by Helen Chapin Metz
title = Somalia : a country study
url =
note = Library of Congress Call Number DT401.5 .S68 1993
] The same report attests to the role of the Pioneers in suppressions of the Majerteen clan; in particular, it asserts that in the city of Gaalkacyo, "members of the [Pioneers] raped large numbers of Majeerteen women. In addition, the clan lost an estimated 50,000 camels, 10,000 cattle, and 100,000 sheep and goats."

Other sourcesFact|date=February 2007 have described the "Guulwadayaal" as poorly trained, urban and rural drifters recruited to spy on the bewildered citizens.

After the more widely-known NSS was formally dissolved in 1990 as a palliative measure, its functions were taken over by other units within Barré's internal security apparatus, such as the "Hangash" (a military intelligence unit) and others.


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