King's College London
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Armies Abroad: Britain in Somaliland

Establishment of the Dervish State

The reasons for establishing the Dervish state are varied. It is clear that the colonisation of the region by the British as well as the increasing land appropriation by Ethiopia was indeed a factor.

Similarly with the presence of the British, Hassan felt that they were trying to convert Somalis to Christianity.

However, other sources suggest that Hassan was also consolidating his power amongst neighbouring tribes and enforce his faith in the Saalihiya movement onto other Somalis.

For the British, it was imperative that they gained as much information on Hassan and his army as they could.

The sources below are from the Ismay collection held at the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives and demonstrates an extensive level of research into the life of Mohammed Abdullah Hassan.

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