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Baidoa or Baidabo (bĪdäˈbō) [key], town (1980 pop. 10,000), capital of Bay region, S central Somalia. Located about 135 mi (220 km) WNW of Mogadishu on the Huddur plateau, Baidoa is a road junction and agricultural trade center. In a compromise move, the town became the seat of the interim government of Somalia in 2006 after the interim president refused to agree to take office in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital. The subsequent rise of an Islamist government in Mogadishu, which then secured control of much of S Somalia, left the weak interim government isolated in Baidoa, dependent on Ethiopian support to survive. Following the retaking of the capital by government and Ethiopian forces in Jan., 2007, the parliament remained in Baidoa; the government moved to the capital a year later. The government subsequently (2009) lost control of Baidoa to hard-line Islamists.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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