[dehai-news] (Garowe Online) : Al Shabaab declare war on Somalia's new president

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From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Tue Feb 03 2009 - 10:13:19 EST

Al Shabaab declare war on Somalia's new president
 Feb 3, 2009 - 7:49:30 PM

KISMAYO, Somalia Feb 3 (Garowe Online) - Islamist militants who spearheaded
a bloody insurgency in Somalia have declared war on the Horn of Africa
country's new president, even as a global council of Islamic scholars issued
a document supporting him, Radio Garowe reports.

Sheikh Hassan Yakub, spokesman for the Al Shabaab rulers in the port of
Kismayo, 500km south of the capital Mogadishu, said the war will continue
until Islamic law is restored across Somalia.


"Sheikh Sharif declared jihad in 2006 and now he chose America over Islam,"
Sheikh Yakub said.

He accused Sheikh Sharif of choosing the Transitional Federal Government
(TFG) constitution instead of the Qur'an, the source of Islamic teachings
and jurisprudence.

"Ethiopia invaded our country [Somalia] with support from the international
community, but we removed them [Ethiopian army] by force and war," he added.

Sheikh Yakub said foreign governments are interfering in Somalia's political
affairs, while suggesting that Sheikh Sharif's election victory was
"organized by the enemies of Islam."


Sheikh Sharif, new Somali president

Al Shabaab fighters control the key towns of Kismayo, Marka and Baidoa in
the southern regions. The Islamist faction broke off from the Islamic Courts
Union (ICU), which was led by Sheikh Sharif in 2006.


A global council of Islamic scholars, chaired by Sheikh Yusuf Al Qardawi,
has called on Al Shabaab and the Eritrea-based Islamist hardliners led by
Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys to support President Sheikh Sharif's new

"The Islamist groups are expected to work with Sheikh Sharif and to help
restore security in Somalia," read a document issued by the Islamic clerics.

Sheikh Al Qardawi said the Islamic group is ready to dispatch scholars to
Somalia in an effort aimed at mediating among Islamist factions, adding that
the mediation process can take place anytime or anywhere.

Mediation efforts undertaken by Somali Muslim scholars have largely failed,
further deepening the divide among ICU factions.

New President Sheikh Sharif, 43, inherits a country torn apart of 18 years
of civil war and drought, worsened only by a brutal two-year Ethiopian
military occupation.

Observers agree that the new leader must build a broad-based government of
national unity and gain financial support from the international community.


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