From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Sun Mar 01 2009 - 16:36:37 EST
Somalia to introduce shari'ah law
01/03/2009 09:12 - (SA)
Mogadishu - Somalia's President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed said on Saturday he
accepted a proposal by local and foreign religious leaders for a truce with
hardline Islamists and the implementation of shari'ah, or Islamic law.
The religious leaders are trying to mediate between the government and its
foes who have ramped up their onslaught against the new president, elected
on January 31.
"I met with religious leaders and elders and accepted their demand for
ceasefire and reconciliation with the opposition members and I call on all
opposition parties to halt the unnecessary violence," Ahmed told reporters.
"The mediators asked me to introduce Islamic shari'ah in the country and I
agreed," he added.
30 killed in last week
Hardline Shebab militia and other Islamist fighters have waged battles
against the government and its allies. At least 30 people were killed in the
last week in the bloodiest clashes since the president was elected.
They have vowed to fight on until all foreign forces in Somalia withdraw and
shari'ah is imposed.
The African Union peacekeepers whom they have also repeatedly attacked are
the only foreign troops in the country after Ethiopian soldiers pulled out
"We asked the president to implement Islamic sharia in the country and
accept mediation," said Sheikh Bashir Ahmed, chairperson of Somalia's Union
of Islamic Scholars.
"He agreed and we hope this will end the violence in the country."
However, the proposal to introduce shari'ah would have to be ratified by
The president also said that the government had relocated to Mogadishu from
neighbouring Djibouti, which hosted United Nations-brokered talks that led
to his election.
The new government, which comprises 36 ministers, began work on Saturday,
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