Saturday, July 08, 2006

The battle for Somalia continues

Reported here:
The main road links Mogadishu to southern region in Somalia has been close for the second day on Saturday as rival militias loyal to Islamic courts and warlord Col. Abdi Qeybdid who was member of the failed anti terror alliance preparing for battle, reports confirmed Somalinet.

And here:
Another war tension has resumed in southwest suburb of the Somalia capital Mogadishu on Friday where Islamic militiamen and militia loyal former member of anti terror alliance Abdi Hassan Qeybdid are feared to clash.

The Islamic militiamen who have already captured a key checkpoint in the main road linking Mogadishu to other southern regions from Qeybdid’s militia began to block the road ordering all cars heading to the capital to use other road for preparation of all out war. Local resident said.

There are symptoms of war between rival sides, reinforcements of militias and battle wagons from both sides could be seen in the area outside of the capital, an eyewitness told Somalinet.

Colonel Abdi Hassan Awale Qeybdid, former police chief, is said to have been preparing for final battle if he is attacked and now he seeks for clan support to defend what he called ‘the clan interest’.

Col. Qeybdid, who is from Sa’ad sub-clan of Habar-gidir clan, earlier called the assault on him by the Islamists as an occupation of all Sa’ad sub-clan; therefore they should stand for defiance.

The people in the capital are too much worried about possible flare up of fighting between Islamic militiamen and militia loyal to Abdi Qeybdid who has been member of the collapsed alliance for restoration of peace and counter terrorism (ARPCT) in which united by more feared warlords who lost the control of the capital and other key towns in more than three months heavy bloody battles with Islamic courts early June.

And rumors of splits in the Islamist Court ranks here:
An ideological battle is being fought far from the public eye and the stage is now set for a clash between two contending visions of Islam.

Recent developments in Mogadishu indicate the new calm in Mogadishu could, indeed, be the calm before the storm.

The ideological divisions within the Islamist groups, were masked by the fact they had a common enemy - the warlords. Now that the warlords have been ousted, and the clans have switched their allegiance to the Islamists, these divisions are becoming noticeable.

And, of course, the threat of death for not being properly religious as noted here:
A leading sheik said Friday that Muslims who do not pray five times a day should be put to death.

The sheik's statement, which he confirmed to Reuters after it was broadcast on local media, caused consternation among residents and is expected to fuel Western fear that the Islamist militias that recently seized the capital are planning a hard-line Taliban-style rule.

"He who does not perform prayer will be considered as infidel and our Sharia law orders that person to be killed," said Sheik Abdallah Ali, who runs a Sharia, or Islamic law, court here in the capital, where the militias took control last month.
Better and better...

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