Al-Shabab, which is on Washington's list of terror groups, took over Baidoa late Monday, a day after Ethiopian troops who had been propping up the government ended their unpopular, two-year presence. Al-Shabab, which means "The Youth," has been gaining ground as Somalia's Western-backed government crumbles.Looks the wheel may still spin some more, but as in law, possession is 9/10 of something.
"We will establish an Islamic administration for the town, and appeal to residents to remain calm," al-Shabab spokesman Sheik Muktar Robow said.
Somalia is a Muslim country, but al-Shabab's strict interpretation of Islam has drawn fear and trepidation. In one case, the group stoned to death a 13-year-old girl for adultery even though her parents said she was a rape victim.
The takeover came as Somalia's parliament meets this week in neighboring Djibouti to elect a new president. It appears unlikely the lawmakers will be able to return to Baidoa, 155 miles (250 kilometers) southwest of the capital.
There was a brief firefight between the Islamists and government-allied militias, who soon fled, witnesses said.
"We must be ready to dare all for our country. For history does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid. We must acquire proficiency in defense and display stamina in purpose." - President Eisenhower, First Inaugural Address
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Somalia: Ethiopian Troops Leave, Hardline Islamists Move In
Will sharia law return to Somalia? Maybe. Al-Shabab is alleged to have taken power, as reported in Insurgents seize seat of Somalia's parliament:
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