December 23, 2006

Islamic Courts called on foreign Muslims to fight Ethiopia

Al-Jazeera
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2006
13:13 MECCA TIME, 10:13 GMT


Islamic Courts seek to expand war

A Somali Islamic Courts defence chief has for the first time called on foreign Muslim fighters to join his movement's war against Ethiopia.
Photo: AP Inda'ade said his group was open to anyone who can help remove the enemy from Somalia


"We're saying our country is open to Muslims worldwide. Let them fight in Somalia and wage jihad, and God willing, attack Addis Ababa," Yusuf Mohamed Siad, known as Inda'ade, said.

"We want anyone who can help remove the enemy to come in," he told a news conference in the Mogadishu, the Somali capital and an Islamic Courts stronghold.


Special Section: Somalia


Ethiopia said the call for fighters proved the "extremism" of the movement Addis Ababa accuses of being run by al-Qaeda linked fighters.

"If wishes were horses, the extremists in the Islamic Courts Union would have attacked Addis Ababa by now," Solomon Abede, a foreign ministry spokesman, said.

"Their declaration appealing to foreign Muslim fighters to help in war against Ethiopia proves their extremist behaviour."

Guerrilla warfare

Inda'ade made the call for foreign fighters after four days of clashes between Islamic opposition forces and pro-government troops.

Dozens have been killed in the fighting, with hundreds more wounded.

Ali Mohamed Gedi, prime minister in Somalia's largely powerless transitional government, said that foreign "terrorists" were already taking part in the fighting.

"Four thousand foreign fighters have participated in recent fighting around Dinsoor district and some of them have been killed," Gedi said.

"Special forces who are highly trained in guerrilla warfare are now ready to attack Ethiopians, wherever they are in Somalia"

Sheik Ibrahim Shukri Abuu-Zeynab, a spokesman for the Islamic Courts

Tension across Horn of Africa
Also on Saturday, the Islamic Courts said it has trained special forces to carry out guerrilla warfare against Ethiopian troops supporting the UN-backed government.

"Special forces who are highly trained in guerrilla warfare are now ready to attack Ethiopians, wherever they are in Somalia," said Sheik Ibrahim Shukri Abuu-Zeynab, a spokesman for the Islamic Courts.

Islamic forces opposed to Somalia's the transitional government have declared they want to bring the whole country under the rule of the Quran.

They have vowed to continue attacks to drive out troops from neighbouring Ethiopia, which is providing military support to the government.

Ismael Mohamoud Hurreh, the Somali foreign minister, told Al Jazeera that government was prepared for war.

"We are facing a group of people who are very dangerous and very radical, and the government is definitely on a war footing," he said

The United States has also accused the Islamic opposition of drawing support from al-Qaeda. The Islamic Courts have denied such a charge.


Fighting

The most sustained combat in Somalia started late on Tuesday, the deadline the Islamic Courts had given Ethiopian troops protecting the government to leave the country or face war.

On Friday, officials said hundreds of people had been killed since Tuesday night.

Sporadic gunfire and shelling could be heard on Friday around Baidoa, the transitional government's only stronghold, but residents and officials said the fighting had subsided.

Thousands of Somali civilians fled their homes in Baidoa after fighting erupted around the town.

The clashes threaten a wider conflict in the region. Ethiopia, which has one of the largest armies in the region, and its rival Eritrea could use Somalia as the ground for a proxy war.

While Ethiopia backs the internationally recognised government, Eritrea backs the Islamic Courts.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Isaias Afewerke, the Eritrean president, denied reports that Eritrean forces are fighting alongside Islamic Courts fighters in Somalia. He said the reports were meant to justify what he called "Ethiopian occupation of Somalia."

"The Somalis do not need Eritrea to send 200 soldiers to protect them or strengthen their situation," Afewerki said. "We have asked many times about this, where is this Eritrean force in Somalia?"


UN response

In New York, Kofi Annan, UN secretary general, called on both sides to "cease the hostilities immediately and to resume the peace talks ... without delay and without any precondition" said his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, in a statement released late Friday.

He also voiced "grave concern" over reports of the involvement of "foreign forces ... and he implores all involved to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia."

The UN issued a statement in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on Friday calling for an "immediate end" to the conflict.

The UN also said both sides were using increasing numbers of child soldiers. "This conflict will push the children of Somalia into further dire crisis," it said.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

4 comments:

MENELIK said...

Ethiopia will thriamph our enemies will be destroyed It is in our blood to concour When I say our enemies you know who you are the Big Satan Shabia, Olf and all other who allied with the enemy.

Anonymous said...

we should keep the peace between the two countries...we should be friends not enemies.?!

Anonymous said...

This is indicative of the fight of Muslims around the world. Islam has always protected and defended its own, since the time of the Crusades. This is not unusual, but unfortunate. I thought Islam meant peace. The territorial and religious disputes in Ethiopia and Somalia have been at odds for a very long time. These currently accepted boundaries were established by colonial rule some hundred years ago. To call on foreign Muslims is not necessary; most radical and jihadist Muslims will go anywhere Muslims are perceived as being attacked. What Somalia needs to decide is whether it will be a warring nomadic nation or a nation with an elected government capable of commanding allegiance from its entire population. Somalia is very fractured, and needs a strong leader to bring together all the warlords, tribal, and ethnic groups. Until then, she will never see peace as a cohesive nation. Perhaps that is JAH plan.

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