Somalia's Islamic Courts vows war against Ethiopia

Somalia's Supreme Islamic Courts Council (SICC) declared "holy war" against Ethiopia after its troops seized a town near Mogadishu.

Somalia's Islamic Courts vows war against Ethiopia

The SICC accuse Addis Ababa of aiding the troops of Somalia's embattled government in capturing the town of Bur Haqaba, which is located near the government base in Baidoa.

Residents of the town said government fighters backed up by Ethiopian soldiers seized the town before the Islamists recaptured it several hours later. No fighting was reported.

"Heavily armed Ethiopian troops have invaded Somalia," Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the leader of the SICC told reporters in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, which the Islamists captured in June and have used as a base to expand through most of south and central Somalia.

"They have captured Bur Haqaba. History shows that Somalis always win when they are attacked from outside…

Dressed in military fatigues, Sheikh Ahmad said war against Ethiopia was inevitable, raising fears of a regional conflict.

"From today, I am declaring jihad against Ethiopia, which has invaded our country and taken parts of our homeland,"

"It is a religious responsibility to go the main headquarters of where the invasion originated… It is the responsibility of each and everyone to defend his country from the naked aggression of Ethiopia."

"The jihad is on from now (and) application of that will be directed by the supreme council," Sheikh Ahmad added.

The Somali government didn't comment on the seizure of Bur Haqaba.

And Ethiopia, which admits that it supports the Somali government, denies that its forces crossed the border.

But witnesses and correspondents said they saw a convoy of Ethiopian army trucks leaving Baidoa to accompany government forces to recapture Bur Haqaba, which the SICC seized last month.

"I saw at least 72 armed trucks with infantry troops on board passing in front of my house," said Hussein Mursal Hassan, an elder in Baidoa.

The SICC has tightened its grip on Somalia since its fighters took control of Mogadishu in June.

Currently, the SICC controls most of southern Somalia, except for a small area around Baidoa. It has recently formed a new administration in the port city of Kismayo, which they seized last month.

The Islamic Courts were set up in Somalia by clan-related businessmen in a bid to establish some law and order in a city without any judicial system. The first court was formed in 1996. Since then, the number of these bodies has grown to 14.

The courts have gained legitimacy and popular support through their ability to provide a judicial order based on Sharia law. Over time, they formed their own forces and expanded their tasks.


Source: Al Jazeera

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16