They’re instituting “strict Qur’anic rule.” Well, that’s a relief. Soon we will see Somalia flower as a haven of peace, tolerance, free intellectual inquiry, and scientific exploration.
What’s that? They’re instituting a nightmare regime of totalitarian control and draconian punishments? What are you, some kind of Islamophobe?
“Islamic militia tightens grip on Mogadishu,” from the Mail & Guardian, with thanks to DFS:
A junior minister handed control of the Somali capital’s sea port to Islamic militia on Wednesday, a day after they defeated hundreds of fighters who were resisting the group’s strict Qur’anic rule.
Mohamed Jama Furuh, Deputy Ports Minister in the weak transitional government, handed over the Mogadishu port after days of negotiations with the radical Supreme Islamic Courts Council, whose fighters consolidated its grip on Mogadishu following ferocious fighting that ended on Tuesday.
The Islamic group took over the national asset, despite a warning issued by regional leaders last month that Somali armed groups must hand over to the beleaguered transitional government sea and air ports, together with other national assets.
Both the national sea port and airport in Mogadishu had been closed for the past 15 years, after rival armed groups in the capital failed to agree on who should run the facilities.
“We are happy and would like to see all other government infrastructure be handed over like this,” said Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, one of the leaders of the Islamic group whose fighters wrested control of Mogadishu from secular warlords in June.
On Wednesday, hundreds of people returned to homes they fled to escape the latest fighting that erupted on Sunday, when Islamic fighters sought to subdue rivals. The fighting killed more than 70 people and wounded 150, and the death toll was expected to rise as severely wounded victims streamed into hospitals. The bloodshed on Tuesday was the latest sign that the increasingly radical militia would not tolerate opposition to its tightening grip on power….
The Islamic militia has grown increasingly radical since seizing Mogadishu and establishing strict courts based on the Qur’an. On Tuesday, Ahmed said Somalis should be ready for a holy war against neighbouring Ethiopia, Somalia’s long-time enemy.
The Islamists have repeatedly accused Ethiopia of sending troops across the border to boost the transitional government. Somalia’s interim President, Abdullahi Yusuf, is allied with Ethiopia and has asked for its support.
On Tuesday, a former member of the secular alliance, Mohamed Dheere, was meeting the interim government after spending weeks in Ethiopia trying to build support there to overcome the Islamic militia. The topics of discussion were not released.
Ethiopia denies sending troops. “The Islamic courts use these allegations to divert the truth to hide the fact that there are terrorists in Somalia,” said Solomon Abebe, spokesperson for Ethiopia’s foreign ministry.