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Senior Member of the UIC Declares Independence from the Two Main Factions of the ARS
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By Salaad Iidow Hasan
Sunday, August 31, 2008

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Mogadishu, Somalia (HOL) – In a press conference Sheik Daahir Adow Alasow, a senior member of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) that now controls the city of Jowhar and most of the Middle Shabeele region said that they support neither of the two factions of the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) and that the recent Djibouti Accord between one of the factions of the ARS and the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) has no impact on their policies and operations.
 
Sheik Daahir said that the Djibouti Accord is meant to weaken the power of the UIC by giving extra powers to the TFG and ARS troops. He said that their forces will not unite with TFG troops.
 
“It don’t foresee any possibility in which our troops will share food and other services with troops that are serving the enemy of Somalia and it is a proposition we strongly oppose” said Sheik Daahir who added that they are engaged in an armed struggle with the Ethiopian and TFG troops.
 
Sheik Daahir also mentioned that they received intelligence regarding the arrival of ARS forces in Lower Shabeele region and that they strongly oppose that decision.
 
“We support neither Sheik Shariif nor Sheik Hasan Daahir (leaders of the two factions of the ARS). We follow Allah’s Book and the teaching of the Prophet” said Sheik Daahir in response to a question regarding which of the two factions of the ARS they support.
 
It is noteworthy that Sheik Daahir’s press conference came hours after two groups of the UIC exchanged fire in the city of Jowhar. Through mediation, the two groups were later convinced to stop the fighting.
 
Sheik Daahir’s comments signal possible further fragmentation of what was once the UIC which a year ago controlled most of Southern Somalia including the capital Mogadishu until they were ousted by Ethiopian troops. 
 
After the UIC were ousted, they formed an alliance with some members of the interim Parliament who disagreed with President Yusuf’s decision to bring Ethiopian troops to Somalia as well as members from civil society and Diaspora and formed what is known as the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS). The ARS, however, soon broke into feuding factions. 
  
Additional contribution by Mohamed Amin Ahmed, Hiiraan Online
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