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Union of Islamic Courts has fallen onto the Ethiopian Trap

BY: Abdi Jama ( Gunna-Gunne)


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When the Union Courts expelled the warlords from Mogadishu and took over control of the city, they received unparallel support from all part of Somalia and the community in the Diaspora plus international community at large. They liberated millions of Mogadishu citizens from the ruthless warlords who held the entire city and nation hostage for nearly two decades. With the backing of the people, they restored law and order, cleared check points, reopened Mogadishu international airport and sea ports that have been closed for business since 1991. Today, in Mogadishu, there is a sign of normalicy and people are reopening their business freely without fear of being killed or kidnapped.


However, despite all those positive developments, Union Courts have since made a number of serious political missteps including attacking and capturing the relatively peaceful southern port city of Kismanyo from a faction leader, who had always supported them in the past, and sending militia to Puntland- an autonomous state that has been enjoying relative peace and stability for much of the civil war years. This aggressive move has caused UIC to loose an important support base and created a doubt as to their intentions.


In addition to these needless military operations, the UIC kept everybody in the dark as to their political agenda. In their public statements, IUC leaders say they are not interested in unilaterally forming a government and willing to negotiate with the transitional federal government while they are constantly expanding their authority by military means. The Islamic Courts accuse the TFG of inviting foreign troops to Somali, yet there are number of people who reported seeing foreign jahdist fighters from various countries including Pakistan, Eritrea and Ethiopian rebels amongst UIC militia. If these allegations are true, it will show an apparent contradiction on the part of Union Courts and will legitimize the American and Ethiopian claims that they are sheltering wanted terrorist elements in Somalia.


Moreover, as a result of these ill-conceived military adventures by the UIC, the hope that there is a light at the end of the lengthy Somali conflict is fast fading and the Union Courts are sadly squandering the support of the Somali people. Moreover, the hawkish attitude of the Islamic Union Courts provides a perfect pretext for Ethiopians and their allies to use this opportunity to invade Somalia.


Therefore, I hope the IUC will not fall onto the Ethiopian trap and re-evaluate their policy and military strategy and take corrective measures.  Today Union Courts militias are spread out thin from Muddug to Jubba land where they are facing a strong opposition supported by Ethiopia and if hostilities break out at once in all front, it will be difficult for IUC to defend it. With this fact, IUC may consider withdrawing their militia from other cities and concentrate their military strength and resource the defense of Mogadishu and the revival of basic public infrastructure such us water, electricity and public roads. Secondly, Union Courts must use peaceful means to advance their political and ideological goals to the rest of the country and allow changes to come from within not from without.


They must keep in mind that there is still a deep division between Somali tribes. Currently, Union Courts are dominated by few clans from the south and any venture outside of their base will be seen hostile action and will meet an outright opposition as is the case in Kismanyo now. Thirdly, IUC should open a genuine dialog to the interim government and negotiate a fair power sharing agreement to take the country out of the current political impasse. If this fails due to outside interference, then they must invite the Somali people wherever they are to decide the future of their country. Fourthly, IUC should do every effort to win back Col Barre and his supporters since they are posing serious challenge to the Islamic Union Court agenda in Somalia. Rumor is the decision to takeover Kismanyo came from certain individuals within IUC leadership like Yusuf Indhacade and can be reversed for political expedience.


“Let me conclude my article a quote that I have taken from a great American president JFK in his inauguration speech in 1961“ remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by ridding the back of the tiger ended up inside.”


Abdi Jama ( Gunna-Gunne)

E-mail: [email protected]


The opinions contained in this article are solely those of the writer, and in no way, form or shape represent the editorial opinions of "Hiiraan Online"

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