Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Somali Islamists Declare 'Jihad' on Ethiopia

Ethiomedia via Reuters -- Somalia's powerful Islamists on Monday declared holy war against Ethiopia, which they accused of invading their country to help Somalia's government briefly seize a town controlled by pro-Islamist fighters.

Both sides confirmed the takeover of Buur Hakaba, the first military counterstrike by President Abdullahi Yusuf's interim government since the Islamists took Mogadishu in June and went on to seize much of Somalia's south.

"Starting from today, we have declared jihad against Ethiopia," Islamist leader Sheikh Sharif Ahmed told a news conference, while wearing combat fatigues and clutching an AK-47 assault rifle.

Ahmed, usually viewed as a more moderate voice among the Islamists, appeared angry as he addressed reporters.

"Heavily armed Ethiopian troops have invaded Somalia. They have captured Buur Hakaba. History shows that Somalis always win when they are attacked from outside," he said.

The Islamists and residents of Buur Hakaba, seen as a potential flash point because it had put the Islamists within 30 kilometers (20 miles) of the interim government's base in Baidoa, said Ethiopian troops accompanied government fighters who took over the town early Monday.

A government militia commander in Buur Hakaba denied that, and Addis Ababa has consistently said it has not sent any soldiers except for military advisers.

The Islamists, unaccustomed to losing since their spectacular rise, said the government move was the first salvo in a longer -- and long-expected -- conflict.

Sheikh Yusuf Mohamed Siad "Inda'ade," the Islamists' defense chief, told reporters Ethiopia had 35,000 troops inside Somalia. "This is a clear war. We are telling the Ethiopians to leave our country or be responsible for whatever happens," he said.

Ethiopian and Somali government officials were not immediately available for comment.

The takeover of Buur Hakaba appeared to be short-lived. Residents said the pro-Islamist militia had returned by midday after the government contingent left inexplicably.

"The government and Ethiopian troops who this morning captured the town have left. The local militias who had fled are back," resident Omar Jaware told Reuters by telephone.

The Islamists, keenly aware of Somali resistance to foreign -- especially Ethiopian -- interference often accuse the government of being a puppet of Ethiopia, the top military power in the Horn of Africa region.

Ethiopia says the Islamists are led by terrorists, and witnesses say its troops have crossed the border to support the government in recent weeks.

Western governments fear any incursion by Ethiopia, viewed by many Somalis as a Christian imperialist power, could give foreign jihadis a reason to flood Somalia as the newest battleground of Islam against the West.

The Islamist defense chief Inda'ade said it appeared the government intended to march further.

"It looks like they are not done and are planning to attack Kismayu, and other towns in the Lower Shabelle regions," he told Reuters earlier.

The warlord alliance the Islamists removed from Kismayu last month has also threatened to take back the strategic southern port, rocked by repeated protests against the new rulers.

The Islamists have all but dashed the aspirations of the Western-backed government to restore central rule to Somalia for the first time since the 1991 ouster of a dictator.

The Islamists say sharia law is the solution to Somalia's anarchy, but critics say they harbor al Qaeda-linked militants.

1 comment:

Real Ethiopian said...

I am doing everything I can from where I am at. I participate in meetings and organize groups to chip-in whatever we can. The problem is back home, the people have access to all the soldiers and TPLF WOYANE CADRES as well as their supporters. I have yet to hear one TPLF WOYANE CADRE killed or maimed, everything I hear is TPLF WOYANE is killing a real Ethiopian. That really upsets me we do what we can but there is no help inside the country. Everyone we ask for contribution wants results, and there is nothing we can show for. At least a TPLF WOYANE AGAZI soldier killed would give us something to to tell our partners and Ethiopians to chip-in. Where there is no result there is no money, we are left frustrated and can do very little. At the beginning of the riots we had many interested people who were willing to come for meeting and chip-in for money, but as time went by and the struggle lost its juice we too lost most of the people who were willing to stand with our people.

What we need is people who are dying back home not to simply die, at least they should take a TPLF WOYANE AGAZI soldier with them. That is all we are asking, show us the results so we can let the fire catch and get more help from Diaspora Ethiopians. When I wrote the earlier piece, I knew that I would get some reaction. The purpose of it is not to exchange insult with others here, the purpose is to tell you the truth and wake you all up and fight for your F R E E D O M! Remember, what melese said, "we came to power by force, if you want it force us out" that is what he said. What more do you expect from a blood thirst bandit? Election is not a solution, because it was all controlled by Melese and his closest beneficiaries. Did you expect he was going to lose and accept his loss?

What we need is genuine people wishing to fight for freedom, stop complaining. Next time I read this blog, I want to read that at least ten TPLF WOYANE AGAZI FORCES were killed in confrontation. That is what I wanna read, nothing else. Especially, I don't want people posting another Ethiopian death or torture. I want results, so I can sale the idea of supporting the momvement to other concerned citizens.