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Midowga Maxkamadaha Islaamiga
اتحاد المحاكم الإسلامية
Ittihād al-mahākim al-islāmiyya
Supreme Islamic Courts Council
MottoThere is no God but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God
Capital
(and largest city)
Mogadishu
Official languages Somali and Arabic
Government Sharia krytocracy
 -  Executive Chairman Sheikh Sharif Ahmed
 -  Shura Chairman Hassan Dahir Aweys
 -  Deputy of Executive Chairman Abdirahman Janaqow
Counter-Government Sought to establish unified Somali government 
 -  Established June 6, 2006 
 -  Dissolved December 27, 2006 
Currency Somali shilling (SOS)
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)
 -  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+3)
Internet TLD .so
Calling code 252 (Somalia)

The Islamic Courts Union (ICU) (Somali: Midowga Maxkamadaha Islaamiga, Arabic: اتحاد المحاكم الإسلامية‎, Ittihād al-mahākim al-islāmiyya) was a group of Sharia Courts who united themselves to form a rival administration to the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia, with Sharif Sheikh Ahmed as head of the ICU. They are also known as the Joint Islamic Courts, Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), Supreme Islamic Courts Council (SICC)[1] or the Supreme Council of Islamic Courts (SCIC)[2]. Western media often refer to the group as the Somali Islamists.

Until the end of 2006, they controlled most of southern Somalia and the vast majority of its population, including most major cities such as Jowhar, Kismayo, Beledweyne, and the capital Mogadishu. The ICU was supported by warlord Yusuf "Indho Ade" Mohamed Siad who ruled Lower Shabelle but later became defense chief of the ICU, who aided in the defeat of the Mogadishu warlords.[3] Only the Northern regions (Puntland, Somaliland), and the furthest interior regions of the south were outside their control. In December 2006, the ICU lost much territory after defeats at the battles of Baidoa, Bandiradley, and Beledweyne, retreating to the capital, Mogadishu. On December 28 they abandoned Mogadishu, leaving the city in chaos while they moved south towards Kismayo, which allowed the TFG and Ethiopian troops to take over the city. After a stand at the Battle of Jilib, the ICU abandoned the city of Kismayo on January 1, 2007. Stripped of almost all their territory, it was speculated the ICU would pursue guerrilla-style warfare against the government.[4]

Instead, hardline Islamists broke ranks from the ICU and formed other militant groups, such as Al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam, to continue the war against the government.

The less-militant members of the ICU went into exile in Eritrea and Djibouti, where they formed the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia in September 2007. In the two years following the ICU's ouster from Mogadishu, the hardline Islamist groups concentrated their power in the south and west of Somalia, taking ground from both the TFG and ICU.

By January 2009, a reconciliation and powersharing deal was brokered between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the Djibouti contingent from the former Islamic Courts Union which resulted in the expansion of the Parliament and the election of Sheik Sharif Ahmed, former leader of the ICU, as President of the Transitional National Government.[5 ]

Contents

History

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Before the second battle of Mogadishu

After the collapse of the Somali government in 1991, a system of sharia-based Islamic courts became the main judicial system, funded through fees paid by litigants. Over time the courts began to offer other services such as education and health care. The courts also acted as local police forces, being paid by local businesses to reduce crime. The Islamic courts took on the responsibility for halting robberies and drug-dealing, as well as stopping the showing of what it claims to be pornographic films in local movie houses. Somalia is almost entirely Muslim, and these institutions initially had wide public support. The early years of the courts include such outfits as Sheikh Ali Dheere's, established in north Mogadishu in 1994 and the Beled Weyene court initiated in 1996. They soon saw the sense in working together through a joint committee to promote security. This move was initiated by four of the courts - Ifka Halan, Circolo, Warshadda and Hararyaale - who formed a committee to co-ordinate their affairs, to exchange criminals from different clans and to integrate security forces. In 1999 the group began to assert its authority. Supporters of the Islamic courts and other institutions united to form the ICUP, an armed militia. In April of that year they took control of the main market in Mogadishu and, in July, captured the road from Mogadishu to Afgoi.[6] Their system of government, controlled by judges, is known as a krytocracy.

Eritrean assistance

According to the United Nations and various sources, the Eritrean government has armed and financed the ICU for many years.[7] Together (according to a 1999 BBC report) with some Ethiopian opposition groups such as the OLF, Eritrea sent "shiploads" of arms to the ICU and other rebels in Southern Somalia; it was also reported that the Eritrean government had sent "advisers" and "engineers and mine-laying experts."[8] After many denials from the Eritrean government, Islamic Courts Union leader Aweys admitted that the Eritrean government had been assisting the ICU;[7] although there was no mention of Eritrean troops or advisers. After the Somali transitional government defeated the Islamists and took Mogadishu, the Somali Prime Minister alleged that Eritrean soldiers had been captured in Mogadishu.[9] Further Eritrean fighters were allegedly killed by Somali security officers in June 2007.[10] A governor of one of Somalia's southern districts also confirmed the continued alliance of Eritrean fighters with Al-Qaeda & ICU militants.[11]

According to the Los Angeles Times, various ICU fighters were caught as they tried to escape to Eritrea. Many of the ICU leadership and jihadist leaders are believed to have found refuge in Eritrea.

Other Foreign fighters

Various foreign fighters were said to be helping the ICU. As suicide bombing tactics are rare even among extremist Somali Muslims, the use of such bombers suggested deeper foreign jihadist assistance. In January, Somali sources said they had defeated or arrested many Arab fighters.[9] In June, numerous foreign pro-ICU fighters were detected trying to flee in boats from the Puntland region; the regional governor told the media that the Islamist fighters had arrived to cause trouble and that Puntland troops were searching for them.[12] The U.S. military also targeted other jihadist and Al-Qaeda cells, particularly those affiliated with the bombers of the U.S. embassy in Kenya in 1998.[13] The BBC reported a Pentagon claim that a senior Al-Qaeda member associated with the ICU had been captured in Somalia and transferred to the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay.[14][15]

After conquering Mogadishu

Flag used by Al-Shabab

In the year 2000, the courts formed a union of Islamic courts, partly to consolidate resources and power and partly to aid in handing down decisions across, rather than within, clan lines.[16] Yet the ICU remained firmly established in the Hawiye clan. [17]

As the courts began to assert themselves as the dispensers of justice they came into conflict with the secular warlords who controlled most of the city. In reaction to the growing power of the ICU, a group of Mogadishu warlords formed the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT). This was a major change, as these warlords had been fighting each other for many years. By the beginning of 2006, these two groups had clashed repeatedly, and in May 2006 it escalated into street fighting in the capital, claiming the lives of more than 300 people. On 5 June 2006, the ICU claimed that they were in control of Mogadishu.[18]

Meanwhile, in the United States the Bush administration neither confirmed nor denied support for either side. However, it was reported that American officials had anonymously confirmed that the U.S. government was funding the ARPCT, due to concerns that the ICU is linked to al-Qaeda and is sheltering three al-Qaeda leaders involved in past terror attacks, including the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.[19]

On 6 June 2006 the ICU further claimed it was in control of all the lands up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) inland from Mogadishu. The warlords were reported to have either been captured or to have fled the city, abandoning most of their weapons, with the majority fleeing to Jowhar, which was taken by the ICU militia on 14 June.[20] This brought the ICU in control of much of the weaponry in the country, which made a resurgence by the warlords difficult without outside support. The ICU also controlled significant territory outside the capital, including the important town of Balad. In mid-August, ICU militiamen swept into the port town of Hobyo, 500 kilometers north of Mogadishu, meeting no opposition.[21] The ICU organized a clean-up campaign for the streets of Mogadishu on 20 July. This was the first time litter and rubbish had been collected in the entire city since it collapsed into chaos over a decade earlier.[22]

On July 15, 2006, the Islamic Courts reopened Mogadishu International Airport, which had been closed since the withdrawal of the international forces in 1995. The first airplane chartered by the Arab League flew from the airport for the first time in 11 years picking up Islamic Courts delegates to the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.[23]

On August 15, 2006, the ICU captured Harardhere, some 500 km northeast of Mogadishu, which had become a safe haven for pirates, who had forced shipping firms and international organizations to pay large ransoms for the release of vessels and crews.[24]

On August 25, 2006 the Islamic Courts reopened the historic Mogadishu seaport, which had been one of the busiest in East Africa but had been shut down for the prior 10 years.[25]

In September, 2006, the Islamist Courts strengthened their control of Kismayo. The Somalis in Kismayo demonstrated againist ICU, shouting "No to Al-Qaeda operatives" but the ICU took control, shooting at protestors, killing at least three people and dispersing the crowd.[26]

On October 5, 2006 the Islamic Courts declared the formation of the supreme Islamic Sharia court of Banadir province, ending all tribal Islamic Courts in the capital.[27]

War with Ethiopia

On December 8, 2006, the Islamic Courts Union claimed to have been involved in heavy fighting with Somali transitional government forces, backed by Ethiopian troops. On December 21, heavy fighting erupted between ICU forces and Ethiopian-backed forces. The battles happened initially in two areas - the military base of Daynuunay and the military base of Iidale.

The ICU made calls for jihad against Ethiopia, [28] which were met by international Mujahideen volunteers arriving in Somalia.

The ICU lost a considerable amount of territory after defeats at the December 20 - 26 battles of Baidoa, Bay region, Bandiradley, in Mudug, and Beledweyne, Hiran region, retreating to the capital, Mogadishu.

Resignation of leadership

On December 27, 2006, after a brief skirmish earlier in the day at the Battle of Jowhar, the leaders of the ICU, including Sheiks Hassan Dahir Aweys, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Abdirahman Janaqow resigned in a capitulation recognizing the new state of affairs in Somalia. They issued the following decisions:

1. It is national duty to protect the sovereignty and the integrity of Somalia and its people.
2. The ICU allows that Somalis should have the option to determine their future and would be ready for taking over the responsibility.
3. The Islamic Courts Union agreed not to allow anyone to create violence in Mogadishu and anybody that is found guilty would be brought before the law and would be taken for the suitable punishment according to the Islamic Sharia.
4. The ICU fighters are responsible for establishing the security and stability in the Somalian capital Mogadishu.
5. Lastly, the ICU is calling on all the Islamic fighters in Somalia, where ever they may be, to maintain security and stability in their localities and get ready in the police stations and other security installations. [29]

On December 28, the ICU withdrew from the capital. Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohamad Gedi stated the legislature would shortly declare a period of martial law.

Pursuit of the ICU

After abandoning control of Mogadishu, leaders from the ICU proceeded to fortify the Jubba River valley area including the towns of Jilib and Kismayo. Days later, on December 31 Ethiopian and Somali forces attacked Jilib, after which ICU forces abandoned Kismayo.

In January 2007, as the ICU retreated, its leaders vowed to wage guerrilla war. They were pursued to Ras Kamboni, where they were militarily engaged by Ethiopian and Somali TFG forces. Kenyan and US forces enforced a border patrol and naval blockade, followed by US airstrikes against suspected Al Qaeda members embedded within the ICU militias.[30 ]

On January 10, a report by Somali presidential chief of staff, Abdirizak Hassan stated the US airstrikes had killed Al Qaeda member Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, and leaders of the Islamic Courts Union including Abduallahi Moalim Ali (former chief of security for Mogadishu), Abdirahman Janaqow, and a third unidentified person. The bodies had reportedly been recovered by Ethiopian military personnel.[31 ] Fazul Abdullah Mohammed was later confirmed by US forces to have survived the US air raid on 8 January 2007. Abdirahman Janaqow survived those attacks and is currently the Justice Minister of his friend, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed's TFG Government.

Islamist insurgency

Situation in Somalia as of late August 2009

After their fall from power, many ICU militiamen went into hiding. Attacks were carried out against Ethiopian and TFG troops, and the group was reformed as the Popular Resistance Movement in the Land of the Two Migrations (PRM).

Reconciliation with the Transitional Government

The Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) was originally formed in September 2007 as a movement to militarily oppose the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and their main military allies, Ethiopia. Since then, the group split into two major factions: those who sought reconciliation with the TFG and those opposed to reconciliation.

Djibouti Peace Agreement (May-June 2008)

In May-June 2008, the Djibouti-based wing of the ARS and the Transitional Federal Government met in a conference mediated by the U.N., which resulted in an 11-point peace agreement signed and announced on 9 June 2008.

Because of this, the ARS split into two major wings: those based in Eritrea, aligned with former ICU leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, who are adamantly opposed to cooperation with the TFG or Ethiopia, and those who were based in Djibouti, aligned with former ICU leader Sharif Sheik Ahmed, who were open to reconciliation with the nascent national government.

Sharif Sheik Ahmed Elected President (February 2009)

On 1 February 2009, the ICU faction leader, and chairman of the ARS Sharif Sheik Ahmed was elected the President of the Transitional Federal Government. Al-Shabab declared war on him and pledged to continue their attacks on the TFG.[32]

Structure and composition

Background

Current Event: The ICU has undergone dramatic and rapid changes. Given their loss of control over Mogadishu and much of the rest of the country, this section may refer to the organization in the past tense. This reflects how the courts were run prior to their retreat from Mogadishu. However, the ICU is still an existing organization. The status of their leaders and their present organization may be subject to change and speculation.

The ICU is a union of Sharia law courts. These courts formed out of the chaos of the 1990s to administer justice in the districts in which they were established. Due to the chaos in Somalia, each court maintained a large militia to act as both police force and military. In February 2006, 11 of these courts chose to pool their military resources in order to take over Mogadishu. (See Second Battle of Mogadishu)

Map showing the ICU at the peak of its influence

Each member of the ICU is a Sharia judge in charge of a specified court in a particular district of Somalia, and it is up to him to determine how Sharia law is enforced. These interpretations can either be very literal or very broad, with various Hadiths being either regarded or disregarded, and correspondingly has led to varying levels of liberty and repression. Some courts do not enforce beyond what the Quran requires; others have beaten people for watching Bollywood films and Western movies or playing "licentious" music. One famous allegation that was cited numerous times, yet was denied by the ICU, was that there was a ban on the viewing of football (soccer) matches.[33 ]

In order to organize the courts into a more coherent organization, rather than a like-minded collection of independent judges, a "Supreme Islamic Court of Banadir" was created, with the most senior judges forming this high court. This court dealt with wide issues, as well as foreign relations, and commanded the ICU military forces as a whole. The chairman of the Supreme Islamic Court is Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. A consultative Shura council chaired by Sheikh Hassan Aweys approved the decisions made by the Supreme Islamic Court, and therefore was called the "real power" in the ICU, though the Shura could not act unilaterally. In simplistic terms, this made Ahmed the "President" of the ICU and Aweys the "Prime Minister". When Ahmed was otherwise indisposed (visiting a foreign country, ill, etc.) Sheikh Abdirahman Janaqow was the Acting Chairman.

Below the Supreme Council and Shura Council are the regional courts spread throughout the country, which govern over the day to day issues of justice and law. These courts have enormous independence, and so the laws and regulations in ICU territory can vary wildly from town to town based on the particular moderation or radicalism of the local court.

ICU Chairman Sharif Sheikh Ahmed is seen as a moderate and repeatedly declared the objective of the ICU was the restoration of order after 15 years of violence. However, of the eleven courts composing the Union, two had reputations as radical. One was led by Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, who is on the U.S. list of terrorism suspects as the former head of the al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI) group. Western diplomats are also concerned by a second leader, Adan Hashi Ayro, who was trained in Afghanistan and whose militia has been implicated in the deaths of five foreign aid workers and a BBC producer. Suspects from the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings are believed to be hiding in Somalia, and to be aided by the ICU.[34][35] There were also been reports of foreign mujahideen fighting alongside the ICU. In response, the U.S. provided funding for the secular warlord alliance due to these fears. However, Somalia has little history of radical Islam and the ICU had not embraced the most extreme forms of Islamic law, such as amputation of thieves' hands.[6]

Hizbul Shabaab

The Hizbul Shabaab, also known as Al-Shabaab, or simply as "Shabaab", is the Youth Wing of the ICU. It is a radical and somewhat independent organization under the ICU umbrella which is integrated quite tightly with the ICU armed forces, acting as a sort of "special forces" for the ICU.

The Shabab has caused difficulties for the ICU in maintaining a good international image on a number of occasions due to their hot-headedness and zealousness, such as abducting critical journalists, harassing overly-hip youngsters, and most infamously, murdering wounded JVA soldiers in a Bu'aale hospital.[36]

The ICU formally apologized for each of the incidents, and attempted to make it clear that these actions did not reflect ICU policy. Nevertheless, these incidents gave their opponents excellent propaganda ammunition, and aided the global perception of the ICU being like the Taliban.

Relationship to other Somali powers

The major powers in Somalia included the Transitional Federal Government, the Juba Valley Alliance (JVA) in the south, plus the autonomous Puntland in the northeast and self-declared independent Somaliland in the northwest. In the midst of the conflict, Galmudug was formed in direct response to stem the rise of the ICU. The ICU was opposed by all the other factions, except for Somaliland, which remained generally neutral throughout the conflict.

As a result of the collapse of the warlords' power, the four warlord representatives in the transitional government were stripped of their cabinet posts. The transitional government is based in Baidoa, 250 kilometers from Mogadishu. After the ICU victory in Mogadishu, the transitional government voted to request foreign peacekeepers from the African Union in a mission known as IGASOM. The African Union supports the transitional government, though it did not provide forces to defend it against the advances of the ICU. The ICU rejected the need for peacekeepers, arguing Somalia needs aid, not more external troops. The Interim Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Ghedi stated he wished to meet with the ICU leaders.[37] This resulted in the Treaty of Khartoum of 5 September 2006, in which it was agreed the ICU and the Transitional Government would be merged; however, the ICU insisted on the precondition Ethiopian troops would leave the country beforehand. Ethiopian forces did not withdraw, and the treaty agreement fell apart.

The JVA was overrun in the south, and Kismayo was taken. The remaining JVA forces aligned themselves immediately with the TFG. In December 2006—January 2007, as part of the TFG's army, they retook the lost territory of the south.

In November 2006 the Islamic Courts said Puntland's forces had carried out a pre-emptive strike against their fighters who were gathering on the edge of Puntland near Galinsoor.[38] The government of Puntland has vowed to resist any attack by the Islamic Courts.[39] Later, Puntland entered into combat with the ICU at the Battle of Bandiradley, which expelled the ICU from the central interior.

Individual Islamic Courts

Court Name - Location Clan Representation Judge Ideology
Court of Banadir for Returning Forcefully Taken Fixed Assets Various 11 judges chaired by Dr. Omar Abdalla Ali Various
Court for Verdict in Banadir Various 12 judges chaired by Abdirahman Hassan Omar Various
Court of Banadir Province Various 12 judges chaired by Dr. Hussein Abdi Elmi Various
Ifka Halan - Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye Hassan Dahir 'Aweys' Salafi
Huruwa - Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye  ?  ?
Suuq Xoolaha - Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye  ?  ?
Karan - Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye  ?  ?
Medina - Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye  ?  ?
Towfiq - Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye  ?  ?
SiiSii - Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye Sharif Sheikh Ahmad Sufi
Harariyale - Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye  ?  ?
Dabaqayn - Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye  ? Salafi
Polytechnic - Mogadishu, Banadir Reer Shabelle (Non-Somali Minority)  ?  ?
Gubta - Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye Abdalla Ali Salafi
Yaqshid - Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye  ?  ?
Tabuuk - Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye  ?  ?
Al-Hudaa - Mogadishu, Banadir Shiikhaal  ?  ?
Milk Factory - Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye
Al Bayaan - Mogadishu, Banadir Rahanweyn, Mirifle, Digil-Mirifle Mohamed Ibrahim Bilal
Al-Furqan - Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye Mohamud Mohamed Jimale Warsame 'Agaweyne'
Daynile - Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye Abdirahman Janaqow
Shiirkoole (Circolo) - Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye Abdilkadir Ali Omar Salafi
 ? - Marka, Lower Shabelle Hawiye Yusuf Mohamed Siyaad 'Indha Adde'  ?
Al-Cadaala - Laascanood, Sool Darod Shiikh Axmed Cabdulaahi Shanle  ?
 ? - Balad, Upper Shabelle Hawiye Sheikh Yusuf Turhume  ?
 ? - Wanlaweyn, Lower Shabelle Digil-Mirifle Mahad Mohammed Liberal
 ? - Beletweyne, Hiraan Hawiye Farah Moallim Mohamud  ? (Qutubi?)
 ? - Beletweyne, Hiraan Hawiye  ?  ?
 ? - Adado, Galgadud Hawiye  ?  ?
Alfaruq - Jalalaqsi, Hiraan Hawiye Mohammed Rashid Ibrahim  ? (Banned smoking,)
 ? - Afmadow, Lower Juba Darod  ?  ?
 ? - Jilib, Middle Juba Dir Mohamed Omar Mursal  ?
 ? - Barawe, Lower Shabelle Dir  ?  ?
 ? - Jawil, Hiraan Hawiye  ?  ?
 ? - Buulo Barde, Hiraan Hawiye Hussein Barre Rage Salafi
 ? - Bur Hakaba, Bay Digil-Mirifle Mustafa Ali Mohammed  ?
 ? - Bardhere, Gedo Darod  ?  ?
 ? - South Galcayo, Mudug (Galmudug) Hawiye Abdullahi Siad Qeyre  ?
 ? - North Galcayo, Mudug (Puntland) Darod Ahmed Yusuf  ?
 ? - Kismayo, Lower Jubba Darod Hassan Turki Salafi
Imamu Shafici - Abudwaq, Galgadud Darod Ali Bashir  ?

Noted ICU leaders

  • Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed is the leader of the ICU. Ahmed was born in Chabila, Somalia and studied at Libyan and Sudanese universities. He is from the Abgaal branch of the Hawiye clan. He has also worked as a secondary school teacher of geography, Arabic, and religious studies. He speaks Arabic, Somali, and English.
  • Sheikh Yusuf Siad Inda'ade (or Inda Ade) served as deputy and financier for Hasan Dahir Aweys. He had been the chief of security of the Islamic Courts. [28] He is controversial for the fact that he was a former warlord who occupied Lower Shabeele in 2003. He later allied himself with the Islamic Courts. The Islamic Courts advanced to central and south Somalia regions, including the Kismayo area, before Inda'ade pledged his support, giving them control of Lower Shabelle region.[41] In December 2006, during the intense fighting with Ethiopia, he was not present and was on pilgrimage in Mecca.
  • Sheikh Mukhtar Robow who goes by the name of "Abu Mansur", was the deputy chief of security for the Islamic Courts. He had been credited with being instrumental in the victory of the Second Battle of Mogadishu against the ARPCT (CIA-backed warlords). In December 2006, during the intense fighting with Ethiopia, he was not present and was in pilgrimage in Mecca. He was trained in Afghanistan and was recently named a commander for the Al-Shabab.[42]
  • Professor Ibrahim Hassan Addow (M.Ed, Ph.D) was the head of foreign affairs department for the ICU. He lived in the United States and worked as an administrator at American University in Washington, D.C., before returning to Somalia in 1999. He is the dean of Benadir University in Mogadishu and had represented the Islamic courts in its negotiations with the Somali transitional government.[43]
  • Sheikh Fuad Mohamed Qalaf was the head of the department of youth and education in the ICU. He lived in Sweden for ten years and was an imam at a mosque in Stockholm before returning to Somalia in 2006.[44]

Social policies

The Islamic Courts' mission was to bring social justice and combat iniquity thus after capturing Mogadishu it brought Sharia law back to Somalia and re instituted the constitution.

In the year 2000, the courts formed a union of Islamic courts, partly to consolidate resources and power and partly to aid in handing down decisions across, rather than within, clan lines.[16]

In an interview featured in the BBC Online Somali section in June 2006, Sheik Sharif Shaykh Ahmed said "the union of Islamic courts was established to ensure that Somali people suffering for 15 years would gain peace and full justice and freedom from the anarchic rule of warlords who refuted their people to no direction."

  • On October 5, 2006 the Islamic Courts had declared the formation of the supreme Islamic Sharia court of Banadir province. The announcement ceremony was attended by all Islamic officials; both consultative and executive councils, intellectuals and civil society members and took place in the former Somalian presidential palace in central Mogadishu. That announcement from the central Islamic Court was destined to end all tribal Islamic Courts in the capital.[27]
  • On November 17, 2006, the ICU had banned the use, sale and transportation of khat altogether and the Islamic Court of Kismayo banned the sale of cigarettes. This was a controversial move as it was the main source of income for many war widows and orphans and a huge import-export business.
  • Took control of Somali waters under their control and indigenously ended Piracy during their 6 month Reign[45]

Greater Somalia

In reference to the Ogaden and the North Eastern Province, land traditionally inhabited by ethnic Somalis but now within the borders of Kenya and Ethiopia, the late leader of the ICU, Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, said that the ICU would do its best to incorporate said territories into a Greater Somalia:

"We will leave no stone unturned to integrate our Somali brothers in Kenya and Ethiopia." [46] Ethiopia and Kenya have historically resisted such Somali attempts before. While most African countries are made up of multi-ethnic societies, Somalia has been a rare exception where one ethnicity makes up almost 100% of the population. The Islamist leader said his group will "gain back the Somali provinces forcefully annexed to Ethiopia and Kenya."[47]

Alleged military support to the ICU

  In November 2006, a UN arms monitoring group released information that all groups in Somalia were given logistical support by a dozen countries. [48] Those countries claimed those allegations. These are the allegations documented by the UN monitoring group:

  •  Djibouti: According to that report, the government of Djibouti has provided military uniforms and medicines in support of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU). On July 30, 2006, a Djibouti Airlines aircraft landed at an airport in Mogadishu with medicines and military uniforms intended for ICU. The true nature of the cargo was disguised, and it was presented as being from the Red Crescent Society of Djibouti to conceal its origins. After the cargo was unloaded, the aircraft proceeded to Mogadishu's main airport.
  •  Egypt: The government has allegedly provided training in support of ICU. On July 26, 2006, a meeting took place in Mogadishu between officials from ICU and visiting Libyan, Egyptian and Eritrean senior military officers at the residence of ICU finance chief Abdulkadir Abukar Omar Adani. According to the report, the meeting resolved that military training be provided to about 3,800 fighters at the Hilweyne military barracks, near Bal'ad town, north of Mogadishu.
  •  Eritrea: The Eritrean government "Allegedly" provided at least 28 separate consignments of arms, ammunition and military equipment. It also gave troops and training to the Islamic Courts Union. On April 26, 2006, a shipment of arms destined for ICU consisting of AK-47 assault rifles, PKM machine-guns, RPG-7s and ammunition arrived on a dhow at the seaport of El Ma'an. On May 6, 2006, an Eritrean Antonov military aircraft landed at Dhusamareeb in the Galgaduud region of Somalia. Awaiting the landing were about 75 people, five lorries and two Land Cruisers. The aircraft carried anti-aircraft guns which were loaded onto the lorries. On May 9, 2006, a dhow arrived at the El Ahmed seaport, and on board were fighters from Pakistan and the Oromo Liberation Front of Ethiopia. The fighters remained on the dhow. Five of the 75 people associated with the receipt of the anti-aircraft guns on May 6, 2006, boarded the dhow, along with some of anti-aircraft guns. ICU member Aden Hashi Farah "Eyrow", one of the leaders of the Hizbul Shabaab (youth movement), took possession of the arms and military uniforms. This information was given from The American Government whom have very poor relations with Eritrea. On An interview with the Riz Khan Aljezerra talk show, Eritreas government claimed that these accusations are based on false assumptions
  • Hezbollah: The Hezbollah movement has been reported to provide military training to ICU and has made arrangements with other states on behalf of ICU for the latter to receive arms. In mid-July 2006, ICU apparently sent about 720 veteran fighters to Lebanon to fight alongside Hezbollah against the Israeli military. The Somali force was handpicked by ICU's Hizbul Shabaab (youth movement) leader Aden Hashi Farah "Eyrow." One of the selection criteria was an individual's combat experience, which might include experience in Afghanistan. Many were killed or wounded during the fighting. In exchange for the contribution of the Somali military force, Hezbollah arranged for additional support to be given to ICU by the governments of Iran and Syria.
  •  Iran: The UN monitoring group stated that Iran has provided at least three consignments of arms and ammunition and medical supplies and the services of three medical doctors to ICU. On July 25, 2006, an aircraft containing a shipment of arms arrived at the Baledogle airport and was met by ICU head of the security affairs, Sheikh Yusuf Mohamed Siyaad "Indohaadde," and the chairman of the Dayniile Islamic Court, Sheikh Hussein Janaqow. The UN monitoring team says that the arms shipment consisted of machine guns and M79 grenade launchers. On August 17, 2006, a large dhow containing foods and arms destined for ICU arrived in El-Adde seaport, Mogadishu. The arms consisted of 80 man-portable, shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles and rocket launchers.
  •  Libya: Furthermore, the UN monitoring report states that the Libyan government has sent military aircraft to Somalia and has provided training, funds and at least a consignment of arms in support of ICU. On July 24, 2006, a delegation of military officers arrived at the Baledogle airport and on July 26, 2006, participated in a meeting in Mogadishu with ICU officials and visiting Egyptian and Eritrean senior military officers at the house of ICU finance chief Abdulkadir Abukar Omar Adani. On July 31, 2006, a vessel with arms and foods for ICU docked early in the morning at the seaport of El-Ma'an.
  •  Saudi Arabia: Furthermore, the document states that Saudi Arabia has given logistical support in the form of foodstuff and medicines intended for use by the ICU. On June 11, 2006, a C-130 aircraft left Jazan for the Baledogle airport. But the government said the flight had taken place for "medical" reasons. On August 14, 2006 , seven trucks containing logistical supplies, including foods and ammunition, left Mogadishu for an ICU location in the central regions of Somalia. Accompanying the convoy were 320 ICU fighters sent to reinforce fighters in the central regions.
  •  Syria: On July 27, 2006, 200 ICU fighters were transported by aircraft to Syria for training in guerrilla warfare.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Hassan Yare (2006). "Troops dig in as Somalia war fears grow". Reuters. http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L13220054.htm. Retrieved September 9, 2007.  
  2. ^ www.chinaview.cn (2006). "EU concerned about risk of war in Somalia". www.chinaview.cn. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2006-12/16/content_5497181.htm. Retrieved September 9, 2007.  
  3. ^ Warlord Yusuf "Indho Ade" Mohamed Siad, defense chief of the ICU
  4. ^ Alisha Ryu (2007). "Somalia's Islamic Courts Fighters Abandon Kismayo". newsVOA.com. http://voanews.com/english/2007-01-01-voa8.cfm. Retrieved September 9, 2007.  
  5. ^ "Former Islamic Courts Leader elected president of Somalia". Long War Journal. 2009-01-31. http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/01/former_islamic_court.php. Retrieved 2009-06-07.  
  6. ^ a b Lara Santoro, (1999). "Islamic Clerics Combat Lawlessness in Somalia". The Christian Science Monitor. http://www.csmonitor.com/1999/0713/p1s2.html. Retrieved September 9, 2007.  
  7. ^ a b Reuters (2006). "Somalia: Islamists refuse talks, acknowledge Eritrea". Mail & Guardian/Reuters. http://www.mg.co.za/articlepage.aspx?area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__africa/&articleid=278668. Retrieved September 9, 2007.  
  8. ^ Patrick Gilkes (1999). "The Somali connection". BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/special_report/1999/07/99/battle_in_the_horn/399898.stm. Retrieved September 9, 2007.  
  9. ^ a b Reuters (2007). "Somalia says captured foreign pro-Islamist fighters". Mail & Guardian/Reuters. http://www.mg.co.za/articlepage.aspx?area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__africa/&articleid=294811. Retrieved September 9, 2007.  
  10. ^ Salad Duhul (2007). "8 Militants Killed in Somali Fighting". Washingtom Post.com / Associated Press. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/03/AR2007060300282.html?hpid=topnews. Retrieved September 9, 2007.  
  11. ^ Garowe Online (2007). "Islamist supporters, al-Qaeda terrorists attacked us: Somalia governor". Garowe Online. http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Islamist_supporters_al-Qaeda_terrorists_attacked_us_Somalia_governor.shtml. Retrieved September 9, 2007.  
  12. ^ Puntland administration detected Arab fighters in the coastal area
  13. ^ WNBC.com (2007). "U.S. Military Strikes al-Qaida Cells In Somalia". WNBC.com. http://www.wnbc.com/news/13430557/detail.html. Retrieved September 9, 2007.  
  14. ^ BBC (2007). "'Al-Qaeda' arrest in East Africa". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6729015.stm. Retrieved September 9, 2007.  
  15. ^ Associated Press (2007). "Pentagon Holds Suspected al-Qaida Member Captured in E. Africa". KNX 1070 News/Associated Press. http://www.knx1070.com/pages/551987.php?contentType=4&contentId=584302. Retrieved September 9, 2007.  
  16. ^ a b Kristina Nwazota, Islamist Control of Mogadishu Raises Concern of Extremist Future for Somalia, Online NewsHour, June 8, 2006
  17. ^ "U.S. attacks may have killed Canadians in Somalia". Candaian Press. 2007-01-09. http://www.canada.com/topics/news/world/story.html?id=0f42729c-c9a0-4000-8b26-6f2b1a321fb9&k=87889. Retrieved 2007-01-09.  
  18. ^ Lacey, Mark, Islamic militias take control of Somali capital, The New York Times, 5 June 2006
  19. ^ Lacey, Mark, Somali Islamists Declare Victory; Warlords on Run, New York Times, 6 June 2006
  20. ^ Somali Islamists capture key town, BBC News, 13 June 2006
  21. ^ Somali Islamists seize key port South African Mail and Guardian, 16 August 2006
  22. ^ Ethiopian troops on Somali soil, BBC News, 20 July 2006
  23. ^ Mohamed Abdi Farah, Somalia: Reopening of Mogadishu's airport welcomed, Somalinet, July 15, 2006
  24. ^ SOMALIA: Transitional govt, Islamic courts agree to talks, IRIN, August 15, 2006
  25. ^ First ship arrives in Mogadishu, BBC, August 25, 2006
  26. ^ Islamists shooting kills people in Kismayo
  27. ^ a b Mohamed Abdi Farah, Somalia: Islamists set up central Islamic court in the capital, Somalinet, October 2, 2006
  28. ^ a b Somali hardliner calls for foreign jihadists
  29. ^ Somalia: ICU leaders resign as Ethiopian army nears the capital SomaliNet
  30. ^ "Terror war expanding to Somalia?". Associated Press. 2007-01-09. http://www.courierpostonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070109/NEWS01/70109009/1006. Retrieved 2007-01-09.  
  31. ^ "Pentagon says Somalia attack not the end". 2007-01-10. http://www.registerguard.com/news/2007/01/10/a1.somalia.0110.p1.php?section=nation_world. Retrieved 2007-01-10.  
  32. ^ http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Al_Shabaab_declare_war_on_Somalia_s_new_President_Sheikh_Sharif.shtml
  33. ^ World Cup ban in Mogadishu denied BBC News
  34. ^ [1]
  35. ^ [2]
  36. ^ Sorry is not enough for barbaric killing in hospital beds Somalinet
  37. ^ Somalia: Islamic courts again warn of foreign troops in Somalia, SomaliNet News, 15 June 2006
  38. ^ Islamic Courts clash with Puntland, Al Jazeera, 06 November 2006
  39. ^ Puntland 'to fight Islamic courts', Al Jazeera, 21 November 2006
  40. ^ Designation of Hassan Abdullah Hersi al-Turki under Executive Order 13224 US Department of State
  41. ^ Islamists extend authority in Somalia, Reuters , 30 Sept 2006
  42. ^ Mukhtar Robow, Al shabab commander trained in Afghanistan
  43. ^ Edmund Sanders, Islamists bring order to Somalia, but justice is far from uniform, Seattle Times, October 15, 2006
  44. ^ Farah, Mohamed Abdi (2005-10-11). "Somalia: abroad Somali communities urged to return home for Jihad". SomaliNet. http://somalinet.com/news/world/English/4203. Retrieved 2006-12-27.  
  45. ^ http://www.hiiraan.com/comments2-news-2007-oct-piracy_off_somalia_s_coast_increases.aspx "Associated Press, October 17, 2007"
  46. ^ ICU plans to take over Ethiopian and Kenyan territories
  47. ^ islamists plans to take the Somali provinces "forcefully annexed to Ethiopia and Kenya"
  48. ^ "Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia pursuant to Security Council resolution 1676 (2006)" (Microsoft Word Doc). November 2006. http://www.cfr.org/publication/12021/. Retrieved 2006-01-05.  

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