Islamist leader back in Somalia – BBC

April 23rd, 2009 Print Print Email Email

Islamist opposition leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys has returned to Somalia after two years in exile. (more…)

Islamist opposition leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys has returned to Somalia after two years in exile.

He fled to Eritrea in 2007 after Ethiopian troops ousted his movement, the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC).

While in Eritrea, Mr Aweys broke ranks with fellow UIC leader Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, now Somali president.

The US has labelled Mr Aweys a terrorist, but analysts say his return could help stabilise the country’s fledgling government.

Mr Aweys flew into the Somali capital, Mogadishu, early on Thursday – an unpublicised and low-key return from exile for one the country’s most influential conservative clerics, the BBC’s East Africa correspondent Peter Greste said.

“[Aweys] will be staying with us, and we shall be having discussions on the current political situation in Somalia,” Omar Abubukar, leader of Hizb al-Islamiya, an allied political party, said on Thursday.

Constant conflict

Mr Aweys and Mr Ahmed both headed the UIC, which ruled most of the country for the second half of 2006.

They fled to the Eritrean capital Asmara, where they formed the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS).

The two men split after Mr Ahmed – considered the more moderate of the two – agreed to UN-led talks with the government that brought him to power in January 2009 and saw Ethiopia withdraw its troops.

Mr Aweys accused Mr Ahmed of siding with the enemy, and last July declared he had taken control of the ARS.

Mr Aweys is an influential leader of one of Mogadishu’s most powerful clans, so his arrival in the capital suggests that relations between the two men has improved and some kind of agreement is one the table, our correspondent says.

If that is the case, it could significantly improve security in the capital, and give the government a badly needed boost of authority, he adds.

Radical Islamist guerrillas such as al-Shabab, which control parts of Mogadishu and much of central and southern Somalia, have sworn to topple the fragile government.

Somalia, a nation of about eight million people, has experienced almost constant civil conflict since the collapse of Mohamed Siad Barre’s regime in January 1991.

Sheikh Aweys is on a US most-wanted list of suspected terrorists with links to al-Qaeda.

  1. Felashaw
    | #1

    Please, send this immediately to the mind blind editor of Aiga forum.
    What would Meles say this time to confuse the people of Ethiopia?

  2. yikerbelen
    | #2

    wondata. He has given a good lessoon for visionless tegeray’s bandites. It is the second victory for both Isayas and sheik aweyes over weyanes. The same person and the same sharia law.

  3. Ethiopian girl
    | #3

    Should we be happy about Islamist next door? Will they pour in Hardcore Islamic law from Somalia into Ethiopia (Oromia, Afar, Ogaden and Harar)?

    What is going to happen to Ethiopia?
    Should Ethiopia become Islamic Sharia nation? Why are we happy about this? This is not safe for Ethiopian Christian and why are Eritrean Christian supporting them because they both hate Ethiopia?

  4. Asima
    | #4

    As usual the God Father has scored another victory. It seems the Eritrean President knows how to play his cards. This is the stroke of a genius. The man, says what he means and does what he says. This a portrait of greatness and leadership potential. I am starting to like this guy.

  5. Alkanbulan
    | #5

    This is the great victory against TPLF; now is the time to let go the TPLF empty propoganda. No more playing with the innocent boold and make money over the dead people.

    Chances are critical for TPLF right now because there is no place to hide themselvies; no more no less days left for brutal dictator TPLF leaders. When the time comes they will get the same price; cause what’s goes around will come around to them.

  6. Abajima
    | #6

    TPLF DOESN’T CARE WHAT FORM OF GOVERNMENT SOMALIA WILL HAVE WHETHER
    SHARIA OR WHATEVER.WE DON’T WORRY THE RETURN OF Aweys EITHER
    BUT ONE THING HAS TO BE CLEAR,IF SOMALIA TRIES TO WAGE JEHAD ON ETHIOPIA
    AS THEY DID BEFORE FOR SURE TPLF WILL KICK THEM AND KICK THEM HARD AS
    WE DID TO ERITREA.

  7. Yeg
    | #7

    Abajima,

    As Meles did, you intentionally ignored to say at cost to Ethiopia and who had the last laugh. Ethiopia went in and got chased out with humiliation. The Islamists are back sronger than before.

    Tell us what Ethiopia gained from Meles’s stupid adventure.

  8. Felashaw
    | #8

    Abajima,
    Do you really think we kicked them? Didn´t you see; they were pulling dead TPLF soldiers all the road in Mogadishu. How much soldiers of TPLF are dead? How much money was spend while people were dying of hunger in southern Ethiopia? Everybody, except TPLF and his beneficieries, can´t belevie the fact that they lost the war, coz none of the set objectives were achieved.
    The Islamists are mushrooming more than ever.
    Abajima open your eyes and smell the coffee!

  9. yikerbelen
    | #9

    TO ETHIOPIA GIRL.Sharia law is far better than the narrow minded and stupids dedebit law or jungle law. Do you think people who applies sharia law will handle W/t Birtukan in such an animal’s way. Sharia law has high respect for human being as far as you do respect the law God. IF you resepct other people, if you follow the whar kuran says ,if you respect the cultureof that country .What is TPLF’s law? they are stealing the gold from ethiopia’s centeral bank, they are killing children, women, even beyond that they are exporting ethiopia’s girls to arrogant arabs as aform of domstice workers with out any concret garantee, They are dancing in sheraton after killing 45 innocent ethiopians and wounding more than 200 ethiopians. so do not you think sharia law is better than vissionless bandits dedebit’s law even for christians?

  10. yikerbelen
    | #10

    Abajima, I tell you the truth ethiopia will never win any war under the leadership of TPLF. TPLF lost definately the war in somalia. it will loss any where.

Comments are closed.