Nov 21, 2007

Islamic Courts oppose peacekeeping troops

I briefly met Sheikh Sharif Ahamed of Islamic Courts this morning, he was interviewed yesterday on Aljazeera Arabic. In the interview he was asked easy questions about the current situation in Somalia, about the Ethiopian troops and the proposed UN peacekeeping troops. He avoided saying that the Islamic Courts were involved in the violence in Somalia, instead he said that they had warned that such a mass killing and destruction would take place. He also said that he opposes any foreign troops in Somalia so the Ethiopian troops should leave and Somalis to reach a political deal through a reconciliation conference. He also claimed that he's the head of the alliance for liberation of Somalia (which includes TFG opponents like Hussein Aideed and Sharif the former speaker of the parliament).

Contrary to what Sharif claimed, not all of those who oppose the Ethiopian occupation in Somalia are supporters of the Islamic Courts or part of his alliance, they'd failed to attract people like Ali Khalif Galaydh and prof. Samatar to their camp (these are some of the most important opposition figures to the occupation).

Sharif's language had softened from the last time he was interviewed by Aljazeera, and it seems he's hoping for a political deal. It will be interesting to see whether and how his stance changes after a new prime minister is chosen.

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