Saturday, July 08, 2006

A good analysis of the situation in Somalia

This article gives a very good analysis of the real situation in Somalia, with regards to the factionalism of the ICU. It reinforces what I've been saying all along which is that we cannot simply treat the ICU as one homogeneous entity when in fact there are two distinct groups within it that may oppose one another.

Much recent analysis about the Islamic courts in Mogadishu has focused on the political and military strength of the courts. The Union of Islamic Courts is often portrayed as a monolithic juggernaut about to crush all opposition and rivals especially the weak transitional government based in Baidoa. Some analysts even predict the courts may soon overthrow the interim government and take over power.

What is missing from much of the discussion on the courts is the ideological divisions within the Islamist movement in Somalia, which have the potential to sap their current strength and worse, provoke another round of bloodletting - only this time between the adherents of the various ideological strands of modern political Islam.

[...]The ideological divisions within the Islamist groups, were masked by the fact they had a common enemy - the warlords. Now that the warlords have been ousted, and the clans have switched their allegiance to the Islamists, these divisions are becoming noticeable.

We have seen evidence of this, with the "demotion" of many of the moderates. But not only that, inter-clan rivalries appear to not have completely subsided.

This troubling picture in Mogadishu is further complicated by inter-clan rivalries, mainly between the Ayr, the Mudulod and the Abgal clans, as well as the apparent resurgence of the traditional mainstream Sunni sects that are jostling for influence and creating their own Islamic courts in a bid to counter the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC).

A report published in the Shabeelle Media Network on 5 July suggests tension is rising in Mogadishu again, especially in Bermuda, and violent clashes may break out between the rival Islamic groups competing with one another in setting up Islamic courts.

I really don't want to quote anymore because this article requires no analysis on my part. It does, however, require reading on your part if you really want to know what's going on over there, so I strongly suggest you follow the link.


Xanthippas said...

Knowledge that detailed of the situation over there is crucial to determining how we should deal with the Islamists. A split between them means there is room for us to stop in, directly or via proxies, in an effort to diminish the influence of the hard-liners. It's even more possible that we could do so considering that the hard-liners are going overboard in their zeal to create an Islamic state.

Nat-Wu said...

Exactly, that's been my point all along. This short-sighted policy of treating all Muslims as if they're one step from terrorists is only going to hurt us.