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Somaliland: Sool elders hold secret meetings with Al Shabab

Mogadishu Saturday 5 June 2010 SMC


Members of Dhulbahante’s religious order and elders have been holding a secret meeting organised by Banadir Islamic Society with Al Shabab in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, for the past week.

The meeting which was spearheaded by Sheikh Ali Mohammad Hassan who is head of Banadir Islamic Society took place in Mogadishu and brought together members of Dhulbahante clan from Sool region in Somaliland and senior members of Al Shabab group. The Dhulbahante delegation was led by Mr Ahmed Abdullahi Shanlo, who is an important elder in the tribe and Ali Abdalla Hassan, an intellectual and religious figure.

The group praised al shabab for their holy war and said they stand side-by-side with their Islamic agenda for the region. Mr Shanlo compared their religious war with that one Mohammad Abdullah Hassan (Mad Mullah) has waged against the British, Italians and the Ethiopians at the end of the eighteenth century. Mr Shanlo described the current war Al Shabab is waging as just and holy.

Mohammad Abdullah Hassan received most of his religious training in what is present day Saudi Arabia, where he studied a fundamentalist brand of Islam called Salihiya, a neo-Sufis teachings similar to the Wahhabism. When Mohammad Abdullah returned to Somaliland he created a religious split among the Somalis between Salihiya and pro-Qadiri brotherhood which led to armed confrontations. Mohammad and his darwish (dervish) army were eventually defeated in 1920.

Mr Hassan on his part requested support from al shabab against a recent Ethiopian forces that crossed into the town of Buhodle, the traditional home of Sayid Abdullah.

Ethiopia recently established a military post just in the outskirts of Buhodle that has largely angered the locals. The two sides clashed about two weeks ago when the army seized at least 17 transport vehicles. The Ethiopians have since taken the transport across the border and into the town of Jigjiga (see Hundreds flee their homes in Buhodle).

Sheikh Ali Mohammed Hassan praised the Dhulbahante kinsmen for the recent clash with the Ethiopians in the town that left at least 13 dead and over 30 hurt.

In the end all parties agreed there was need to spread the Quran throughout the region.

The Dhulbahante clans mainly inhabit parts of Sanag and Sool in Somaliland’s eastern regions. The clan is currently divided between pro-Somaliland, Somalia, Puntland and Islamists groups that operate in Somalia’s south.

Al Shabab and some members of the Dhulbahante clan including the SSC who operate under the Northern Somalia Unionist Movement (NSUM) want to spoil the presidential elections in Somaliland by targeting polling stations, transportation and the military personnel in Sool and Sanag regions.

Source: SomalilandPress


Somaliweyn Media Center (SMC)



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