Somalia Islamist group al-Shabab have accused United Nations agencies in Somalia of being enemies of Islam and Somali Muslims. The al-Qaeda linked group have attacked the offices of the UN Political Office for Somalia, the Development Program and the Department of Safety and Security, in protest of the United Nations presence in the country.
The extremist Islamist group have taken control of southern Somalia and other key positions in the capital city of Mogadishu, while banning the UN agencies from operating in the regions under their control.
According to a reported statement from al-Shabab, “The three UN organizations were “working against the benefit of the Somali Muslim population and against the establishment of an Islamic state in Somalia.”
The UN helped install the transitional government under President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, a moderate Islamist, in January, leading to accusations from the al-Shabab rebel group naming the president as a Western puppet.
Despite introducing Sharia law in the country, al-Shabab has continued to wage war against the UN and the U.S. backed government of Somalia. The UN Special representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, has reportedly accused the extremists who are attacking Mogadishu of being directly responsible for the current suffering and misery of tens of thousands of Somali civilians.
No respect for other Muslims
“The Somali extremists and their foreign allies started this latest fighting which has led to the deaths and displacement of ordinary Somalis, many of whom only recently returned home hoping to restart their lives. In their attempt to seize power, these extremists have clearly shown their lack of regard for their innocent Muslim brothers and sisters,” Mr. Ould-Abdallah is quoted.
The al-Shaba group are followers of the Wahhabi school of Islam, which is based on a more rigid and literal interpretation of Islamic texts, rather than mainstream Sunni faith practised by most Somalis. The group wants power – so that all of Somalia is ruled by Sharia; they wanted Ethiopian troops out of Somalia and now they want the African Union peacekeepers, based in Mogadishu, to leave.
The average Somalian hoped that the election of moderate Islamist and the departure of Ethiopian troops would stop the violence, but Islamist insurgents have not relented in their almost daily attacks.