Halkaan ka akhri
A member of Somalia’s Islamic Courts movement has dismissed the Somali transitional federal government as a “colonial government” while urging the international community not to send peacekeepers to the country.
Yusuf “Indha Ade” Mohamed Siad, formerly the Islamists’ security chief, told the BBC Somali Service on Sunday that he is “somewhere in Banadir region,” where the capital Mogadishu is located.
Yusuf Indha Ade
“There is no government we recognize because there is no government set up by the Somali people…they [government] were built by colonialists,” Indha Ade added.
He warned against calls for the deployment of more African Union peacekeepers, saying that “such troops are all colonial troops because there is conflict here.”
Last week, visiting United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged the AU to strengthen its peacekeeping force Somalia to replace Ethiopian troops, who are unpopular locally.
Indha Ade said the Islamists would continue their guerrilla war against the government as long as the country is “under occupation.”
“We are ready for peace and we are not opposed to peacekeeping troops, but we oppose troops brought by one group that we don’t know why they came to this country and colonial troops who are [already] here,” he said, referring to pro-government Ethiopian troops and AU peacekeepers from Uganda.
Asked if the opposition would talk to the government, Indha Ade indicated that the conditions on the ground must change before dialogue can begin.
He criticized the international community for supporting Ethiopia’s armed intervention in Somalia last year that toppled the Islamist regime in Mogadishu.
“The international community does not want security, peace and honor for Somalia,” Indha Ade claimed, after describing the relative peace Islamist rulers brought to Mogadishu and other regions in 2006.
He downplayed the significance of new Somali Prime Minister Nur “Adde” Hassan Hussein as a “yes-man” for President Abdullahi Yusuf.
Indha Ade said the calls for dialogue from government officials, including Prime Minister Nur Adde, are unrealistic: “‘Put your weapons down but I will keep mine and let us talk’ does not exist [anywhere] in the world.”
He maintained that Islamist guerrillas waging war on the government and its foreign allies are “not criminals.”
“We are a people at their homes who were attacked and we are defending ourselves. Defending ourselves is mandatory in Islamic religion and it is [also] mandatory practice in human culture,” Indha Ade said.
The only solution in Somalia is for “foreign troops to return to their homes,” according to the Islamist war chief.
Indha Ade was appointed as defense secretary by the Eritrea-based Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia, an opposition coalition composed mainly of Islamists and former government officials.
A former warlord, he is now an active member of the Islamists’ Al-Shabaab wing that has claimed responsibility for numerous assassinations, roadside bombings and face-to-face battles with Somali and Ethiopian troops.