Mogadishu, 25 July 2009 (Somalilandpress) — Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, the leader of Hizbul Islam [Islamic party], will be lobbying for his rebel organisation to forge ties with other Islamists groups in the country and to oust the government of Sheikh Sharif from power, he disclosed on Friday.
Aweys, who is said to have close links with Al-Qaeda, told a large crowd of worshippers in Aba Hureira Mosque that his rebel movement will unite with the notorious Al-shabab faction. He added that both rebels will be united bands under his leadership and that the ‘jihad against the enemies of Islam’ will continue.
He told his followers to be patient and that in his view, it was not right to stop the war after twenty years of anarchy, he felt the overall goal of “to achieve victory over the enemies” was not accomplished.
Al shabab [the youth], founded in 2006, is headed by 32 year old Somaliland native, Ahmed Abdi Aw-Mohamed. He is also known as Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr or Godane. Al shabab, often operate alongside another radical group, the Ras Kamboni Brigade, founded by Sheikh Hassan Turki, a native of Ogaden region of Ethiopia.
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Dahir Aweys created Hisbul Islam after his old alley; Sheikh Sharif was elected as the head of Somalia’s Transitional government in Djibouti in January. By late February, Hisbul Islam was waging war on the Transitional government forces and African Union troops in Mogadishu alongside Al-shabab.
The merger will only mean more influence in the region; the rebels already control six provinces of the nine provinces in “southern” Somalia. The other three regions, Hiran, Middle Shabelle and Galgadud are considered disputed between Islamist groups allied with the government and Al Shabab wing. Sheikh Sharif’s administration has little control outside the presidential villa, analyst believe, it be gone too without the presence of AU forces.
Early last week, Hisbul Islam shared French hostages with Al shabab camp in a gesture of conciliation, it seems now they are ready to forge official brotherhood ties.