SOMALILAND: Darod clan spokesman backs Somalia's Islamist insurgents and condemns Israel, EU, Ethiopia and United States

MOGADISHU (Somalilandpress) — The spokesman for Darod clan in Southern Somalia, Sheikh Ahmed Abdullahi has unanimously condemned the State of Israel, United States and the European Union in a press conference he held in his residency in Mogadishu.

Sheikh Ahmed, who was responding to a recent story Somalilandpress has published regarding Israel and Somaliland [Israel says ready to recognize Somaliland] said, “the infidels want to prey on the people of Somalia and further divided them, they want to establish base in Berbera and turn the north (Somaliland) into a new Palestine.”

He added this was no surprise to him and that the “infidels” were always fueling the conflict and unrest in Somalia.

Sheikh ahmed said the West wanted to divided Somalia between Israel, Ethiopia, EU and the United States.

Sheikh Ahmed is a member of the Darod sub-clan of Dhulbahante, who are currently engaged in insurgency activies in the town of Las Anod with the support of Somalia’s Al Shabab and other Islamists groups against Somaliland forces.

In recent weeks, a number of road side bombs have killed both civilians and military personnel in the disputed town.

A recent report by Somaliland police has revealed the presence of Al Shabab elements in the Sool region of Somaliland who have found safe heaven among some of the Dhulbahante clan.
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Sheikh Ahmed has urged Al Shabab, Hisbul Islam and other Islamists to attack Somaliland and Western interests. Sheikh Ahmed has spoke highly of the Islamists rebels and condemned Israel. “Israel must not try to come to Somaliland, its our land, we tell the Jews to keep away, they will be slaughtered and our regions, Sool, Sanag and Ayn are part of greater Somalia” he said. Sool and Sanag which the Dhulbahante clan inhabits parts of it are disputed regions by Somaliland administration and the semi-autonomous region of Puntland of Somalia, which is dominated by the Majertein clan, who also belong to the Darod clan family.

He said no Jews will come to our land and our “Mujahedin” were ready to fight with them. He urged Islamists groups to be ready to fight against the Israelis and the West.

Darod is one of the largest clans in Somalia and sees a recognized Somaliland, mainly inhabited by rival Issaq clan as an imminent threat and future Darod division.

The Darod which also includes the Ogadens, occupied by Ethiopia, are traditionally opposed to the West due to Britain dividing them up into what is today Somaliland, Kenya and Ethiopia.

The Sheikh, was angered by a recent story, where by a local source quoted an Israeli newspaper indicating that Israel might recognize the State of Somaliland.

Sheikh Ahmed fears if Israel recognizes Somaliland that would be the final blow to a greater Darod clan.

Al Shabab, a hardline insurgents group in Somalia early this year announced their affiliation with Al Qaeda. The spokesman call for Al Shabab and Hisbul Islam to unit under one front against Somaliland and Western interest could be an indication of already suspicion that elements of the Dhulbahante clan might be sympathetic to the hardliners. Al Shabab militants have already inspired the leaders of Dhulbahante clan to carry out attacks against Somaliland forces in the Sool region.

Meanwhile, Al Shabab fighters pour into Somalia’s capital as they seek control of Mogadishu and plan to push up north into Puntland region and Somaliland. Al Shabab vowed to drive the weak government of Somalia and bring all Somali speaking regions including the Ogaden under their control with the assistance of Ethiopia’s ONLF rebels and the backing of Iranian arms arriving via Eritrea.

Many Dhulbahante tribal leaders have  in recent weeks called on Darods in the Diaspora to support the “cause” and many have responded by holding conferences in American, European and Kenyan cities, raising funds to support terrorism acts against Somaliland police and military.

Sheikh Ahmed’s remarks are no surprise to many, a UN report from 2006 said Somalia’s Islamist hardliners have sent more than 700 combatants to Lebanon for Hezbollah as Israel battled the mainly Shia group. The report which added Iran wanted to acquire Somalia’s uranium deposits also trained Somali rebels along with Egypt, Libya and Syria.

Listen to Sheikh Ahmed (Somali): [audio: sheikh_ahmed.mp3]

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Audio: XOL radio
Somalilandpress, 14 February 2010

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