Saturday, June 2, 2012

Profiling Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamma Militia

With multiple local and foreign forces supporting Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in their battle against the hardline Islamic militant group, al-Shabaab, Terror Free Somalia .
 explores one group, the pro-government Sufi militia, Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamma (ASWJ).

History of Sufism

Sufism is a mystical Islamic sect with a considerable number of adherents in Somalia. Adherents seek to distance themselves from the material world and in that manner connect with their creator. In Somalia, the sect's presence goes as far back as the 15th century.
The Sufi sect gained respect in Somalia because they were solely devoted to the teaching and spreading of Islam in the country. They did not have any role to play in the country’s political state and maintained a low economic status. ASWJ is mainly composed of the Sufi ulumas (scholars) who were the former religious leaders of Somalia.
The Creation of ASWJ
The ASWJ as an armed political movement was first established in 2008 when they engaged in face-to-face fighting with al-Shabaab militia in Gureil district of Galgadud region in central Somalia. According to information provided by ASWJ leadership, the fighting was caused by three main issues:
• Senior members of ASWJ were arrested by al-Shabaab in Galgadud • Al-Shabaab gave them an ultimatum of 42 days to join their group and adopt their beliefs and ideologies
• Al-Shabaab banned ASWJ from celebrating the Mowlid festival which is the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad
Faced by these challenges, the ASWJ held a series of meeting in all districts of Galgadud region which is traditionally an ASWJ stronghold and decided to fight al-Shabaab. They also formed several committees which included the interim mobilization committee, finance committee and military committee. Before the completion of these meetings, ASWJ and al-Shabaab conflict began in Guriel district on 27th December 2008. A battle occurred when al-Shabaab attacked a mosque and attempted to arrest a high profile ASWJ cleric. This provoked a full scale war after ASWJ received additional reinforcement from the other districts in the region like Abudwak, Balanbale and Herale, according to the ASWJ spokesmen Mohamed Hussien Abukar (Awliyo) and the chairman of ASWJ in southern Somalia Mohamed Mohamud Yusuf Aw-libah.
ASWJ's reinforcement militia were organised within a short period and they were mainly scholars, teachers in the Koranic schools, and loyalists of ASWJ in Abudwak, Balanbale and Herale, as explained by both Awlibah and Awliyo. The fighting later spread to other districts under the al-Shabaab administration in Galgadud which forced al-Shabaab to leave the major districts in the region; as a result, the ASWJ gained strong public support. Similar activities had also started in the south of the country like Gedo region and Banadir, hence ASWJ became the first organised Somali group to defeat al-Shabaab.
ASWJ as a Political Faction
ASWJ was first recognised as a legitimate political movement in Somalia in 2010 when they struck a power sharing deal facilitated by the Ethiopian government in Addis Ababa with the TFG. The agreement stated that 39 ASWJ representatives would be in the TFG. Six were to be part of the cabinet, 10 in the military and the rest were to occupy other sectors of the government. However ASWJ was not satisfied with how the power sharing deal was implemented. Only one member from ASWJ was appointed in the cabinet while five others were spread out in the military, according to Awlibah. Speaking to terror free Somalia  Awlibah accused the TFG of failing to implement the Addis Ababa agreement.
As ASWJ largely limited their presence and consolidated their power in the central regions and some parts of southern Somalia, they have gained a political legitimacy both in Somalia and the international community. ASWJ attended and the London conference and also the Garowe OneTwo in which they played the crucial role of uplifting their status as a political organization.
Gado region,Areas Controlled by ASWJ

ASWJ generally controls all of Galgadud region except Adado district and is seeking to rid the area of TFG officials. They also control some parts of Hiran region and have a presence in Mogadishu but do not control specific areas in the capital. In Gedo region, ASWJ controls four districts, as illustrated in the map, with TFG forces.
Who Funds the ASWJ?
Most of the ASWJ funded by contributions from the Somali Diaspora and the local community, according to Sharif Abdiwahid Sharif Aden, the spokesman of ASWJ in southern Somalia, who spoke to Somalia Report. ASWJ also collects revenue in areas they control which they use for salaries and logistical operations costs of their soldiers. Other sources close to ASWJ leadership state that they sometimes receive logistical support from the Ethiopian government. Most of their leaders work voluntary and are not paid. Somalia Report communicated with several ASWJ leaders in order to get the total amount of funds received by ASWJ annually, but none were able to provide an accurate amount.
Leadership Struggles
After ASWJ took over the administration of most of Galgadud region, they elected Sheikh Mohamud Ma’alin Hassan as their leader. A few months later Sheikh Mohamud left after a misunderstanding and was replaced by Yusuf Mohamed Hefow. By mid-2011, serious disagreements overshadowed the ASWJ leadership in central Somalia and was based on clan power sharing.
The Marehan, Ayr and Dir clan within ASWJ have support in Galgadud. In 2011 Sheikh Ibrahim Hassan Gureye, an active ASWJ member in Abudwak, declared himself the official and legitimate ASWJ leader in central Somalia. This widened rifts among the ASWJ senior officials as suspicion and mistrust grew. When the Marehan militias withdrew from the frontlines in Abudwak, Balanbale and Dhabat, the group was well on its way to complete collapse. With the looming threat posed by al-Shabaab, Ethiopia stepped in and began mediation between the tribal factions of ASWJ. Negotiation meetings were held in Abduwak where the group's current chairman Hirsi Hilowle (Laba Gare) was elected.
Similar power struggles existed in the south. Today, it is still not clear who is the real ASWJ chairman for the southern Somalia. Both Aw-libah and Aidurus Said Ahmed claim the chairmanship. ASWJ in Banadir are an independent group who have looser ties to the TFG in comparison with ASWJ in the south. The ASWJ in Galgadud, Banadir and southern Somalia share a common ASWJ title but do not share a partnering policy which defines how they should work together.
                                                                          Current Leaders of ASWJ

Ahmed Shiekh Adan (Shuqul)
Ahmed Sheikh Adan (Shuqul), ASWJ
Chairman ASWJ in Mogadishu (Banadir)
Birth: 1965
Place of Birth: Moagadishu
Clan: Shiekhal
Citizenship: Somali

Mohamed Mohamud Yusuf (Aw-libah)
Mohamed Mohamud Yusuf (Aw-libah), ASWJ
Chairman ASWJ in Southern Somalia
Date of Birth: 1962
Place of Birth: Garbaharey, Gedo region Clan: Marehan, Sub-clan of Darod
Citizenship: Somali
For our interview with Aw-libah, please click here.

Aidurus Sayid Ahmed
Aidurus Sayid Ahmed, ASWJ
Chairman of ASWJ in Southern Somalia
Birth: 18 October 1969
Place of Birth: Sarinley Gedo Region
Clan: Marehan, sub-clan of Darod

Hirsi Aw-Mohamed Hilowle
Hirsi Aw-Mohamed Hilowle
Chairman of ASWJ in Galgadud region
Birth: 1962
Place of birth: Mogadishu
Clan: Marehan Sub-clan of Darod
Citizenship: Australian

Sharif Abdiwahid Sharif Adan (Hilalu Ahmar)
Sharif Abdiwahid Sharif Adan (Hilalu Ahmar), ASWJ
Spokesman of ASWJ in Southern Somalia
Birth: 1975
Place of Birth: Luq Gedo Region
Clan: Asharaf
Citizenship: Somali

Mohamed Hussein Abukar
Mohamed Hussein Abukar
Spokesman and Representative in Europe
Birth: January 1967
Place of Birth: Hargaysa
Clan: Dir
Citizenship: UK

Yusuf Mohamed Hefow
Yusuf Mohamed Hefow
Title: Executive committee chairman
Birth: 1958
Place of Birth: Beledweyn
Clan: Hawiye, sub-clan, Ceyr
Citizenship: Somali

Sheikh Abdulkadir Sheikh Mohamed (Ooomoow)
Sheikh Abdulkadir Sheikh Mohamed, ASWJ
Title: the speaker of superior council of ASWJ
Date of birth: 1964
Place of birth: Biyocadde, Middle Shebelle region
Citizenship: Somali
Clan: Abgal, Sub-clan of Hawiye

With TFG
According to information provided by Mohamed Hussein Abukar Awliyo, the spokesman of ASWJ, the TFG and ASWJ are not on good terms. Mr Awliyo expressed is frustration with the TFG's acknowledgment of the advancement made by the ASWJ forces in the different frontlines. He also accused the TFG of supporting and creating local regional administrations in areas controlled by ASWJ in an attempt to eliminate them. The recent visit by the Somalia head of state to Adado district controlled by Himin and Heb administration and his failure to officially visit ASWJ controlled areas, indicates the failing relations between the TFG and ASWJ according to Awliyo.
With Ethiopia and UNPOS
Ethiopia, which worked with the ASWJ to take control of key towns in Galgadud in March of this year, is not willing to allow Somalia to recover and govern itself again and western countries are destroying Somalia, according to the spokesman.
The United Nations Political Office (UNPOS) for Somalia and the Ethiopian government harbour plans to destroy ASWJ by creating local and regional administrations in Galgadud. They are backing new leaders like Ahmed Abdisalan the former deputy prime minister in order to eliminate ASWJ leadership structures as explained by Awliyo.
"They are providing a lot of resources to the TFG. It is led by Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. A few years ago he was bombing and terrorising the local communities in Somalia, yet they allowed him to be the leader of Somalia. This is clear indication that they do not want peace for this country again. Now they are trying to negotiate with al-Shabaab," said Awliyo.
"We met with the officials from the American embassy in Nairobi several times and also other western embassies and asked them for help but they told us to create a regional authority if we want funds. It is clear to us that they do not want to work with us because of our religious affiliations and name. They also want to put us in total political isolation," he explained.
The Future of ASWJ
Reports provided by the chairman of ASWJ in southern Somalia indicate that ASWJ will become an unarmed political organization after 2012 when the transitional period comes to an end. At that time, ASWJ militias will become part of the Somalia national forces. The chairman stated that they shared this with the international community who accepted the proposal.   ASWJ website

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Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner  General Mohamed Abshir

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater
Somalia army parade 1979

Sultan Kenadid

Sultan Kenadid
Sultanate of Obbia

President of the United Meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the Somali Republic,

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire
Sultanate of Warsengeli

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre ( A somali Hero )

MoS Moments of Silence

MoS Moments of Silence
honor the fallen

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre  and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie
Beautiful handshake

May Allah bless him and give Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan

May Allah bless him and give  Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan
Honorable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was born 1919, Ganane, — (gedo) jubbaland state of somalia ,He passed away Jan. 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) President of Somalia, from 1969-1991 He has been the great leader Somali people in Somali history, in 1975 Siad Bare, recalled the message of equality, justice, and social progress contained in the Koran, announced a new family law that gave women the right to inherit equally with men. The occasion was the twenty –seventh anniversary of the death of a national heroine, Hawa Othman Tako, who had been killed in 1948 during politbeginning in 1979 with a group of Terrorist fied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre , the Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes—one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew. Warlordism, terrorism. PIRATES ,(TRIBILISM) Replaces the Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre administration .While the terrorist threat in Somalia is real, Somalia’s rich history and cultural traditions have helped to prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. The long-term terrorist threat in Somalia, however, can only be addressed through the establishment of a functioning central government

The Honourable Ronald Reagan,

When our world changed forever

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)
Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1963 to 1966, to Italy and the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] in Rome from 1969 to 1973, and to the French Govern­ment in Paris from 1974 to 1979.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac 'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac  'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.
Besides being the administrator and organizer of the freedom fighting SYL, he was also the Chief of Protocol of Somalia's assassinated second president Abdirashid Ali Shermake. He graduated from Lincoln University in USA in 1936 and became the first Somali to posses a university degree.

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

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