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Somali Islamist leader vows jihad against ‘Christian invaders’

ICC Note

“Our aim is to liberate our country from the Christian invaders and those who assist them, and I assure you that the holy war against them will not stop until the Islamic flag is raised,”

October 9, 2007 Somalia (Middle East Times)-A key Somali Islamist leader Tuesday called for jihad (holy war), vowing that a bloody insurgency against the Ethiopian-backed government in Mogadishu would end only with the return of Islamic law.
“Our mission is clear. What we want is to free our country from Christian colonizers – by this I mean Ethiopia,” said Sheikh Mukhtar Robow, a radical Islamist leader who recently resurfaced in the Somali capital.
“At this point, jihad is all we need. There is no political process we can be involved in unless we get a government practicing Sharia [Islamic law],” the militant leader said by phone.
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“Our aim is to liberate our country from the Christian invaders and those who assist them, and I assure you that the holy war against them will not stop until the Islamic flag is raised,” he added.
Sheikh Mukhtar was a deputy security chief for the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), an extremist militia that briefly controlled large parts of the country, last year, before being ousted by Ethiopian troops supporting the transitional government.
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Since Ethiopia wrested final control of Mogadishu from the Islamists in April, the seaside capital has been rocked by almost-daily violence between insurgents and government forces.
The current insurgency blends remnants of the ICU and the Shabab movement, as well as various elements from clans and other movements opposed to the current interim government.
Sheikh Mukhtar is not a member of the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia, an Islamist-dominated opposition umbrella group formed last month in Eritrea , aimed at ousting Ethiopian troops.
He rose to prominence in 1996 when he commanded militiamen fighting Ethiopian forces that had invaded Somalia ‘s southwestern Gedo region.
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