Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a

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ASWJ
Participant in Somali Civil War
Flag of Ahlu Sunnah Waljamaca.svg
Active 1991-present
Ideology Sufism
Groups Multi-clan, though primarily Dir,[1] Marehan & Habar Gidir
Leaders Sheikh Ibrahim Sheikh Hassan (Head of State) (Guureeye) (Chairman)[2]
Shaykh Mahmud Shaykh Hasan Farah (Spiritual Leader)
Omar Mo’allim Nur (Commander in Banaadir)[3]
Headquarters Abuwaq
Area of
operations
Galgudug, Hiran, Gedo, Bakool
Strength ~2,000[4]
Allies Somalia Federal Government of Somalia
Jubbaland2.png Raskamboni movement
AMISOM
Opponents ShababFlag.svg Harakat al-Shabaab Mujahideen
Flag of al-Qaeda in Iraq.svg al-Qaeda

Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a ("The Majority") (ASWJ) is a Somali paramilitary group consisting of moderate Sufis opposed to the radical Islamist groups such as Al-Shabaab in Somalia. They are fighting to prevent strict Sharia and Wahhabism from being imposed on the country and protecting its Sunni-Sufi traditions and generally moderate religious views.[5] During the civil war, the organization worked in cooperation with faction leader Mohamed Farrah Aidid.[6]

Overview[edit]

Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a became prominent in 2008, when it took up arms against al-Shabaab after the radical group began destroying the tombs of the country's Sufi saints.[1] [7] The group opposes laws banning music, khat; and hardline capital punishment or limb amputations advocated by extremist interpretations of Islam. They oppose the tearing down of religious shrines and stoning.[4]

ASWJ won large victories in central Somalia and controlled the majority of southern Mudug, Gedo and Galgaduud,[5] as well as parts of Hiran, Middle Shebelle, and Bakool.

On March 15, 2010, the Somali transitional government and Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a signed an agreement giving the militia control of five ministries, in addition to diplomatic posts and senior positions within the national security apparatus.[7] In exchange, the militia would lend military support against al-Shabab.[7]

On January 18, 2014, Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a's leadership objected to the new Cabinet lineup named by federal Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed. ASWJ Chairperson Sheik Ibrahim Hassan Gureye argued that many of the new ministerial positions went to unsuccessful officials from previous administrations, so the outcome of their reappointments would likely be the same.[8]

Battles[edit]

On April 24, 2011, Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a recaptured Dhuusamareeb in the Galguduud region from Al-Shabaab.[9]

On April 28, 2011, Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a backed by TFG soldiers were fighting against Al-Shabaab in the town of Luuqin the Gedo region. 27 Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a- and 8 TFG soldier were killed during the battle. Al-Shabaab casualties were unknown.[10]

On May 3, 2011, several hours of fighting between Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a backed by TFG soldiers against Al-Shabaab took place in the town of Garbaharey in the Gedo region. The town fell into the hands of Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a and TFG. 3 Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a- and 23 Al-Shabaab fighters were killed in action.[11] During the fighting Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a's chairman of Gedo region Sheikh Hassan Sheikh Ahmed (aka Qoryoley) was wounded. He died in a Nairobi hospital 2 days later.[12][13]

On March 1, 2012, heavy clashes between Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a backed by TFG soldiers and Al-Shabaab fighters took place in Garbaharey town, the capital of Gedo region in Southern Somalia. Government officials said that Ahlu Sunnah Waljama'a and TFG fighters successfully repelled Al-Shabaab attacks on government bases throughout the night of February 29 and March 1.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Georg-Sebastian Holzer. "somalia's new religious war". 
  2. ^ "Somalia: Ahlu Sunna –We resolved our antenatal disagreements". Shabelle Media Network. March 31, 2011. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved March 31, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Horn of Africa Security Brief". Jane’s. December 16, 2010. Retrieved March 29, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b page 12
  5. ^ a b Mohamed Mohamed (2009-06-08). "Somali rage at grave desecration". BBC News. BBC Somali Service. Retrieved 2010-04-01. "Most Somalis are Sufi Muslims, who do not share the strict Saudi Arabian-inspired Wahhabi interpretation of Islam with the hardline al-Shabab group. They embrace music, dancing and meditation and are appalled at the desecration of the graves.... The umbrella group Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama (Sufi Sects in Somalia) has condemned the actions of what they call the ideology of modern Wahhabism and the desecrations of graves. They see Wahhabism as foreign and ultimately un-Islamic." 
  6. ^ http://webarchive.ssrc.org/Somalia_Hoehne_v10.pdf
  7. ^ a b c "Militants join Somali government". The Boston Globe (NY Times Co.). Associated Press. 2010-03-16. ISSN 0743-1791. Retrieved 2010-07-23. 
  8. ^ Somalia: Ahlusuna Rejects the New Council of Ministers of Somalia
  9. ^ http://sunatimes.com/view.php?id=981
  10. ^ http://www.presstv.ir/detail/177152.html
  11. ^ http://www.presstv.ir/detail/177979.html
  12. ^ http://shabelle.net/article.php?id=6253
  13. ^ http://presstv.com/detail/178492.html

External links[edit]