Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a
|Participant in Somali Civil War|
|Groups||Multi-clan, though primarily Dir, Marehan & Habar Gidir|
|Leaders||Sheikh Ibrahim Sheikh Hassan (Head of State) (Guureeye) (Chairman)
Shaykh Mahmud Shaykh Hasan Farah (Spiritual Leader)
Omar Mo’allim Nur (Commander in Banaadir)
|Galgudug, Hiiraan, Gedo, Bakool|
|Allies|| Federal Government of Somalia
|Opponents|| Harakat al-Shabaab Mujahideen
Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a ("The Majority") or ASWJ is a Somali paramilitary group consisting of moderate Sufis opposed to the radical Islamist group Al-Shabaab. They are fighting to prevent strict sharia and Wahhabism from being imposed on Somalia and protecting the country's Sunni-Sufi traditions and generally moderate religious views. During the bloody Somali Civil War, the organization worked in cooperation with warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid.
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. 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.
On March 15, 2010, the Somali 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. In exchange, the militia would lend military support against al-Shabab.
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.
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. 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.
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; killing 22 Al-Shabaab fighters although losing 3 pro-government soldiers.
- Georg-Sebastian Holzer. "somalia's new religious war".
- "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.
- "Horn of Africa Security Brief". Jane’s. December 16, 2010. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
- page 12
- 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."
- "Militants join Somali government". The Boston Globe (NY Times Co.). Associated Press. 2010-03-16. ISSN 0743-1791. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
- Official Website (Somali)