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Islamist-Organized Rally Against Ethiopia and U.S. Draft Resolution Occurs in Mogadishu


A huge rally against Ethiopian military intervention in Somalia and the US backed draft resolutions that calls on lifting the arms embargo on Somalia partially to let regional peacekeepers enter the country with arms has taken place in the biggest stadium in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Monday morning.

Several thousands of people, most of them public school students with placards written in anti-Ethiopian slogans and defense of Islam in the horn of Africa, have partaken in the rally that ended in peace.

Senior Islamic Courts leaders have delivered speeches at the rally. Fuad Mohammed Khalf, the Islamic Courts chair for education department, said, "Muslim Jihadists around the world will be welcome to penetrate in Somalia if United States makes UN member states to approve the draft resolution of lifting the arms embargo on Somalia".

Among the Islamist speech deliverers was the Islamic Courts acting security chairman, Sheik Muktar Robow Abu Mansoor, who instigated the Somali civilian population to sacrifice their lives and properties in the name of Islam. He said a holy war against the enemy of Islam is an obligation on every Muslim individual.

Janaqow, the first chair Islamic Courts executive council, remarked that lifting the arms embargo on Somalia would mean directly launching a war with Somalia's Islamic Courts.

Most Islamist speakers at the rally concentrated on the arms embargo that was imposed on the war ravaged country Somalia in 1991when flow of arms from neighboring countries was substantial as the worst period of Somalia's civil war was on then.

Both Somalia's challenging parties, Islamists and the federal government, were accused of receiving various types of weapons from Ethiopia and Eritrea, two long time rival enemies that fought their 1998 until 2000 border battles. Eritrea is blamed for arming Islamists and having unknown number of military forces in Somalia, while Ethiopia has several thousand troops in the country.

Both Ethiopia and Eritrea denied they have troops inside Somalia. Ethiopia said it only had 200 military advisors and trainers to protect the weak government in the small town of Baidoa, southern Somalia and thousands of troops that were spread out along the border with Somalia.

Islamic Courts consultative leader Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, who also spoke at the rally said, "The world is refusing the verses of Koran that we took so the all Somalis should be united to fight with any one harming our way of living, in accordance to Islam", urging people to fight for Islam and become the Muslims representatives in the Horn of Africa. "Justice is in Islam," he added.

The rally was the second of its kind to occur in the Somali capital Mogadishu in less than a week.

Analysts fear that After 16 years of anarchy and civil war, Somalia will go back to bloody war if the arms embargo is lifted and East African countries are positioned inside the country whose thousands of civilian population have lost their lives because of civil wars, diseases and famine.

Somalia has had no central effective government since 1991 when tribal warlords ousted former revolutionary government.

UN Envoy Holds Talks With Islamists

The United Nations envoy to Somalia has arrived in Mogadishu on Monday in an effort to encourage the Islamic courts council to resume or restart their stalled dialogue with Somalia's interim government.

The special representative of the Untied Nations general secretary for Somalia François Lonsény Fall accompanied by delegation has today been welcomed by the Islamic Courts officials at the main Mogadishu airport.

Fall held a closed door meeting with the Islamic courts, particularly with the leader of the consultative council of the Islamic courts, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys.

After their meeting, fall and Shiekh Hassan Dahir Aweys held a joint press conference inside the head quarter of the Islamic courts.

"Our meeting with the Islamic courts was good and it raised our hope that they will continue their talks with transitional government," said Mr. François Lonsény Fall

Earlier, Mr. Fall expressed that he was hopeful that both Somalia rivals would resume talks in Sudan in mid December as scheduled.

On Sunday, Eric Loraj, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Somalia reached in Mogadishu having talks with Islamic Courts officials over aid supplies allotted for delivering to flood hit areas in south of the country.

TFG of Somalia Expresses Support for Ethiopian Parliament's Decision

The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia expressed support for the decision made by Ethiopia to take legal and appropriate measures with a view to resisting the aggression of extremist forces operating under the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC).

TFG Trade and Commerce Minister, Abdullahi Ahmad Afrah, State Minister of Information, Zahra Abdgadir Abdirahman, TFG Spokesperson Abdirahman Nur Dinari made the statement here yesteday at a panel discussion held at the Ethiopian Television in connection with the current situation in Somalia.

The senior officials on the occasion said the decision made by the Ethiopian parliament to prevent the attacks by the extremist group was appropriate and timely.

Ethiopia has a legal right to protect its peace and security, they said, adding, other neighboring countries should closely monitor the situation in order to prevent themselves from the attack of the extremist group.

The spokesperson said the international community, particularly the United Nations, have proved that the government of Eritrea has been providing support to the group and other anti-Ethiopia forces to disrupt peace in Ethiopia.

Dinari said the extremist group has the aim of attacking the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and disrupting peace and stability in Ethiopia.

The spokesperson said the group is a threat not only for Somalia but for East Africa and the world at large.

Afrah said the instability and anarchism related to the conflict between different clans in Somalia during the past 15 years was the cause for the easy expansion of the Union of Islamic Courts.

However, they said, the extremist group has faced public opposition a month after it controlled Mogadishu. The officials said being a member of IGAD, Ethiopia has a responsibility to assist the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.

They said Ethiopia has not interfered in the internal affairs of Somalia.

The officials called on the international community to give due attention to Somalia and provide the necessary assistance to the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.

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