The ISLAMIC COURTS UNION (ICU; Somali : _Midowga Maxkamadaha
Islaamiga_; Arabic : اتحاد المحاكم
الإسلامية _Ittihād al-mahākim al-islāmiyya_) was a
Until the end of 2006, they controlled most of southern
Instead, hardline Islamists broke ranks from the ICU and formed other militant groups, such as Al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam , to continue the war against the government.
The less-militant members of the ICU went into exile in Eritrea and
Djibouti, where they formed the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of
By January 2009, a reconciliation and powersharing deal was brokered
Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the Djibouti
contingent from the former
Islamic Courts Union
* 1 History
* 1.1 Before the second battle of
* 1.2 Eritrean assistance
* 1.2.1 Other foreign fighters
* 1.8 Reconciliation with the Transitional Government
* 1.8.1 Djibouti Peace Agreement (May–June 2008) * 1.8.2 Sharif Sheik Ahmed Elected President (February 2009)
* 2 Structure and composition
* 2.1 Background * 2.2 Harakat al-Shabaab Mujahedeen * 2.3 Relationship with other Somali powers * 2.4 Individual Islamic courts * 2.5 Noted ICU leaders
* 3 Social policies
* 4 Greater
Main article: Rise of the Islamic Courts Union (2006)
BEFORE THE SECOND BATTLE OF MOGADISHU
See also: History of
After the collapse of the Somali government in 1991, a system of
_sharia _-based Islamic courts became the main judicial system ,
funded through fees paid by litigants. Over time the courts began to
offer other services such as education and health care . The courts
also acted as local police forces, being paid by local businesses to
reduce crime . The Islamic courts took on the responsibility for
halting robberies and drug -dealing, as well as stopping the showing
of what it claims to be pornographic films in local movie houses.
According to the United Nations and various sources, the Eritrean
government has armed and financed the ICU for many years. Together
(according to a 1999
Other Foreign Fighters
Various foreign fighters were said to be helping the ICU. As suicide
bombing tactics are rare even among extremist Somali Muslims, the use
of such bombers suggested deeper foreign jihadist assistance. In
January, Somali sources said they had defeated or arrested many Arab
fighters. In June, numerous foreign pro-ICU fighters were detected
trying to flee in boats from the
Puntland region; the regional
governor told the media that the Islamist fighters had arrived to
cause trouble and that
Puntland troops were searching for them. The
U.S. military also targeted other jihadist and
particularly those affiliated with the bombers of the U.S. embassy in
AFTER CONQUERING MOGADISHU
In the year 2000, the courts formed a union of Islamic courts, partly to consolidate resources and power and partly to aid in handing down decisions across, rather than within, clan lines. Yet the ICU remained firmly established in the Hawiye clan.
As the courts began to assert themselves as the dispensers of justice
they came into conflict with the secular warlords who controlled most
of the city. In reaction to the growing power of the ICU, a group of
Meanwhile, in the
On 6 June 2006, the ICU further claimed it was in control of all the
lands up to 100 kilometers (62 mi) inland from Mogadishu. The warlords
were reported to have either been captured or to have fled the city,
abandoning most of their weapons, with the majority fleeing to Jowhar
, which was taken by the ICU militia on 14 June. This brought the ICU
in control of much of the weaponry in the country, which made a
resurgence by the warlords difficult without outside support. The ICU
also controlled significant territory outside the capital, including
the important town of Balad . In mid-August, ICU militiamen swept into
the port town of
Hobyo , 500 kilometers north of Mogadishu, meeting no
opposition. The ICU organized a clean-up campaign for the streets of
On 15 July 2006, the Islamic Courts reopened
On 24 August 2006, the ICU captured Harardhere , some 500 km northeast of Mogadishu, which had become a safe haven for pirates , who had forced shipping firms and international organizations to pay large ransoms for the release of vessels and crews.
On 25 August 2006 the Islamic Courts reopened the historic Mogadishu
seaport , which had been one of the busiest in
In September, 2006, the Islamist Courts strengthened their control of Kismayo. The Somalis in Kismayo demonstrated against ICU, shouting "No to Al-Qaeda operatives" but the ICU took control, shooting at protestors, killing at least three people and dispersing the crowd.
On 5 October 2006 the Islamic Courts declared the formation of the
WAR WITH ETHIOPIA
Main article: War in
On 8 December 2006, the
Islamic Courts Union
The ICU made calls for jihad against Ethiopia, which were met by international Mujahideen volunteers arriving in Somalia.
The ICU lost a considerable amount of territory after defeats at the
20–26 December battles of
Baidoa , Bay region, Bandiradley , in
Mudug, and Battle of Beledweyne, Hiran region, retreating to the
RESIGNATION OF LEADERSHIP
Main article: Fall of
On 27 December 2006, after a brief skirmish earlier in the day at the Battle of Jowhar , the leaders of the ICU, including Sheiks Hassan Dahir Aweys , Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Abdirahman Janaqow resigned in a capitulation recognizing the new state of affairs in Somalia. They issued the following decisions:
1. It is a national duty to protect the sovereignty and the integrity
On 28 December, the ICU withdrew from the capital . Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohamad Gedi stated the legislature would shortly declare a period of martial law.
PURSUIT OF THE ICU
After abandoning control of Mogadishu, leaders from the ICU proceeded to fortify the Jubba River valley area including the towns of Jilib and Kismayo . Days later, on December 31 Ethiopian and Somali forces attacked Jilib , after which ICU forces abandoned Kismayo .
In January 2007, as the ICU retreated , its leaders vowed to wage guerrilla war . They were pursued to Ras Kamboni , where they were militarily engaged by Ethiopian and Somali TFG forces. Kenyan and US forces enforced a border patrol and naval blockade , followed by US airstrikes against suspected Al Qaeda members embedded within the ICU militias.
On 10 January, a report by Somali presidential chief of staff , Abdirizak Hassan stated the US airstrikes had killed Al Qaeda member Fazul Abdullah Mohammed , and leaders of the Islamic Courts Union including Abduallahi Moalim Ali (former chief of security for Mogadishu), Abdirahman Janaqow , and a third unidentified person. The bodies had reportedly been recovered by Ethiopian military personnel. Fazul Abdullah Mohammed was later confirmed by US forces to have survived the US air raid on 8 January 2007. Abdirahman Janaqow survived those attacks and is currently the Justice Minister in his friend Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed's TFG government.
Main article: Al-Shabaab (Somalia)
After their fall from power, many ICU militiamen went into hiding. Attacks were carried out against Ethiopian and TFG troops, and the group was reformed as the Popular Resistance Movement in the Land of the Two Migrations (PRM), known more commonly as al-Shabaab . Al-Shabaab would go on to capture large portions of the southern half of the country, leading to the beginning of Operation Linda Nchi in 2011, which saw Kenyan forces cross into Somalia.
RECONCILIATION WITH THE TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT
The Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) was originally formed in September 2007 as a movement to militarily oppose the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and their main military allies, Ethiopia. Since then, the group split into two major factions: those who sought reconciliation with the TFG and those opposed to reconciliation.
Djibouti Peace Agreement (May–June 2008)
In May–June 2008, the Djibouti-based wing of the ARS and the Transitional Federal Government met in a conference mediated by the U.N., which resulted in an 11-point peace agreement signed and announced on 9 June 2008.
Because of this, the ARS split into two major wings: those based in Eritrea, aligned with former ICU leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys , who are adamantly opposed to cooperation with the TFG or Ethiopia, and those who were based in Djibouti, aligned with former ICU leader Sharif Sheik Ahmed , who were open to reconciliation with the nascent national government.
Sharif Sheik Ahmed Elected President (February 2009)
On 1 February 2009, the ICU faction leader, and chairman of the ARS Sharif Sheik Ahmed was elected the President of the Transitional Federal Government . Al-Shabab declared war on him and pledged to continue their attacks on the TFG.
STRUCTURE AND COMPOSITION
CURRENT EVENT: _The ICU has undergone dramatic and rapid changes.
Given their loss of control over
The ICU is a union of
Each member of the ICU is a
In order to organize the courts into a more coherent organization, rather than a like-minded collection of independent judges, a "Supreme Islamic Court of Banadir" was created, with the most senior judges forming this high court. This court dealt with wide issues, as well as foreign relations, and commanded the ICU military forces as a whole. The chairman of the Supreme Islamic Court is Sharif Sheikh Ahmed . A consultative Shura council chaired by Sheikh Hassan Aweys approved the decisions made by the Supreme Islamic Court, and therefore was called the "real power" in the ICU, though the Shura could not act unilaterally. In simplistic terms, this made Ahmed the "President" of the ICU and Aweys the "Prime Minister". When Ahmed was otherwise indisposed (visiting a foreign country, ill, etc.) Sheikh Abdirahman Janaqow was the Acting Chairman.
Below the Supreme Council and Shura Council are the regional courts spread throughout the country, which govern over the day to day issues of justice and law. These courts have enormous independence, and so the laws and regulations in ICU territory can vary wildly from town to town based on the particular moderation or radicalism of the local court.
Sharif Sheikh Ahmed is seen as a moderate and repeatedly
declared the objective of the ICU was the restoration of order after
15 years of violence. However, of the eleven courts composing the
Union, two had reputations as radical. One was led by Sheikh Hassan
Dahir Aweys, who is on the U.S. list of terrorism suspects as the
former head of the al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI) group. Western
diplomats are also concerned by a second leader,
Adan Hashi Ayro , who
was trained in
HARAKAT AL-SHABAAB MUJAHEDEEN
The Hizbul Shabaab , also known as Al-Shabaab, or simply as "Shabaab", is the Youth Wing of the ICU. It is a radical and somewhat independent organization under the ICU umbrella which is integrated quite tightly with the ICU armed forces, acting as a sort of "special forces" for the ICU.
The Shabab caused difficulties for the ICU in maintaining a good international image on a number of occasions due to their hot-headedness and zealousness, such as abducting critical journalists , harassing overly-hip youngsters, and murdering wounded JVA soldiers in a Bu\'aale hospital.
The ICU formally apologized for each of the incidents and attempted to make it clear that these actions did not reflect ICU policy. Nevertheless, these incidents gave their opponents excellent propaganda ammunition and aided the global perception of the ICU being like the Taliban .
RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER SOMALI POWERS
The major powers in
As a result of the collapse of the warlords' power, the four warlord
representatives in the transitional government were stripped of their
cabinet posts. The transitional government was then based in
250 kilometers from Mogadishu. After the ICU victory in Mogadishu, the
transitional government voted to request foreign peacekeepers from the
The JVA was overrun in the south, and Kismayo was taken. The remaining JVA forces aligned themselves immediately with the TFG. In December 2006—January 2007, as part of the TFG's army, they retook the lost territory of the south.
In November 2006, the Islamic Courts said Puntland's forces had carried out a pre-emptive strike against their fighters who were gathering on the edge of Puntland near Galinsoor . The government of Puntland has vowed to resist any attack by the Islamic Courts. Later, Puntland entered into combat with the ICU at the Battle of Bandiradley , which expelled the ICU from the central interior.
INDIVIDUAL ISLAMIC COURTS
_ THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION. You can help by adding to it . (January 2007)_
COURT NAME LOCATION CLAN REPRESENTATION JUDGE IDEOLOGY
Court of Banadir for Returning Forcefully-Taken Fixed Assets Various 11 judges chaired by Omar Abdalla Ali Various
Court for Verdict in Banadir
Various 12 judges chaired by Abdirahman Hassan Omar Various
Court of Banadir Province
Various 12 judges chaired by Hussein Abdi Elmi Various
Ifka Halan Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye Hassan Dahir 'Aweys' Shafi\'i
Huruwa Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye ? ?
Suuq Xoolaha Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye ? ?
Karan Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye ? ?
Medina Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye ? ?
Towfiq Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye ? ?
Harariyale Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye ? ?
Dabaqayn Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye ? Salafi
Polytechnic Mogadishu, Banadir Reer Shabelle (non-Somali minority) ? ?
Gubta Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye Abdalla Ali Salafi
Yaqshid Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye ? ?
Tabuuk Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye ? ?
Al-Hudaa Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye ? ?
Milk Factory Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye
Al Bayaan Mogadishu, Banadir Rahanweyn Mirifle Digil-Mirifle Mohamed Ibrahim Bilal
Al-Furqan Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye Mohamud Mohamed Jimale Warsame 'Agaweyne'
Daynile Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye Abdirahman Janaqow
Shiirkoole (Circolo) Mogadishu, Banadir Hawiye Abdilkadir Ali Omar Salafi
? Marka, Lower Shabelle Hawiye Yusuf Mohamed Siyaad \'Indha Adde\' ?
Al-Cadaala Laascanood, Sool Darod Shiikh Axmed Cabdulaahi Shanle ?
? Balad, Upper Shabelle Hawiye Sheikh Yusuf Turhume ?
? Wanlaweyn, Lower Shabelle Digil-Mirifle Mahad Mohammed Liberal
? Beletweyne, Hiraan Hawiye Farah Moallim Mohamud Qutubi ?
? Beletweyne, Hiraan Hawiye ? ?
? Adado, Galgadud Hawiye ? ?
Alfaruq Jalalaqsi, Hiraan Hawiye Mohammed Rashid Ibrahim ?
? Afmadow, Lower Juba Darod ? ?
? Jilib, Middle Juba Hawiye Mohamed Omar Mursal ?
? Barawe, Lower Shabelle Dir ? ?
? Jawil, Hiraan Hawiye ? ?
? Buulo Barde, Hiraan Hawiye Hussein Barre Rage Salafi
? Bur Hakaba, Bay Digil-Mirifle Mustafa Ali Mohammed ?
? Bardhere, Gedo Darod ? ?
? South Galcayo, Mudug (Galmudug) Hawiye Abdullahi Siad Qeyre ?
? North Galcayo, Mudug (Puntland) Darod Ahmed Yusuf ?
? Kismayo, Lower Jubba Darod Hassan Turki Salafi
Imamu Shafici Abudwaq, Galgadud Darod Ali Bashir ?
NOTED ICU LEADERS
* SHEIKH HASSAN DAHIR AWEYS is the head of the shura council of the
ICU. Aweys is former leader of al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI). Since
November 2001, he has been named under
Executive Order 13224 as a
supporter of terrorist activities.
* SHEIKH SHARIF SHEIKH AHMED is the leader of executive the ICU.
Ahmed was born in Chabila ,
The Islamic Courts' claimed mission was to bring social justice and
to combat iniquity. Thus, after capturing Mogadishu, it brought Sharia
law back to
In the year 2000, the courts formed a union of Islamic courts, partly to consolidate resources and power and partly to aid in handing down decisions across, rather than within, clan lines.
In an interview featured in the
* On 5 October 2006, the Islamic Courts had declared the formation
of the supreme Islamic
In reference to the
Ogaden and the North Eastern Province , land
traditionally inhabited by ethnic Somalis but now within the borders
"We will leave no stone unturned to integrate our Somali brothers in
NOTES AND REFERENCES
* ^ Hassan Yare (2006). "Troops dig in as
* ^ Alisha Ryu (2007). "Somalia\'s Islamic Courts Fighters Abandon
Kismayo". newsVOA.com. Archived from the original on January 3, 2007.
Retrieved September 9, 2007.
* ^ "Former Islamic Courts Leader elected president of Somalia".
Long War Journal. 2009-01-31. Retrieved 2009-06-07.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Lara Santoro, (1999). "Islamic Clerics Combat
Lawlessness in Somalia". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved
September 9, 2007. Cite error: Invalid tag; name "CSMonitor_1999"
defined multiple times with different content (see the help page ).
* ^ _A_ _B_ Reuters (2006). "Somalia: Islamists refuse talks,
acknowledge Eritrea". Mail & Guardian/Reuters. Archived from the
original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved September 9, 2007.
* ^ Patrick Gilkes (July 23, 1999). "The Somali connection". BBC.
Retrieved September 9, 2007.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Reuters (2007). "