Moderate Ahlusunna Waljama Militia Rubbishes Launched Consultative Forum for 2016 Somalia Elections

Highlight

  • A top militia group in Somalia has on 21st September 2015 released a statement, rubbishing the launch of the National Consultative Forum on Somalia electoral process for 2016, citing lack of representation among other faults.
  • Ahlusunna Waljama militia group in Somalia is committed to controlling Galmudug State. The former pro-government militia has in the recent past engaged administration in fierce battle over control of the state.
  • Ahlusunna Waljama poses a great challenge to Somalia even as the country struggles to wipe out Al Shabaab fighters.

Summary of Stalemate

Preparations for Somalia’s 2016 elections have been marked by the formation of a consultative forum for the electoral process, which is already operational in Mogadishu.

The National Consultative Forum on Somalia electoral process for 2016 has the international backing as the surest means to oversee a smooth electoral process in Somalia come the election period. The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, has welcomed the formal launch of the consultative process on the electoral process for 2016.

However, the administration of the moderate Islamist faction of Ahlusunna Waljama has greatly opposed the consultative forum citing lack of representation among other faults.

The militia group swears that it will rubbish the forum which favors administrations in isolation to only include the Somali Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the leaders of Puntland, Jubbaland, Galmudug and the South West Administration. The western backed agreement does not consider the administration of the moderate Islamist faction.

Ahlusunna Waljama

Ahlusunna Waljama is a local militia formerly loyal to the government and has made strategic gains in fighting and defeating Al-Shabaab terrorist group in Somalia. In April 2011, the then pro-government militia drove Al Shabaab from Garabaharev in Gedo Somalia, among other gains made by the militia against Al Shabaab.

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Ahlusunna Waljama won large victories in central Somalia and controlled the majority of regions including Gedo and Galmudug, as well as parts of Hiran, Middle Shebelle, and Bakool.

On March 15, 2010, the Somali transitional government and Ahlusunna Waljama 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 Shabaab.

There have however been disagreements over control of some of these regions with the government kicking out the militia group and establishing local government administrations.

Mid-September 2015, Ahlusunna Waljama militia men were driven out of Galmudug State in Central Somalia after two days of intense battle between forces of Interim Galmudug Administration and the militia group.

The once pro-government militia is now anti-government especially to the Galmudug State administration. Their advances pose a challenge towards the local administration that is also supposed to be attentive against Al Shabaab threats.

Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a is currently under leadership of a former war lord Abdi Nuure Siyaad who was named mid-September 2015 as the militant group’s new commander.

Forecast

According to intelligence, the possibility of Ahlusunna Waljama and Al Shabaab aligning themselves to a similar course is negligible. Its remoteness can be likened to Al Qaeda merging with the Islamic State. The two terrorist are sporadically becoming sworn enemies, with Al Qaeda publicly declaring war on the IS.

In a similar way, ideologies of Ahlusunna Waljama and those of Al Shabaab do not simply meet at any particular point. In the past, Ahlusunna Waljama has waged war against Al Shabaab while it was still an ally of the Somali government. There is no near future guarantee that the two can now become friends and combine forces against the Somali government.

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While the Al Shabaab uses radical means to spread Islam, moderate Islamist faction of Ahlusunna Waljama is against such forceful means of spreading the religion. That is why they have always been against Al Shabaab.

The above is not however good news to neither FGS nor the expected government after the 2016 general elections. If the standing stalemate between FGS and the  Ahlusunna Waljama militia is not solved at the earliest opportunity possible, the Somali government might have a heavier task of battling out two strong militia groups- the Harakat Al Shabaab Al Mujahideen and the Ahlusunna Waljama.

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