Somalia - Quick facts
11 July 2013
Following the defeat of the latter by the Ethiopian intervention in early 2007, al-Shabaab broke with other Islamists who regrouped under the sponsorship of Eritrea to form the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) to oppose the Transitional Federal Govern- ment (TFG) then installed in Mogadishu. [...] As a result of the base of support which it enjoys by reason of the circumstances of its birth, while Somali Islamism was damaged by the military defeat dealt to the Islamic Courts Union following the Ethiopian military intervention in late 2006 and early 2007, the chaos into which the Somali territories (outside Somaliland) subsequently sunk under the aegis of the TFG served to revive their stand. [...] The expan- sion of the number of seats in parliament to 550, and the election of Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, former ICU leader, as president demonstrated inclusion of a broader spectrum of Islamic ideology in government.44 The recent, Sep- tember 2012 election of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as president of the Fed- eral Government of Somalia is seen as movement towards more moderate somalia 9 leadership.45 Tho. [...] Perhaps most important, in the context of the rising tide of Isla- mist militancy in southern and central Somalia, is the fact that Somaliland’s reliance on the older system of clan elders and the respect they command “has served as something of a mediating force in managing pragmatic inter- action between custom and tradition; Islam and the secular realm of modern nationalism,” leading to a uniqu. [...] In Somaliland, for example, the popula- tion is almost exclusively Sunni Muslim and the shahada, the Muslim profes- sion of the oneness of God and the acceptance of Muhammad as God’s final prophet, is emblazoned on the flag; yet sharia is only one of the three sources of the jurisprudence in the region’s courts alongside secular legislation and Somali traditional law.