The miracle of Mogadishu

In July 2006, a bloody war between the warlords, that had ruled Somalia for nearly two decades, and the Islamic Courts, supported by the public, ended the long tenure of the warlords and liberated the population of Mogadishu. Subsequently, the Courts formed the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) to coordinate their activities. Western governments, which were reluctant to recognize the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) prior to the emergence of the Courts, panicked and unconditionally supported the TFG in order to stymie the spread of the UIC to the rest of the country. Now the challenge for the UIC is how to transform the clan-based identity of the Courts into neighbourhood and faith-centred peace operations. Meandering around Ethiopia’s political and military machinations and the cruel traps of the ‘war on terror’ will require clear thought and committed leadership. The image of the Courts as extremists should not be taken seriously. There is a single and legitimate authority in Mogadishu for the first time in 16 years and freedom is in the air. This paper sketches these developments and concludes with possible scenarios for the future and the role of the international community herein. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]

Title:The miracle of Mogadishu
Author: Samatar, Abdi Ismail
Year:2006
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Volume:33
Issue:109
Pages:581-587
Language:English
Geographic term:Somalia
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03056240601003071
Abstract:In July 2006, a bloody war between the warlords, that had ruled Somalia for nearly two decades, and the Islamic Courts, supported by the public, ended the long tenure of the warlords and liberated the population of Mogadishu. Subsequently, the Courts formed the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) to coordinate their activities. Western governments, which were reluctant to recognize the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) prior to the emergence of the Courts, panicked and unconditionally supported the TFG in order to stymie the spread of the UIC to the rest of the country. Now the challenge for the UIC is how to transform the clan-based identity of the Courts into neighbourhood and faith-centred peace operations. Meandering around Ethiopia’s political and military machinations and the cruel traps of the ‘war on terror’ will require clear thought and committed leadership. The image of the Courts as extremists should not be taken seriously. There is a single and legitimate authority in Mogadishu for the first time in 16 years and freedom is in the air. This paper sketches these developments and concludes with possible scenarios for the future and the role of the international community herein. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]