21/11/08 (B475) Press TV / L’opposition somalienne appelle à la Guerre sainte. Somali opposition leader vows ‘holy war’ (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, the leader of the Asmara-based oppositionists.

A senior Somali opposition leader has promised to sustain the ‘holy war’ on the country’s government while refusing to compromise with rivals.

« We stick to holy war, we stick to liberation, » said the head of the Somali opposition group, the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC)’s offshoot in Asmara, Eritrea, the Press TV correspondent in Somalia reported on Thursday.

Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys made the remarks taking to task UIC’s Djibouti wing, lead by Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, over their recent conclusion of a peace agreement with the country’s transitional government.

The settlement, aimed at relieving the differences between the government and the oppositionist, accounted for the bipolar division within the group.

Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, head of the rivalling opposition wing in Djibouti.

Dahir Aweys dissociated his devotees from those of the rivaling camp’s saying « these men (Sheikh Sharif’s faction) have joined the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) who were fighting us. They signed an agreement with them. We still stick to our position, we stick to fighting. »

He also delivered a strong warning to Kenya amid news that the country was to deploy peacekeeping forces to the Horn of Africa nation.

« I understand that Kenya is planning to deploy up to Kismayu town (in southern Somalia). Kenya should not burn the thatched house that it is living in. »

The shortage of a viable central administration since 1991 has contributed to unceasing confrontation between the government and the oppositionists who have recently stretched their domain in the violence-scarred country.