Today, extremist groups Hizbul Islam and al-Shabaab flatly rejected calls from Somali President Sharif Sheik Ahmed to suspend fighting for the holy month of Ramadan, which began on Friday. Reuters reported Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, Hizbul Islam’s leader, had this to say at a press conference:
“We will not accept that cease-fire call…This holy month will be a triumphant time for mujahedeen and we will fight the enemy.”
There seems to be no end in sight for Somalia’s raging violence. More than 100 people died last week as a result of fighting between government forces and the insurgents. Friday saw 11 killed and 22 injured in the capital alone.
This tragic piece on news is yet another stark reminder of the violent quagmire in which Somalia finds itself. Somalia has existed without a successful central government for more than 20 years. Currently, the death toll is mounting, the refugee and IDP crisis is worsening, and Somalia’s weak Transitional Federal Government continues to hold nothing resembling true control over the country it purports to govern. However, as today’s refusal of the cease fire underscores, until adequate political processes are in place, it is difficult to fathom finding any peace.