The leader of Al-Shabab Ahmed Abdi Godane “Abu Zubayr” has launched a chilling attack on the government of the self-declared republic of Somaliland today, accusing it of opposing the application of Sharia in Somaliland.
In a recorded message, Abu Zubayr, who is originally from Somaliland warned against what he called “the dangerous precedence the Somaliland government is setting by having closer relations with Ethiopia”.
He said that the government of Somaliland has gone too close to Ethiopia. He urged the people of Somaliland “not to take a ride on a boat navigated by Ethiopia”.
The Ethiopian government enjoys good relations with Somailand. Currently Ethiopia is mediating between the Somaliland government and opposition parties to solve the dispute over the voter registration for the upcoming elections due to be held later this month. The Minister of State for Ethiopia Tekeda Alemu visited Somaliland last week to mediate between the two sides.
Also, Ethiopia has a diplomatic office in Hargaysa, the capital of Somaliland and imports some of its goods through the Berbera port.
It was October last year that an attack on the Ethiopian government’s office in Hargaysa, the Presidential palace of Somaliland and the office of the United Nations Development Programme in Hargaysa was bombed in a coordinated attack. The explosions left nearly 30 people dead. The Somaliland authorities directly accused Al-Shabab for the responsibility of the attack.
In a chilling remark which could be seen as a reminiscent of the attacks, Abu Zubayr warned the people in Somaliland to stay away from Ethiopian compounds, centers and avoid using Ethiopian airlines. He told the people of Somaliland not to employ Ethiopians as workers and not to rent out their homes to Ethiopians.
(By Harun Maruf | VOA)