Somali Islamists make concerted efforts to decrease civilian casualties spokesman

Date: Wed, 14 May 2008 17:07:04 +0000

Somali Islamists make concerted efforts to decrease civilian casualties

The spokesman of Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) fighters, Abdirahim Ise Adow, gave details about the attack against Ethiopian troops in Leego locality of Lower Shabeelle Region

Abdirahim Ise Adow, the UIC operational spokesman said that they gained, as he put it, a remarkable victory in Monday’s attack in Lego. He said that UIC fighters suffered no casualties. The spokesman said the reason of targeting Ethiopian troops in areas outside Mogadishu was to minimize civilian casualties. He added that they were not aware of any civilian casualties in yesterday’s fighting, except some government soldiers killed by Ethiopian troops in the area.

Adow said: As far as we [UIC fighters] know, there have been no civilian casualties in the Leego fighting. What we know is that three puppet soldiers (referring to transitional government soldiers) who were working with the enemies (referring to Ethiopian troops) have been killed in a checkpoint near the area. In fact, this proves that enemy forces regard every Somali as their enemy. In fact, our objectives of carrying out operations outside Mogadishu, which Allah made us understand, is to minimize civilian casualties in urban areas, and to increase the enemy casualties. Allah has made us understand that. In fact, this is part of operations aimed at cutting off the enemies from their reinforcements. As you are aware, they (Ethiopian troops) cannot transport food and water in Mogadishu, and they are using wheelbarrows and other things. Inshallah (Allah willing), we will continue with these operations.

While responding to a question about whether they accept the ongoing talks in Djibouti, Mr. Adow said that the ICU fighter are soldiers, and they accept the directives of ICU officials.

[Adow] In fact we are soldiers, and senior officials of UIC are responsible for the political policy and reconciliation programme on our behalf. They are the officials of the alliance, and we leave this matter to them. We accept and obey Allah’s will and anything that the (UIC officials) see it as beneficial to the people. We follow a code that is based on Islamic shari’ah and Inshallah (Allah willing), we will continue
with the struggle and Jihad against the enemy, because we are resiliant in our resistance, and our civilians have been attacked, our clerics have been massacred in mosques, our daughters have been raped, and our people are held in Mogadishu prisons and others taken to prisons in Addis Ababa. Therefore, we are defending ourselves. We (Somalis) are people who have been oppressed, attacked and have had our rights violated. Inshallah (Allah willing), we will continue with the struggle and Jihad against the enemy until we liberate the last occupied area of our country.