Sunday, April 19, 2009

Somalia: Somalia endorses implementation of Sharia law

The Somali parliament Saturday unanimously endorsed the implementation of the Islamic Sharia law, a key government promise and demand of the armed opposition groups, Xinhua News Agency informed.

"The 343 parliamentarians present at the session voted in favor of the motion and we now have the Islamic law as the law of the land," Osman Elmi Boqore, deputy speaker of the Somali legislature, said after the vote by show of hands.

Opposition groups have been demanding that the Sharia law be made the only law in Somalia. The Somali government has promised to introduce it in the war-torn country after its formation early this year.

The new Somali government is dominated by the moderate Islamists. Its introduction of the Sharia is seen as important milestone for national reconciliation.

The vote came amid tensions between pro-government Islamists and radical groups after the assassinations of government officials and an Islamist commander allied with the government.
The Somali parliament session was also attended by prominent Islamic clerics who urged the government to accept the implementation of the Islamic law.

The armed opposition groups have yet to react to the endorsing of the Islamic law by the Somali parliament.

Opposition commanders, particularly those of the hard-line Al-Shabaab group, had previously dismissed the plan for lawmakers to introduce the Sharia as "conspiracy against the Islamist fighters and their cause."

Source: FOCUS Information Agency
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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