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Horn of Africa: War and Jihad Imminent

November 16, 2006

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HORN OF AFRICA: WAR AND JIHAD IMMINENT
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The Islamic Courts Union (ICU) is a union of militias linked to
Mogadishu\'s various clan-based Islamic courts. After capturing
Mogadishu on 4 June 2006, the ICU set up a \'parliament\' - the
Supreme Islamic Courts Council (SICC) - and enacted sharia law in
the city. The ICU has since advanced militarily, making territorial
gains across southern Somalia.

The conflict inside Somalia threatens to erupt into regional war.
It is all about power: geopolitical (regional power - the quest
for a unified and Greater Somalia), clan dominance (clan power -
the ICU is dominated by Hawiya), political ideology (totalitarian
political power through Islamism) and religion (religious power
through Islamic domination and Sharia).

The head of the SICC is Sheikh Hassan Dahir \'Aweys. He is a veteran
of Somalia\'s 1976-78 Ogaden War in which the Somali Army failed to
capture eastern Ethiopian territory. He then became the leader of
the al-Qaeda affiliate \'al-Ittihad al-Islami\' (AIAI), a terrorist
group that perpetrated terror attacks against Ethiopia in the mid-
1990s, including bombings in the capital Addis Ababa. AIAI sought
the creation of an Islamic Caliphate over a Greater Somalia made up
of all lands inhabited by ethnic Somalis: Djibouti (French
Somalia), Somaliland (British Somalia, an unrecognised independent
liberal democracy), Puntland (autonomous) and southern Somalia
(both Italian Somalia but dominated by different clans), eastern
Ethiopia (Ogaden, home to four million ethnic Somalis) and north-
eastern Kenya. Whilst the Ethiopian armed forces crushed AIAI, the
ideology has re-emerged in the ICU under the leadership of \'Aweys.

The ICU is receiving support from Eritrea, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran,
Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Syria as well as ethnic Somali
Islamists across the region and foreign jihadis from the Arab
world, Pakistan, Hezballah and more. (Support is also coming from
some Somali nationalists and Ethiopian opposition groups who don\'t
realise that the Islamists are not really their friends.) On the
other hand the UN-recognised Transitional Federal Government,
Ethiopia, Somaliland and Puntland oppose the ICU agenda, and Uganda
has offered \'peacekeeping\' assistance.

The ICU does not have the military capacity to seriously challenge
the Ethiopian Army. It will therefore rely on terrorism and it
will direct attacks at soft targets. This will doubtless include
churches and Christians, as well as Christian missions and
ministries all across the Horn of Africa. The US embassy in
Nairobi has issued a warning that the Islamists may be preparing
to launch suicide attacks in Ethiopia and Kenya. As Islamic zeal
and belligerence rise, grassroots persecution and killings of
Christians in Muslim-dominated areas is increasing. Whilst Ethiopia
will be able to defend itself, it will not occupy Somalia. The
situation for Somali Christians will remain perilous until the ICU
is replaced by an authority that treasures life, peace and liberty.

PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY FOR GOD TO -

* comfort, encourage, strengthen, protect and deliver his people.

* \'frustrate the ways of the wicked\' (Psalm 146:9) by:

- exploiting the divisions within the ICU so it is frustrated by
internal schisms;

- disrupting the traffic of illicit arms so the ICU is
frustrated by lack of weapons and ammunition;

- cutting off funds so the ICU is frustrated by lack of finances;

- and opening the eyes of the deceived so the ICU is frustrated
by lack of grassroots support.

* work all things together for good, and bring peace and liberty
to the Horn of Africa for the sake of his Church, his Kingdom and
his glory.

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SUMMARY TO USE IN BULLETINS UNABLE TO RUN THE WHOLE ARTICLE:
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WAR IMMINENT IN THE HORN OF AFRICA

Somalia\'s Islamic Courts Union (ICU) has a vision not only to unite
Somalia as one Islamic State, but to establish an Islamic Caliphate
over a \'Greater Somalia\' comprising all lands inhabited by ethnic
Somalis, as well as eastern Ethiopia and north-eastern Kenya,
countries that are predominantly Christian. The stage is being set
for a massive regional war and Islamic jihad. The ICU is receiving
support from Eritrea as well as several Islamic regimes and
jihadist groups. Because it cannot seriously challenge the mighty
Ethiopian army, it will rely on terrorism, attacking \'soft targets\'
including churches, Christians and Christian ministries. As Islamic
zeal and belligerence rise across the region, persecution and
killings of Christians in Muslim-dominated areas is increasing.
Please pray for God to protect his people, frustrate the ways of
the wicked (Psalm 146:9) and build his Church.

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The WEA Religious Liberty Commission sponsors this
RL Prayer List to help individuals and groups pray
specifically and regularly for religious liberty
issues, and in particular to uphold the Church
where it is suffering persecution.

RL Prayer is moderated by Ron Clough, a commissioner
of the WEA RLC and convenor of the Australian EA RLC.
Elizabeth Kendal researched and authored this message.