Imagery of a Shabaab fighter from the terror groups’ website.
Leaders of Shabaab, the Young Mujahideen Movement in Somalia, stated Friday that the group is preparing for the establishment of an Islamic Emirate and that an announcement is expected within days. The statement came as the group consolidated power in the Lower Juba region, which borders Kenya, and formed a sharia-based administration in Kismayo.
Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Mukhtar Robow, who is also known as Abu Mansur, and top leader Sheikh Fuad Mohamed Qalaf told a Paltalk forum organized by the radical al Qimmah Forum that fighters “are close to uniting their ranks” and would integrate under the rule of the Islamic Emirate of Somalia. They said that the formation of the emirate is “imminent” and that an announcement would be made “very soon.”
Shabaab also announced on its official Web site that it set up an administration in Kismayo, Lower Juba’s strategic port city. The seven-seat administration will be governed by Sheikh Abubakar Al Zeylici with three seats provided to Shabaab, three seats to the Islamic Courts, and a single seat to clan elders. Shabaab will control the offices of the District Commissioner, Information Secretary and Police Chief, while the Islamic Courts will control the offices of Finance Secretary, Head of Islamic Protocol and Chief Justice, Garowe Online reported.
Although Kismayo remains calm, elders and Islamic Courts commanders who were not included in the administration voiced criticism. “Shabaab appointed its people to top posts without inviting other local people and the ICU that played a military role in taking over Kismayo,” Courts commander Sheikh Ibrahim Shukri, who is also known as Abu Seynab, told AFP today. The process, he said, was “hijacked by elements who met in a small room.”
“The administration should include the local clans,” he told Garowe Online. It is only “composed of al Shabaab and some former members of the Islamic Courts.”
According to the Somaliweyn Media Center, the administration in Kismayo will be broken down as follows:
Provincial Commissioner: Sheikh Abubakar Al Zeylici (Shabaab)
Deputy Commissioner: Abdulqani Mohamed Yussuf (Shabaab)
Head of Security: Abdurahman Ali Ahmed (Shabaab)
Deputy Head of Security: Mohamed Sahal Eidle (Shabaab)
Finance Secretary: Abdiweli Adan Dheriyow (Islamic Courts)
Deputy Finance Secretary: Abraham Ahmed Isse (Islamic Courts)
Head of Islamic Protocol: Khalid Mohamed Adan (Islamic Courts)
Deputy Head of Islamic Protocol: Adurahman Ahmed Adan (Islamic Courts)
Information Secretary: Sheikh Hassan Yacqub Ali (Shabaab)
Deputy Information Secretary: Abdifath Abraham Ali (Shabaab)
It is unknown what position within the administration will be provided to the clan representative.
The administration, according to rebel communiqu