Monday, December 19, 2005

Somalia's Islamists - New Crisis Group report


Somalia's Islamists

The international community will only succeed in countering the threat of jihadi Islamism in Somalia if it addresses the real needs of the country: restoring peace and essential services, and helping Somalis establish a broadly inclusive government of national unity. Otherwise, international actors may continue to score victories in their battles against terrorism in the Horn while losing the wider war. Since the collapse of the government in 1991, there has been a rise in Islamist reformist movements, the majority of which are non-violent and opposed to ideological extremism. In fact, Islamist extremism has not become more widespread because of Somali resistance, not foreign counter terrorism efforts. International actors should therefore make clear that their counter terrorism efforts are aimed at a handful of criminals - many of them foreigners - not the Somali population at large.


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