March 27, 2011 ·1 Comments
NAIROBI — Somalia’s transitional government and the regional administration of Banadir on Saturday announced the introduction of a new Saudi-inspired religious law aimed at the business community in war torn Mogadishu.
Mr. Mohamud A. Tarzan, the mayor of Mogadishu, who also happens to be governor of Banadir region, told local media that a new police law coming into force soon will crackdown on businesses trading during Friday prayers. “It is now mandatory to end business hours during Friday prayer to perform the prayer and to ensure employees do not face any obstacle. Those who don’t comply will face action,” he declared.
The decision follows after several hours of in depth discussion between Somalia’s interim Justice Minister, Mr. Abdullahi Abyan Nur, Mr. Tarzan and Mogadishu’s business comunnity.
Some businessmen publicly complained about the new enforcement saying it is no different to Al-Shabab’s strict regulations in force in parts of Mogadishu and the war-ravaged country. While, others fear a religious police similar to Saudi Arabia’s Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice could be unleashed on them.
This is the first time Somalia has introduced such act and its weak interim government already struggling for public support might isolate even more citizens. The government is currently battling insurgent group loyal to al Qaeda in southern Somalia with the support of 9,000 Ugandan and Burundi troops. An additional 4,000 strong force was announced on Saturday by defence chiefs in Burundi and Uganda to bolster the fight against al-Shabab. They added the additional forces will be deployed midway this year.
Somalia has been mired in conflict since 1991, when armed militants toppled the central government of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre. The arms left behind by the government fell in the hands of various warlords– they have been struggling for power control for the last two decades.
Somalilandpress | 27 March 2011Follow @somalilandpress