索马里:四分五裂的伊斯兰教主义组织
索马里:四分五裂的伊斯兰教主义组织
Table of Contents
  1. Overview
A Strategy for Exploring Talks with Al-Shabaab in Somalia
A Strategy for Exploring Talks with Al-Shabaab in Somalia
Briefing 74 / Africa

索马里:四分五裂的伊斯兰教主义组织

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概述

索马里的伊斯兰教运动内部分歧不断加深,帮派之争愈演愈烈,因此可能导致全国进一步深陷暴力和流血冲突,并为周边国家甚至世界其它地区带来威胁。这些内讧加深了因意识形态、宗教派别和氏族而起的仇视和对立,因此无疑是在给政治危机火上浇油。然而伊斯兰教运动的分裂与重组对索马里的政治活动家和国际社会来说,也许不失为一次机会。由于有着全球野心的外来圣战组织和极端分子在索马里伊斯兰教运动的影响日趋增大,一些本国的武装分子对此深感失望,因此他们可能成为政府和国际社会争取改造的对象。

伊斯兰教运动内部的裂痕存在已久,但2006年12月埃塞俄比亚派兵驻扎索马里以后,这些内斗暂时被隐藏起来。埃塞俄比亚于2009年初撤军。在著名的伊斯兰教领袖谢赫·谢里夫·谢赫·艾哈迈德的领导下,索马里建立了联合政府,并推行沙里亚法(伊斯兰教教法)。这一系列事件让强硬派叛军和组织——尤其是“伊斯兰青年运动”——措手不及。在此之后,强硬派不得不为自身存在及继续武装反对谢里夫政府的必要性寻找借口,但他们的内部个人斗争和政策分歧不断升级:一些成员倾向于政治和解;而另一些人则忠于基地组织所宣扬的永久全球圣战。双方鸿沟不断扩大。

2009年5月,青年运动和“伊斯兰党”联合对过渡联邦政府发动大规模进攻。在非洲联盟驻索马里特派团的大力支援下,政府组织了强有力的抵抗。叛军惨遭失败,内部分裂进一步加深。他们错估了非盟特派团的反应,而且更致命的是,他们低估了国际社会支持过渡联邦政府的决心。亲政府的民兵组织“先知的信徒”正在不断壮大,并且取得了一些军事胜利。该组织成员反对青年运动所信奉的原教旨主义,因此给强硬派叛军带来了巨大压力。

虽然青年运动击溃了对手(兼昔日盟友)伊斯兰党,夺回了基斯马尤和一些南部重镇及村庄,但仍不得不将资源和兵力散布在远离朱巴和谢贝利根据地的大片敌占区。同时在多条战线作战使其四面受敌,疲于应付。尽管如此,除非过渡联邦政府军作战水平大幅提高,目前的力量对比不会有太大改变。

除了战事失利以外,青年运动的民望和声誉也节节下降。由于该组织一意强行统一伊斯兰教并狂热地严格奉行沙里亚法,加之其恐怖的专制统治,在很多地方,甚至包括曾经坚定支持叛军的地区,青年运动开始失去民心。另外,支持国外圣战组织的极端分子通过兵变夺取了青年运动的统治权,致使该组织进一步走向极端,加深了民众的恐惧。2009年12月发生在摩加迪沙的自杀性爆炸事件导致24名平民和官员死亡,引发了强烈的民众抗议。由于舆论广泛认为这一事件的幕后策划者是国外圣战组织,一些青年运动的高级领导脱党叛变,从而极大地动摇了该党的根基。许多人认为这一事件对青年运动的政治前景造成了不可逆转的破坏。

然而,青年运动和伊斯兰党远非残兵败将。他们仍不断将索马里公民、及居住在周边国家和世界其它地区的索马里裔人推向极端主义;仍对索马里过渡政府和邻邦造成威胁;而其与基地组织的联系尤其让美国和其它西方国家担忧。因此,过渡联邦政府及其国际伙伴应采取以下措施:

- 更加紧密地关注伊斯兰教运动向极端化意识形态发展的动向,并采取相应行动消除其影响;

- 努力争取民心,步骤包括:向民众说明将伊斯兰教运动推向极端的是一套特殊的外来信仰和对伊斯兰教法极端僵硬的解释;公布在索马里青年中开展反激进化运动的方案;

- 最后,投入更多精力寻求和解。过渡联邦政府应利用青年运动和伊斯兰党的内部分歧来争取两党内相对温和的成员。尽管这两个组织遭到取缔并被划为恐怖组织,但政府仍然应该同其中有意寻求政治和解的个人和派系进行沟通;国际社会也应敦促联邦政府在这几方面做出更多努力。

内罗毕/布鲁塞尔, 2010年5月18日

Overview

The growing internal schisms and factionalism within Somalia’s Islamist movement risk plunging the country even deeper into violence and bloodshed, with dangerous implications for the wider region and beyond. These divisions are also aggravating the political crisis by polarising groups further along ideological, theological and clan lines. However, a limited opportunity may now exist for Somalia’s political actors and the international community to capitalise on these divisions and re-alignments to reach out to the increasing numbers of domestic militants disenchanted with the growing influence of foreign jihadis and extremist elements bent on pursuing a global agenda.

The divisions have always existed, but remained hidden, largely because of the unifying factor of Ethiopia’s in-country military presence since December 2006. The Ethiopian pullout in early 2009; the formation of a coalition government led by a prominent Islamist, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed; and the adoption of Sharia (Islamic law) caught hard-line insurgents and groups, especially Harakat Al-Shabaab al-Mujahedeen (Al-Shabaab, Mujahidin Youth Movement), off guard. Thereafter, they had to justify their existence and continued armed opposition to the Sharif government. Personality and policy frictions escalated within the movement, and the gulf widened between those amenable to some form of a political settlement and those wedded to al-Qaeda inspired notions of a permanent global jihad.

The failure of the major offensive by a combined Al-Shabaab and Hizb al-Islam (Islamic Party) force against the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in May 2009, attributable, in large measure, to the decision by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to mount a robust defence of the government, catalysed internal dissent and fragmentation. The insurgents’ mistakes were their failure to anticipate AMISOM’s reaction and, more crucially, their misjudgement of the international community’s resolve to come to the TFG’s defence. The rise and military gains of a TFG ally, Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama’a (ASWJ, the Followers of the Prophetic Way and Consensus), composed of groups opposed to Al-Shabaab’s fundamentalism, have put significant pressure on the hard-line insurgency.

Although Al-Shabaab has regained Kismaayo and key towns and villages in the south by routing its rival (and erstwhile ally) Hizb al-Islam, it is now on the defensive and feels beleaguered. The movement is forced to fight on many fronts and to disperse its assets and combatants through broad swathes of hostile territory, far from its Jubba and Shabeelle strongholds in the south. But unless TFG forces perform significantly better, the balance of power will not be much altered.

Al-Shabaab’s military troubles have been compounded by the steady erosion of its popularity and credibility. The attempt to forcefully homogenise Islam and zealously enforce a harsh interpretation of Sharia, as well as the general climate of fear and claustrophobia fostered by an authoritarian administrative style, has deeply alienated large segments of society, even in areas once regarded as solid insurgent territory. Adding to the public disquiet has been the movement’s increasing radicalisation and the internal coup that has consolidated the influence of extremists allied to foreign jihadis. The suicide bomb attack in Mogadishu in December 2009, in which over two dozen civilians and officials were killed, caused an unprecedented public backlash. The widely-held perception that it was ordered by foreign jihadis prompted high-level defections and seriously undermined Al-Shabaab’s standing. Many feel it has irreparably harmed the movement’s political prospects.

However, Al-Shabaab and Hizb al-Islam are far from spent forces. They continue to radicalise Somalis at home, in the region and in the diaspora and remain a threat to the TFG and neighbouring states. Concern especially for their links to al-Qaeda extends to the U.S. and other leading Western states. Consequently, the TFG and its international partners should:

- pay more attention to, and try to counter-act, the increasingly extremist ideological evolution of the Islamist movement;

- step up the battle for the hearts and minds of the Somali people, including by articulating an argument that the radicalisation is largely driven by a unique set of beliefs that are alien to Somalis and an extremist and literal interpretation of holy texts; and by presenting a strategy to de-radicalise Somalia’s youth; and

- place much greater emphasis on reconciliation. The TFG should exploit divisions within Al-Shabaab and Hizb al-Islam by reaching out to less extreme elements in both organizations. Bans of those organisations or their designation as terrorist should not preclude efforts to talk with and reach understandings with individuals and factions amenable to political settlement; the international community should insist the TFG do more in this endeavour.

Nairobi/Brussels, 18 May 2010

Podcast / Africa

A Strategy for Exploring Talks with Al-Shabaab in Somalia

This week on The Horn, Alan is joined by Crisis Group expert Omar Mahmood to discuss avenues for achieving peace in Somalia, amid the growing consensus that Al-Shabaab will not be beaten by military means alone.

Somalia has been fighting the Al-Shabaab jihadist insurgency for well over a decade. After reclaiming control of Mogadishu and other cities in the early 2010s, government forces – with the support of African Union troops – have made limited progress since. Instead, Al-Shabaab has adopted guerilla tactics and managed to consolidate control of rural areas, while regularly conducting deadly attacks on Somali cities. A recent Crisis Group report recommended that stakeholders should at least begin to explore the feasibility of eventual political talks with Al-Shabaab, alongside pursuing existing military operations, to add another tool in the struggle to bring the longstanding conflict to an end.

This week on The Horn, Alan talks to Omar Mahmood, Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for East Africa, to discuss the risks and opportunities that this approach might incur. They assess the strengths and limitations of the military campaign against Al-Shabaab and its prospects for success, as African Union forces inch closer to the end of their mandate in the country. They discuss previous attempts to engage Al-Shabaab and the group’s willingness for dialogue. They talk about the impact of multiple failed rainy seasons in Somalia and the need for humanitarian assistance that reaches populations in both government and insurgent-controlled areas. They also discuss the wider implications of Somalia’s Al-Shabaab outlook in the region, including how the country’s neighbours and international partners might respond to the prospect of engagement with a self-professed al-Qaeda affiliate.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Check out Crisis Group’s report, “Considering Political Engagement with Al-Shabaab in Somalia”, in full to learn more about the situation in Somalia and efforts to bring the conflict to an end.

Contributors

Former Project Director, Horn of Africa
Former Research Assistant, Horn of Africa
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