Somali Islamist group Hizbul Islam has announced that it is separating from al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab, the BBC reported Monday (September 24th).
Monday, September 24, 2012
Hizbul Islam spokesman Mohamed Moallin told the BBC Somali Service that they decided to part ways with the militant group after they saw the political changes taking place in Somalia.
Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, the leader of Hizbul Islam, has criticised al-Shabaab for aimlessly killing civilians and for its affiliation with al-Qaeda. Hizbul Islam merged its forces with al-Shabaab in late 2010.
Moallin said the group will start talks with anyone working to bring peace to Somalia, adding that the group does not share the same ideology and politics as al-Shabaab.
In late March, Aweys labelled the actions of al-Shabaab's leaders as being far removed from Islam. "I warn my jihadist brothers in al-Shabaab against letting the blood of the Somali nation and killing innocent civilians in the name of Islam," Aweys told a gathering of his followers.