Large Eid celebrations held in Shabaab held areas
Adherents to the Islamic faith have celebrated Eid all around the world today. War torn Somalia is no exception to this, as Somalis all over the country came together in their respective cities in the morning to join one and another in Eid prayers.
After the prayers the people disperse, children go touring around the city collecting sweets and money; others go to visit family and relatives, elders may sit together and drink coffee and eat a traditional sweet known as “halwo” while others enjoy themselves in different ways. It’s a relatively joyous atmosphere, as Somalis will try to enjoy themselves today and the upcoming days and take advantage of the tranquility that comes with it, a sentiment long yearned for by Somalis.
In Mogadishu today, Somali president Hasan Sheekh Mohamed joined the congregation of Eid prayers. After the prayers he addressed the public and urged them to work together as a nation and to stand united. He said: “I hope to see the Somali people celebrate the next Eid in harmony. And I urge you all to work as one towards the stability of the country”.
“I advice the Somali people to forgive each other and to be openhearted, as today is the beginning of an upcoming days of happiness” he further said.
On the other hand in Al-Shabaab held territories large Eid celebrations were held in public open areas where the public joined in the celebrations.
One of these territories is Barawe around 250km away from Mogadishu where locals joined the Eid prayers held in an open area, as the Al-Shabaab movement who controls the area believes this practice to be closer to Islamic teachings.
According to our correspondent, prayers were led by the Al-Shabaab leader of the Lower Shabelle region known as, Abu Abdullah. After prayers he delivered a speech praising the stability and security that Al-Shabaab has brought to regions under their control. “We praise Allah for the security and safety here that others are unable to enjoy”. He further spoke about the SEAL raid on Barawe and how Al-Shabaab fighters repelled the team. “Our heroic fighters resisted the attempt to raid the house, this is in indication of America’s inevitable defeat which is close” he said.
Other high profile leaders who were present and spoke at the celebration included Sheikh Ali Mahmud Rage (Dhere), the official spokesman for the Al-Shabaab movement, he called out the Somali people “who are under occupation to have patience” and that they “aren’t the first ones whose land is occupied”, he promised that Al-Shabaab “free the land and defeat the occupiers”. He further added that Westgate mall attacks were a message to Kenya and this was just the beginning of what was to come if Kenya doesn’t pull out their troops from Somalia. He also said that SEAL raid in Barawe was to divert the world’s attention from the Westgate attacks and to cover up the shame that was inflicted on Kenya, yet they failed in their attempt he concluded. The Al-Shabaab movement in the area promised the public that days of fun are ahead of them, as they have prepared festivals and fun activities for the public in relation to Eid and to celebrate the Westgate attack. Harar24 will update & post pictures of these events in all Al-Shabaab controlled areas.
Our local correspondent spoke with residents of Barawe who expressed their happiness at the arrival of Eid. “We’ve been waiting for days for these moments. These are days of happiness and delight for all of us”. One local resident said. When asked about the presence of Al-Shabaab he said: “I don’t really care, Eid will always remain blissful moments in one’s life regardless of anything.”
Below follow some images of the Eid prayers held in Barawe.