Somalia Will Impose Sharia Law

Prez submits to rebel demands, but vows loose enforcement
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 1, 2009 10:40 AM CST
A Somali insurgent holds a rocket-propelled grenade at a factory site in north Mogadishu which Ethiopian troops vacated in early January.   (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
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(Newser) – In a move to broker peace between his troops and insurgents, Somalia’s president has agreed to militants’ call to impose Islamic law, CNN reports. The law bars girls from school, requires beards for men and veils for women, and bans TV and music. But President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, elected in January, promises that he won’t interpret the rules strictly.

“I met with religious leaders and elders, and accepted their demand for ceasefire and reconciliation with the opposition members," Ahmed said. "The mediators asked me to introduce Islamic sharia in the country and I agreed." He said he would ask African peacekeepers to leave as soon as a political solution is reached.