MOGADISHU — The Somali parliament on Saturday, April 18, unanimously ratified a government proposal to apply Shari`ah in Somalia, reviving hopes of stability in the war-torn country.
"The bill... is approved by the Parliament," parliamentary deputy speaker Osman Elmi Bogore told Agence France Presse (AFP).
"We have an Islamic government."
The enforcement of Shari`ah was backed by 340 MPs attending the session.
"They voted unanimously for the implementation of Islamic Shari`ah in Somalia,"
The approval came a month after the Somali government endorsed plans on March 10 plans to introduce Shari`ah in Somalia.
The move followed a proposal by the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) to Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed for a truce with opposition groups, including the implement of Shari`ah.
Islamist opposition groups, led by the Al-Shabab, have long insisted on the application of Shari`ah in the Horn of Africa Muslim nation.
They have already enforced Shari`ah in areas under their control in the southern parts of the country, stating condition of Shari`ah implementation before launching talks with the government.
The Shari`ah approval has raised hopes of bringing back stability to the Horn of Africa country.
"This is a big day," Mohamed Dhere, a Somali lawmaker, told AFP after the vote.
"We have been waiting this bill for a long time.
"I hope this [implementing Shari`ah] will decrease the violence in the country," he said.
Sheik Osman Ibrahim Ahmed of the association of Islamic scholars of Somalia agreed, urging the opposition to join the government.
"The Islamic groups who opposed the government had justified that with out the implementation of Islamic law they will not negotiate with the government," he told the African Press Agency.
"So if we have the bill endorsed we call on them to stop violence and associate with the Islamic government."
The parliamentary decision followed a visit by Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed to Turkey to draw international support for rebuilding Somalia.
"We will definitely not allow... unrest in Somalia again," Sharif told a news conference following talks with Turkish President Abdullah Gul.