"There was no other option," said Khadija Ali, a Somali-American doctoral student in conflict resolution at George Mason University who spends part of the year in Somalia.
The Islamic militiamen's rapid advance across most of southern Somalia surprised even them, said Ali
, who has been advising the courts union on international relations.
"These guys were not prepared for this change, they did not have a plan, so it is overwhelming," she
said the international community must demand peace talks that include the transitional government, the courts union, the business community and civil society.
Now that the warlords have been defeated, all Somalis must work together to form a new government, she
The courts union "couldn't do anything without the business sector and civil society.Now the movement should have the face of all three sectors of society," she
said."If it is only the Islamic courts who have power, then the radicals will succeed." Ali
has been trying to recruit business people and civic leaders to join the courts union, but it's been difficult.
"I talked to some of my friends in civil society and they say, `I run a non-governmental organization, I don't want to get involved in politics,'" she