Horrors besiege Somalia from all sides: from air, land, and sea, rogue countries sent weapons to Somalia by air , land bred infestation of brutes and filthy murderers that came from all over the world in search of false martyrdom, but last not least, the sea welcomed pirates to a source of livelihood of thousands of Somali families to divert the real plight of Somalis from the world attention , Somali suffering people usually miss the headlines for the sake of minor accidents of crew kidnap and worn out vessels hijack, Richard Philip's kidnap , which was as bad as it can be, in Somali coastal line was appeared in the cover page of the leading magazines in the Western world, instead of talking the root causes of the crisis; the international community impulsively begun to confer about the formation of private naval task in Somali waters to combat a piracy. But it was a step in the wrong direction, it signals that the Chinese goods loaded in scrap ships which adventured to infested-piracy ocean are more important than lives of its inhabitants!
In other words, the lives of Somalis are not worthy to talk about! Where is the human value? Whenever I hear that UN holds a conference about animal species in Africa, I feel ashamed of being African; it is clear message that African animals are extremely more important than its inhabitants! The world wants the minerals not the people in Africa.
Despite the old crimes of human being such as murder, and cattle raid, there are new crimes which were unknown only a few years ago to the dying people, some of them are political violence, drugs related crimes or armed robbery phenomenon, money laundering, suicide-bombing, and terror fund given in the name of aiding Muslim individuals instead of state-to-state basis to mention a few. All these put together have dangerous impact upon Somalia' life.
Civil war along with jihadist's dogma devastated Mogadishu, once a beautiful resort and tourist attraction with moderate climate throughout the year; had turned itself a minefield; a ghost city full of corpses; replete with demolished or partially damaged houses, and dilapidated cars, in other words, as a result of the image appearing above, Somalia was referred as " the walking dead" or " the death city" by many media outlets.
The capital's seaport once as busy as bee became an idle; however, the only rations that go through are ammunition, and veils, an old-fashion Arab dress code. leaving their kids in cozy caves, aged Jihadists rushed from their hideouts in Afghanistan; Pakistan to Mogadishu like swaps of locusts to take advantage of the security vacuum in southern Somalia; to marry the young underage girls whom circumstances compelled to scavenge maggots in her hometown, Mogadishu , the spicy odor of south East Asians is everywhere, political inability of Mogadishu inhabitants to figure out their problems tempted the thugs to intrude the country and thus fog of criminality blanketed the city, they rule with iron hand, now mullahs park their shallow sermons to unfortunate youth to allure the false martyrdom and after-sought Huuris( booties of divine beauty believed to live in heaven), their ugly voice through public speaker invades everyone.
Due to free export of leaflets( known as Risaalad) to Somalia by radical religious scholars, a new repulsive subculture of Islam was created, it reveres anarchy ,murder, and piracy, furthermore, butchers or Jihadist as they like call themselves get more attention than philanthropists, many teenagers as well as naïve blokes admired the sect, then listening western music, going to school, leading a peaceful life, and reading English all become not only against the mainstream tastes but also outlaws ; consequently, the good days of merry-go-round of childhood was destroyed. Sword rules every aspect of life. Liberating x country from Kafirs (infidels) is the talk of the town. So many humanitarian aid workers were either kidnapped or killed in Somalia, it is clear message that Somalis bite the hand that feeds them. This recently exported cult deprived Somali suffering people of their basic right to live in harmony with themselves and with their neighbors.
According to Herman J. Cohen, a former diplomat as well as Assistant Secretary for African Affairs:
Over the years, it was conventional wisdom in the press , even in academic circles, to describe the US operation in Somalia a failure because of the tragic events of October 3 1993. However , the is not the case President Bush's objective of bringing a halt to massive starvation caused by warlords' interference in food distribution was fully successful. ( Race and History News & Views, January 21..) , of course the massive hunger dramatically declined due to US intervention in Somalia.
The Bakara Market which is the biggest marketplace in Mogadishu are always storm by both sides in the fighting and thus casualties of its civilians are daily realities, Amison, a peacekeeping force in Somalia, was frequently accused of the bombardments. While massive rape in Congo prompted UN offices across the world to make inquiry; drew waves of criticism from human rights organizations, the killing of Mogadishu dwellers gone unnoticed never mind independent investigation! It is always like that when the victim is a fellow Somali; of course, it is heartbreaking to be Somali. My people are viewed as terrorists and troublemakers in the eyes of international community due to few bad apples; it is unfair to lump them together.
Banadari, Somali tribe with European ancestry or Asian origin, who were mainly well-off families before the war broke out, they lived in gated community and look slightly less darker than the rest of Somalis, therefore, are called whitish or Cadcad in vernacular language because Somalis are racist by nature. As soon as the rule and regulation evaporated; tanks rolled everywhere, the Banadari ethnicity born the brunt , besides the general mayhem they share with other tribes, they were targeted specifically because they were vulnerable ; therefore, their girls are gang raped in Mosques, and Churches, no one , be mullah or Bishop came to their rescue, some as young as thirteen were abused, they fled the country.
Three or more generations lost their formal education; nobody has high school certificate or genuine driving license, so the future of millions of Somalis is gloomy. Whole generations of ignorant people are knocking the door of the richer nations only to add burden of the welfare system of the industrial countries, in addition, none of them qualified to drive a bicycle let alone trains! Bleakness is compounded by terrorism of medieval century style; hungry girls are beaten to death because of the claims that a monsters, more specifically Jin are in the spirits of the poor girls! Many teenagers were stoned to death for alleged fornication, where is the male fornicator? Maybe he is semi-god mullah and hence the Kangaroo court scared of him to put him in trial, such inhuman code of punishment like beheadings and cross-legged amputations are applied only to the vulnerable sector of the society including minorities as well as unarmed clans, the powerful ones are above the law like royal family!
This is how Kangaroo court works in the twenty first century in full of view of the civilized world! Mogadishu's unending story of catastrophe forced many people to flee, many youth who had taken refugee in Alshabab, the ruthless bearded beasts of unknown cult, are forcibly enlisted for exploitation or beheaded for their refusal to work under Allah's command according to the naïve leaders of the organization.
Wardhiiglay, a killing field in Mogadishu, which means lake blood, thousands of innocent folks of Banaadaris and other tribes were massacred in cold –bloodily, dusty roads are filthy and foul-smelling due to corpses lie everywhere. Whereas Palestinians are expecting to go back to their villages in Israel after sixty years in the Diaspora, all available evidence shows that Banadaris are totally afraid of setting a foot in this horrific quarter of Mogadishu, they do not want to go back there. Its sign of evil human power for destruction; if calm restores the place would an epitaph of racial annihilation, but people get used to it, human bones towering all sides during the rainy season, kids usually take them to makeshift shelters to play as they have never seen toys since birthday. Most of their playgrounds are mass graves of their parents whom were brutally murdered; these little ones have very few choices, they just born; grown here. They do not imagine a life which different from theirs exists, radios are seen sophisticated devices only possessed by the privileged ones never mind TV sets.
Why God created Somalis? All they knew was suffering. Till to this day Somalis face daily humiliation done by the brutes such as Al shababs, more over, warlords striped of their humanity, striped of their faith in God, hence they become cynical about everyone, cursed theocracy subjugated already struggling Somalis to draconian laws, there is no point worse than where they reached now, they prayed for two decades, but no answer, all they see are the twin enemies: death and destruction. Somalia is confluence of starvation, fear, and debacle.
During American forces in Mogadishu, a capital synonymous with fatality, a life improved dramatically, Somali police force become one of the highest paid police officers in Africa, they receive about five hundred US dollars a month, as soon as the withdrawal is heard, the well-off families moved either to Nairobi or Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), the rest trapped inside, impoverished folks vied to take the trash left behind by US forces, many people died as result, but those who survived got leftover pancakes, others got toilet papers, and etc. "...struggling fighting to eat..." K'naan Warsame's song "waving flag" is a reflection of bitter realities on the ground back in his country, some people were fighting to eat, but some others are battling for their dogma. Somalis are absolutely exhausted, not only did they compromise everything ranging from faith in God to abstract notion of Halal food, but also all they want is to do every thing they could to survive, war for survival begun when the world left the country to rotten.
I watched a Motel Family, a Canadian movie about my country, Somalia, the co-actor Ayan Roble is Canadian but originally from Somaliland region or so, though she seems to live in Canada for so long because her English was so excellent according to the judgment of the movie critics, but she still carries a vivid memories of the war throughout her stay in Canada with her, what happened to her and many of her ilk is yet resonating in their minds wherever they go. When I think of loss of lives, I think of my beloved father.
When the world get tired of their tragedy, Somali suffering masses feel utterly abandoned by everyone, , the US military intervention in 1993 to help starving multitudes was the last golden opportunity to Somalia as whole, in that period Somalia came again under spotlight, more than thirty thousands troops from over twenty countries arrived Somalia to keep peace there, but Mogadishu dwellers rejected to cooperate with the peacekeepers, then both the Restore Hope Operation of America, and Operation Solace of Australia failed, a barbarians in the name of Islam chanted " infidel, infidel" when US marines arrived Mogadishu ,then US led forces realized they are unwanted here; as a result, the US retreated, the world followed, US peace task Marines' pullout thunderstruck intellectuals , and ordinary folks alike; the skeletal folks were left in the company of mass starvation, as Somali crisis deepens ,the world attention turns either to Pakistan or Haiti crisis, after two decades of worthless bickering by the so-called politicians, the entire issue of Somalia were thrown into the dustbin of history, but hope springs internal, ultimately, people are asking why the famine is everlasting, what causes hunger, when terminator will come , and whether massive starvation will ever go away? The poor is at loss what to do next?
By Abdirahman Mohammed Dirye
The writer is Somaliland volunteer, and activist based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
He can be reached at: mrdirye@gmail. com