Books by Abdi-Noor Haji Mohamed (Eagle Of Hope)
Somalia: To Whom It Belongs?
I have three questions. My first one is so complicated and quite depressing. I want to know why we are at war for over two decades following the overthrow of the military regime in 1991. Why does it go beyond the margins of human talent and imagination to understand the intricacy of the Somali war and why peace is so difficult to attain within our resource and intellect. Is the war not ours? Are we only the fighters and not the owners of the war?. Are we fighting a war masterminded by one and financed by another? Whose war is this by the way? Have we lost ownership of the war? If so, when? Is it possible to get the war back to our hands or is that just a dream? After all, who is in charge of Somalia today: The UN? TFG? Ethiopia? USA? EU?, AU? Bin Ladin? International Mafia in the form of states and companies? All of them? None of them? Who?
The other question is the cultural aspect in the context of peace and security in Somalia. As we know we have a rich culture which, if utilized for the benefit of peace and reconciliation, can generate desirable results in the long run and can effectively put Somalia’s derailed peace train back to its tracks. We have seen this in Somali-Land where the elders gathered under a tree in Burco 20 years ago and reached a consensus to restore peace in their breakaway Republic. It worked for them to the extent that they would soon line-up at polling stations to decide who would be the next president after Riyaale of the ruling party is defeated.
Culture as a tool of peace has also worked in Puntland.. Then why can’t it work in the South? Why can’t the above peace models be replicated in regions of the South of Somalia? What makes culture work in those two lands and not in other parts of the nation? Where is the homogeneity of the Somali people in terms of culture, religion and language of which our scholars and writers have preached and wrote extensively? Is it because no one has ever attempted to use culture as a means of restoring peace in the South or is it due to the infrastructure and resources (which are sufficiently available in the South) that new wars are sparked off anytime a peace hurdle is crossed?
The third question is the increasing media institutions both national and international. In fact it is true that the information technology has increased the chances of everyone to own his own media outlet in the form of internet but I wonder how many Radios are enough to tell the same story and how many times a story deserves to be repeatedly reported in the news.
It often happens that the same story is viewed from different angels depending on which way that particular station wants to portray it. I think it is time to review the role of media in the Somali war with the aim of devising appropriate measures to improve the quality of information they feed us and to reduce the chances of inciting clan wars with a si´mple misconstruction of news.
In 1991 when the war started in Somalia we have had few media outlets which dominated the information business. But now almost every clan has one radio station or a website. Just visit one of the Somali webpages and you will see the margins of the whole page decorated with Links of several dozes of other Somali sites. If we weigh the amount of news pumped into the mind of an ordinary Somali on daily basis, we will know that his brain stores tons of words of which 90% of them are war.
Peace comes from the mind, so how a mind which absorbs only war can produce peace? By saying this I am not against the growing information enterprise. I am a great fan of freedom of expression and I staunchly defend the right to get access to information but when information is transformed into a tool of war, I wonder where we should go to get information.
Writer and Film maker
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|Reviewed by Jon Willey
|Abdi-Noor, we both are keenly aware that today's media long ago abandoned the primary concept for its creation. To report the news,the facts, unbiased. That noble purpose was lost long ago to the power and influence of money. At that point in time wealth and power became the drivers for the media, humanitariann good was left in the dust of a simpler time. The media is now the tool of choice for any movement seeking to gain an advantage in shaping opinion. Truth is now merely an incidental by product of that process. As for who is in charge, hope that it is not the U.N. For what should have and could have been mankind's finest humanitarian gift to the world, the U.N. is an abject failure. Filled with corruption and the tool of the world's ultra rich seeking total world domination through lies and misinformation. May peace and love be always with you my friend. Jon Michael|
|Reviewed by Peter Schlosser (Reader)
|The US Pentagon set up Africom (African Command) a few years back to begin the official militarization of the African Continent. Somalia plays an important role because, as usual, it sits on top of oilfields, which some officials surmise may be as plentiful as those under Saudi Arabia. Additionally, Somalia's geopolitical position is important to the Anglo-American war machine because from there one can control the shipping coming in and out of the Gulf of Aden. Somalia belongs to Somalians. But, like most countries outside of the industrialized west, it will be manipulated by imperialist foreign powers to establish puppet governments who will then open up its resources for plundering by the trans-national criminal vulture cartel of corporate lunatics. They try different methods, most recently the CIA backed attempted coup by the Bush administration, which supported an alliance of Somali warlords known as the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) that established a base of operations in the western city of Baidoa. With the help of the Ethiopian army, western mercenaries, US Navy warships, and AC-130 gunships; the TFG captured Mogadishu and forced the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) to retreat to the south. Since then the resistance has coalesced into a tenacious guerrilla army that has recaptured most of the country. And so it goes on and on and through history. Tragic.