Something Should Be Done About Somalia
edited: Friday, March 12, 2010
By Abdi-Noor Haji Mohamed (Eagle Of Hope)
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010
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The war in Somalia has cut the survival chances of the child by 50%
If you look at Somalia with a heart of peace, you will see beauty, you see plains and plateaus, you see hills and a chain of mountains. You see a variety of vegetation. You see game of many sorts. You see prosperity, the best beaches in the world, the best breed of livestock, a rivers and oceans, plenty of marine resources, a long coastline, a most fertile land, large mineral reserve and a vast oil deposit. If you look at its people you see people of same ethnic origins, sharing a common culture, language and religion, a most homogeneous nation in the world. Yet on the other side of the coin you see tragedy in its worst form. Wars raging inside wars, you see brothers killing brothers, you see blessing turning out to be a curse, you see similarity of a difference. You see death and destruction, you see dislocation and disorientation, you see dissociation and disintegration, you see hunger and disease, you see armed conflict and Islamic insurgents, you see Ethiopia and Eritrea boxing with gloves marked “TFG and Al-shabaab” you see people being used as a canon fodder, you see Arab league, you see Organization of Islamic Conference, you see suicide bombers, you see African Union soldiers, you see mortars finding their way to residential areas, you see the UN and the US, you see drones flying over dilapidated buildings, you see food aid diverted to warlords and insurgents, you see massive build up in the Somali seas to gear up measures to fight piracy, you see pirates pocketing millions of dollars in ransom, you see the whole world involved in the Somali war and yet you see no hope for this war to come to an end. Why? The answer is simple. It is WE. WE, WE and WE. To forge unity we depart from a point of disunity: TRIBE not using itself on equal basis in sharing power but on 4.5. Tribe is colonization. Tribe is slavery. We need to debate about how to eradicate tribe from out political system but that is too much a farce to be getting embroiled. Something Should Be Done though, but for now let us look into a more pressing issue which demands our immediate attention: The headline-grabbing story of WFP.
In September last year The World Food Programme has taken a decision to close feeding centers in Somalia on grounds of funding shortages but since there was no disruption in their operation, I guess the agency had struck some luck somewhere in the aid industry and has availed itself an opportunity to be on duty for the years to come. Last week the same scenario repeated itself but not from lack of funding but from threats of a most notorious Islamic insurgents of Alshabaab in Somalia. These threats mean that hundreds of thousands of children in the Al-shabaab controlled areas will not eat anymore despite spending millions of dollars each day in fighting to kill TFG soldiers along with a handful of innocent populations in each mortar attack. How can we justify this? Is it fair to let factions be them political, tribal or religious to be armed to the teeth with weapons worth of millions of dollars while children are starving and dying from hunger due to lack of security? Is it fair that extremists kick out aid agencies while children are perishing in their hundreds as a result of disease and malnutrition?
In an attack to alqaeda suspected hideouts in Southern Somalia last year a high value terrorist of Kenyan origin has been killed. We thought that the insurgents would crumble from lack of funding and coordination but the opposite seems to have happened. Al-shabab grew stronger. They have carried out much more horrible offensive against the TFG since the killing of their man, gaining ground as large swathe of territory has fallen under their control, much to the horror of the Somali child who has become a victim to their power which saw them get rid of WFP. Here I am not concerned who is right and who is wrong in the Al-shabaab/WFP tussle. Not am I concerned about the accusations of arms smugglers hired by WFP as contractors. I am concerned only about the child and what impact this quagmire will have on the already slim chances of survival of the child. I am concerned about a child who has taken the last bite of his meal and waiting for another not knowing that food aid has been suspended., not knowing what is going on in his or her country. I am concerned about that child who only knows peace. I am concerned about who will bridge the gap while the dust of accusations and counter accusations is getting settled. I am concerned about the child who is waiting for food but only receiving bullets. Who can offer hope here to tell us that the child in the Alshabab-controlled zones will be provided with some food until such time corridors of peace are re-opened to allow agencies re-start their work again? Where can we expect that hope from? I think it is time for the locals to engage themselves in serious humanitarian activities to fill the gap. Something should be done. We can’t eat and sleep in peace with our children in the Diaspora while millions of Somali children are perishing due to insecurity. Thanks.