Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Somali's suffer silently

Fighting in Somalia is no longer news anymore; it seldom makes international headlines let alone the front pages, why? Simply because of fatigue by the world audience and don't care attitude from powerful nations.

It’s easy to grasp the global weariness and luck of interest for the Somali problem: sample this; the conflict has dragged for years, since the 1991 ouster of former strongman Mohamed Siad Bare. The bloody civil war that followed Bare has changed faces over the 18 year-old conflict, first with the notorious warlords creating havoc among the poor population. Their heinous acts coupled with support by the Bush administration in the 2005/2006 war on terror dubbed anti-Islam by many clerics brought about the current crop of Islamists leadership in Somalia.

To cap it tall the late 2006 Ethiopian troop’s foray into Somalia in the name of propping up a weak and unpopular government formed in the safety of Kenya, gave a fresh impetus to Islamist groups in their quest to retake Mogadishu, after a six month lull in gun-battles in the city during a relatively peaceful Islamist reign prior to the Ethiopian arrival.

To date guns blaze in the dirty streets of the bullet-pocked streets of this beautiful seaside city.

Many people outside Somalia don’t just understand the reason behind the unceasing violence. It beats human logic to just fight without a reason, but many people including combatants give varying reasons for their action.

In the midst of all the conflict, a whole generation of 18 year olds who don’t know what a government is, have now become an integral part of the battle making a huge chunk of the foot soldiers with many recruited as child soldiers.

Supporters of the interim government would tell you a bad/weak government is better than nothing, but their Islamist adversaries say the current administration is just but a copy of the previous Western backed governments formed to undermine a realization of an Islamist state.

I say for the sake of the poor war-displaced women and children of Somalia, a little reprieve from the mind-blowing violence should be what every sane Somali needs to strive for regardless of their political or clan affiliation.

At the end of the day, the population needs some peace to eat their bread and a shelter from the cold nights for Somalia to realize even a prosperous Islamic nationhood, that many are badly fighting for.

The gun has to be silent for a moment for the many baby girls and boys to blossom in peace to realize their potential.

As the Somali adage goes: “Nabado waa naas caana leh” meaning peace is the breasts that provide milk. Let’s drink from this fountain of milk and peacefully enjoy the taste of the milk.

For a pastoralist like Somali’s there is nothing more gratifying than sipping your cup of milk in peace.

Imagine such a scene in the beautiful wilderness of Somalia, even bursting cities like Mogadishu.

Yes it’s possible; we can get the peace we are yearning for. But as Chinese put it, the longest journey starts with a step: Our first step should momentarily be to silence the guns and then everyone can enjoy his cup in peace.