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The forgotten country of Somalia

The forgotten country of Somalia

One of the war ravaged countries in the African continent for the past two decades has been Somalia which is situated in the horn of Africa and borders with Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Kenya.

This country plunged into war in 1991 after the death of Ibrahim Bary Minasara the erstwhile leader. From that time to now the country has changed hands from one government to another, from one war lord to another.

Terrorists have hidden their brutish tendencies under the guise of Islam, failing to realize that Islam and terror are not compatible.  A religion that has its basis in the respect of the fundamental human rights of mankind will no way condone the act of terrorism.

In Somailia sadly, AL-SHABAB is in control of most parts of the country leaving the Transitional Federal Government with little option to serve its citizens.

More than sixty percent of the Somali population is in displacement camps and live on handouts. The majority of the youths who are supposed to be in schools and colleges are idling, not because they don’t want to go to school but because the country has been torn apart by unpatriotic Somalis making the country almost ungovernable.

One thing that astonishes many observers including Africans is the abandonment of this African country by its own African brothers.

In 2008 the African Union approved a peace keeping force AMISOM African Union Mission to Somalia. Since its inception, AMISOM has been struggling to put a troop together, they need twenty thousand troops but till date AMISOM can only boast of eight thousand troops. They have cried and cried for African governments to send troops but all have fallen in deaf ears.

In my trip to Kenya Mombasa on an AMISOM trip recently, many things were unearthed. One of the things that was unearthed was the notion that Somalia is a failed state. We were surprised to know that life is going on in Somalia, though bombs are flying all over the place yet still there is some government presence in the country.

It will interest you to learn that the sea port is under the control of AMISOM. This is one of the reasons why the government is able to function, with the airport in the hands of the government and AMISOM the terrorist group will be starved.

Another burning issue is that the west is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars to guard the Somailia high seas but could not boost AMISOM to flush the terrorists; this I think is callous on the side of the west.

I think one way the west will fight terrorism is to destroy the cocoon that AL-SHABAB has created in Somailia.  Leaving AL-SHABAB to operate in mainland Somailia will only fuel piracy in the high seas.

I think is high time the African Union sent in additional troops that AMISOM needs to bolster its operations so they will give hope to a country that is hopeless.

I am sanguine that all is not lost in Somalia; all we need to do as Africans is to put out the fire in our brother’s house. If we allow terrorists to carry the day, the souls of dead will always hunt us. So much blood has been shed in Mogadishu, that the country needs a helping hand if we want posterity to judge us well.

Somailia is a shame to African leaders especially EGAD the regional body, when we had our war in Sierra Leone, the regional body ECOWAS was on the vanguard in ending the war, why can’t EGAD borrow a leaf from ECOWAS?

Though a war ravaged country I am optimistic that if the Transitional Federal Government is given the needed support, no doubt one of Africa’s oldest wars will be thrown in to the dustbin of history.

The youths and women of Somalia want to see a peaceful country so that they will live like their compatriots in the African continent.

Why should the international community sit by and allow a whole country to go down the drain as a result of terrorists who are using Islam as a mobilizing tool to kill and maim innocent civilians for no just cause?

Mohamed Asmieu Bah, Sierra Leone

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  • Africa and the World has abandon Somalia except Uganda and Burudi who sent all the 9000 soldiers in Mogadisho, also DJbouti who said they will send two Batalions within a month. Somalia will not be in civil war forever. When we get back on its feet, we, Somalis, will know who our true friends are and who our true foes are.

    Somalia is member of the Arab League too. But they also have abandoned Somalia long time ago. When Somalia become a functioning state, a lot of people will argue we should leave the Arab League.

    16th May 2011

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