by Abdi-Noor Haji Mohamed
The recent clashes between the TFG/ Ethiopian forces have brought incalculable damage to the nation. There was death of around 1000 persons though some other figure show a lesser estimate, destruction of properties and displacement of people in their thousands The business and almost all social and educational life of the city has been halted due to the fighting and now you see no children going to school. The main commercial center of Mogadishu, Bakaraha has been almost closed as most of the goods in the stores have been ferried to other locations in fear of being landed by the rockerts being exchanged by the two groups.
A number of interest groups are involved in this war consisting of remnants of Islamic courts, armed militia of the Hawiye tribe, Warlord militia and other freelance fighters. But the biggest worry is the involvment of other countries. There are speculations that international actors mainly the United States and European nations are involved in the war with African and Arab countries cutting across. They are accused of taking sides with the warring groups though we do not have any concrete fact to support these claims.
In the beginning it was the Ethiopian and TFG forces routing the Islamic courts union but now, nearly four months after toppling the Islamic courts, it seems that the war is taking a new shape far more different than how it looked in the beginning of the operation. African Union soldiers, the UPDF have arrived but are not involved in the war. Instead they have become a strong humanitarian force by delivering supplies to the displaced populations and that is where most of the support they are currently enjoying emanates from. They deserve praise because they are showing mercy at a time when help is most desperately needed.
In the K4. area where some of their forces have been deployed, business resumed normal when they called people to come and run their stalls and carry their routine jobs peacefully. People thought that the Ugandans will take revenge over the attack they faced shortly after they had arrived at the airport and the subsequent ambush that took place only 24 hours after their landing. But that did not happen. The death of their soldier in combat artillery at the presidential palace did not change their plans either. They still look calm, cooperative and quite friendly though we do not know how long this will last.
Somalia has been burning for 16 years and it cannot go on like this forever. Something must be done. The innocent people of Mogadishu are caught between the flames of two fires: the fire of the opposing forces fighting inside the city and the fire of hunger, disease and destitution which they have to undergo if they flee from Mogadishu. There is mounting tension at the moment in the city of Mogadishu as the Ethiopian forces are getting more reinforcements while the muqawamah or insurgents are digging trenches in some strategic locations within the city. The problem is not the war but the failure of the world to intervene this mess in a more dynamic way. Complacency is no solution to the problem but it is part of the problem. And that has to stop. Please share this poem with me:
Our nation has been set ablaze
Beneath the ashes of civil strife
There lie embers of injustice
I can’t avoid testing the rubble
Yet I can’t venture digging it deeply
As doing so would only lead
To tasting the horrors of anarchy
Silence in the face is injustice
Is no less than a nod to the culprit
Shouldn’t the world take action now
Or should it watch a looming disaster
We better fight for peace and freedom
Than live with the complacency of inaction
Abdi-Noor Haji Mohamed
Writer and Fimmaker