By Mohamoud A Gaildon
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister has just delivered to the parliament of his country worrisome words pregnant with peril for Somalia. Ostensibly, the Union of Islamic Courts, not Somalia, is the source of a “clear and present danger.” But to deal with this “clear and present danger,” Ethiopia will have to invade and occupy Somalia. The words of the Ethiopian Prime Minister are, therefore, nothing but a declaration of war on Somalia.
I read the Prime Minister’s words and wonder: Who is a danger to whom? Can bloodied and prostrate Somalia, totally spent and breathing in filth and dust, hurt anyone except itself? Or is it that the Ethiopian vulture finally finds the Somali nation an easy prey?
I am neither a supporter of the UIC nor an opponent of the Transitional Federal Government. Neither clan politics nor national chauvinism sways me one way or the other in regard to Ethiopia. My stand, shared by many fellow Somalis, is born of a time-tested conviction that Ethiopia is the enemy of the Somali nation. I have no desire to fan the flames of hostility between Abyssinia and Somalia. I have warm feelings for Ethiopians, who are a decent people worthy of respect and admiration. Sadly, however, over the centuries we Somalis have had nothing but death, destruction, and humiliation from the Ethiopian state.
Granted, Somalia’s festering wounds are largely self-inflicted. Under the crushing weight of a dictator, we floundered and lost our way. The opposition did what other Somalis in Awdal and Ifat had done centuries before: They crossed over to Ethiopia. And Mengistu did what Abyssinian kings had always done: foment insurrection, divide, and rule. It is said that, after the collapse of the Somali state, a vainglorious Mengistu strutted into an Ethiopian military officer’s club and gloated: I HAVE DESTROYED SOMALIA!
Fellow Somalis, what has happened to us? Where is our sense of national pride?
Let’s for once wake up and shake our demons off. In this world of billions of people, we are but a very small family. We suffer alone, bleed to death alone, languish from disease alone, and drown in the high seas alone as we have always done in our times of woe. And now in the face of Ethiopia’s might we stand alone. Let bygones be bygones! Stand together, shoulder to shoulder, arm in arm. Remember 1964, and 1977, and times of long ago when Somali men and women did what they had to do. Turn your guns and bayonets away from one another, be firm and defend the Motherland!
Mohamoud A Gaildon
E-mail: [email protected]
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