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Is Somali a Cannon fodder of a proxy war?

by Abdi-Noor Hagi Mohamed

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Somalia has been turned into a theatre of war in which too many actors are on the stage. There are insurgents who want to fight the African peace keepers and the Ethiopian troops who were brought here to support the Transitional Government of Somalia which has recently been relocated in Mogadishu after the union of Islamic courts have been routed and later bombarded in the bush by American Ac-130's though no Al-qaeda figure of high value has been killed in the intensive air operation.


In this poem an insurgent militia and an Ethiopian soldier are debating over the issue of foreign forces presence in Somalia. The insurgent militia says "I attack you till you leave my country” while the Ethiopian soldier gives a stern response by saying "I have better and far more superior weapons than you do. Don't take the risk of attacking me or my positions within the city. Peace is the only option you should take if at all you want to thrive and lead a stable life.


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After all the Ethiopian soldier makes it clear to the insurgent that it is the Somalis themselves who destroyed their own country through tribal anarchy and hatred towards each other which gave rise to warlords who fought bitterly till the world couldn't watch the mess anymore and he says:


With war you just perish

With peace you survive

The option is yours

If you fight with me

I surely defeat you

I squash and squeeze

Till you crumble

Like a pack of cards

Or melt in the heat

Like a block of ice

You are a bunch of tribes

United in utter disunity

And over unity you are divided

You are a dismantled thread

Scattered in the land of war

Never coming together in love

Never weaving a union cloth

But always remain in disarray

As scrappy and fragmented

As the pieces of a broken glass

Don’t blame me boy

Blame yourself

Blame the warlords

They are the ones

Who brought us here


But the insurgent, not convinced with all the points the soldier had hurled upon him says: "You are a liar. The world has been watching when the warlords were messing up this country and intervened only when Islamic Courts Union took charge of its affairs and demonstrated an ambition to put Somalia back together.


Ethiopian Soldier: You speak like a terrorist. You should change the thread of your argument. Ethiopia does not appreciate the way you articulate your point.


Insurgent Militia: Ahahaha. Eritrea loves these points


How sad dear reader. Is Somali a cannon fodder of a proxy war? Should I ask this question to the 70-year old grandma starving in the bush or the 80 year old grandfather shivering with cold or losing his balance on the icy roads of London and Washington? Should I ask the child staring in the open but seeing no hope in the horizon?


By: Abdi-Noor Haji Mohamed
Writer and Filmmaker

Mogadishu, Somalia

[email protected]

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