by Abdi-Noor Hagi Mohamed
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Though I have never lost my father I still regard myself as an orphan. I am a victim of a chronic neglect, my name is Somalia, I am a lover of peace but unfortunately I’m possessed by devils of destruction who waged a tribal war that had pushed me to the margins of shame and non-existence.
To cut a long story short, I was colonized by the Italians nearly 100 years before I was adopted by the United Nations under a Un Trusteeship in an effort to take care of me till I assume full responsibility of myself. And in the ten years that had followed 1950 to 1960, I received some shelter and protection.
Nearly thirty years after independence 1960 to 1990 I have been bewildered by turbulent political situation till the storms that had gathered culminated to a disastrous civil strife which claimed tens of thousands of lives. Coupled with famine and prolonged drought as a result of recurrent seasonal failures, I was plunged in a horrendous bloodshed which took me to the depths of misery. When things fell apart, my care-taker did not come to my rescue as immediately as I expected him to arrive.
It was in 1991 when Somalia’s military regime was dislodged in a mass uprising which later on turned out to be a Living Evil. My understanding was that the UN would soon step in to fill the gap to avoid further killings. But that did not happen. It took them 18 months to make any meaningful intervention in the name of peacekeeping and delivery of services to people who were then dying like flies because by the time the UN arrived people had already fallen in the pits of horror and despair probably beyond redemption.
Anyway it was a better-late-than never intervention under the banner of United Nations Operations For Somalia (UNOSOM) which only ended up in a disgraceful exit two years after its inception. I then slid back into chaos and strife.
Monoesters of obliteration continued raping me and every attempt to institute an authority has hit the sharp peaks of greed and avarice perpetuated by warlords who had stone hearts under their chests. Being an Italian ex-colony for a century I thought the Italians would show some concern because ex-colonies are protected by their colonizers. But never did that take place. They were instead accused of taking sides with the warlords and Somali tribal leaders.
Had I been a British or French colony I would at least have been spared from conflict or if at all a clash took place it would not have been degenerated to such a scale that one would match it to the holocaust of the Nazi era. And if at all I went to war with myself my wounds would have been treated well before they festered or otherwise rankled in the most malicious way.
But unfortunately I happened to be birthed at a UN clinic run by an Italian doctor with no good manners. Look at my situation today. Every effort to restore peace has failed. Bombs are going off at the roadsides and inside garbage pits. UN ships carrying humanitarian supplies are attacked in the sea by Somali pirates and almost all social services have been grounded to zero as a result of a widespread insecurity and strife. children are not going to school and hospitals are overwhelmed by patients who are lying under the trees with no help as there is severe shortage of medical drugs in the facility.
The government is using excessive force to curb the mess but violence is still escalating in the city of Mogadishu with death and destruction of property grabbing the daily news headlines. And on the other side of the coin we have insurgents who plant land mines or throw hand grenades aiming to kill TFG soldiers but take the life of innocent Somalis who at the moment of explosion happened to be in the wrong place. The pain will not end here but the TFG will shoot and arrest civiilans including women and children who were found in the area where the blast took place. And the UN is just watching not moving, not acting only sending high level delegations instead of peacekeepers.
Please share this poem with me,
Somalia has been set ablaze by warlords
Who had fought tribal wars over a decade
They had a target to overthrow a leader
But had no vision beyond toppling a boss
Instead of turning to each other with love
They had turned on each other in hatred
They had the brains to put a nation on fire
But lacked the wits to contain the fire
Somalia is still burning like a bush
It is shrouded with a smoke of grief
And the UN is just watching not acting