Somalia: The Cat is Out of The Bag


The attention-grabbing story by the Kenyan Lawyer, Mr. Kipkorir published in Kenyan Paper of Daily Nation on 03/10 has been a blessing for us as it awakened Somalis from a deep slumber of taking everything for granted with the belief that a change will descend from heaven without changing our hearts and minds. Hardly has Daily Nation been circulated throughout Nairobi when I received an e-mail from a brother in Africa with an attachment of above-mentioned’s article, advising me to read and distribute it to other Somalis worldwide. I have detected a grain of discomfort in his message and in the next twenty four hours I learned that the anger has degenerated into a full blown storm of unity.

Many have taken up the pen and wrote articles of great historical value or fumbled for a computer to make quick dispatches with the efficiency of a fire brigade rushing to a disaster site. Many more, may be in their hundreds, have shared ideas over the phone or exchanged e-mails when the high traffic of the comment sections did not allow them to drop few lines. I thank all Somalis for showing Mr. Kipkorir and his likes that under the ashes of the somali war there are embers of talent with a voice of integrity and commitment. He should know that such utterances is just one more wood thrown into the dwindling fire of our Somalinimo. Few more pieces of this type will be marvelous to lit up a long overdue war of nationalism. So please send them and you will see the “Mongols” rise like a dust, settling upon your shoulders overnight resisting all your efforts to wipe them out!

If you think the British had stopped the Somalis in the forests of Isiolo, then you are wrong. It was the inhospitable environmental conditions that had denied them from making few “Pushes” into the gates of Nairobi. If Nairobi had offered better climate and vegetation I think someone would have milked his she camel in the very office you are writing from. Let us end Kipkorir issue here lest he distracts us from our main focus in his shallow attempt to either change the thread of the media coverage on the controversial Ukraine Ship hijacked in the Somali seas or test our inner feelings with a broken magical wand.

Now let us come back to ourselves and take a journey into ourselves to see ourselves inside out. Do we deserve to be treated like this? How can a dismemberment talk or opinion come to a public forum which is discussed as openly as any other story in the press? Do we exist or not? If we want to correct ourselves where do we start? In the mirror of life we identify our image as human beings but are we truly matching our identification when we are classified as tribalists, egoists and individualists whose nations should be divided by others who know how to run a state?

We hail from pastoral and agro pastoral cultures which has a history of tribal wars. The only time we took a respite from this virus was the era of SYL struggle for freedom. But after the attainment of independence in 1960 we made a great political lapse by returning to tribalism. Article 5 in the SYL constitution which said “No to Tribalism” has been repealed paving the way for a subsequent scramble of parliamentary seats through tribal means.

Shortly after the euphoria of independence had dried up, the ball started rolling backwards. The military revolution of the late sixties made a stern attempt to fight tribalism. But when the soldiers lost steam for a sustainable propulsion of the state machinery, the whole nation crumbled upon itself and kept deteriorating in the shadow of international neglect until we are today attacked with all types of weaponry ranging from tanks and suicide bombers to mere words of no-wisdom scribbled on a piece of paper.

The only way we can make a renewed comeback is to change our mindset which is a prerequisite to have a government of national unity, a government with a vision of Somalinimo. We may have our suspicions about the nature of “Government” as the very word conjures up with an ominous bureaucracy or may turn on some unpleasant memories. But the truth is that a government is the sole legitimate entity that can unite us.

Each one of us has a problem he had sustained from lack of government. There is injustice, there is unfair share of of power based on 4.5, there is sea piracy and dumping of wastes, there is gross human rights abuses inflicted uopon some minority tribes, there are people forcefully displaced from their original localities, there are killings, there are horrendous rape episodes, there are many many crimes committed against humanity. If each one of us goes on his own way of seeking justice on his individual or tribal basis who do you think will listen to him or her? Nobody.

You can open your NGO or hire an attorney who himself needs protection, an NGO or a lawyer roaming around with a worn-out file stuffed with papers dating from Siad Barre’s era can not replace a government. If we address our problems this way then our voice will not reach anywhere. It will die away in the dry air of illusive dreams. But through established government institutions we can channel our grievances without an air of fear. Thus as plaintiff we can lodge our complaints against whoever we think has offended us or threatened our life or killed a friend a relative so on.

Let us put down everything we have in our hands and start moving to the direction of re-building Somalia even if that takes us to accept the current criminals of all factions, Asmara, Djibouti and TFG because we can sue them within the legal framework of justice when their term in office expires or even before.

Are we ready to undertake that commitment or we just make fun out of our own misery by taking sides between two opposing sides ’til you and I find ourselves embroiled in their dirty war? Are we ready to make a change of heart and mind, to love and forgive, disown this culture of revenge and violence perpetuated by those who are drenched in the blood of their nation? If you have the guts to standby your commitments then Somalia has no worry from being swallowed by its neighbors who cry when you laugh and laugh when you cry. Those who are stable when you are unstable and feel unstable when you are stable. The Cat is out of the bag.

Abdi-Noor Mohamed is a Somali writer and filmmaker, living in Sweden. Contact him at NewsBlaze.