President Franklin D. Roosevelt once proclaimed December 7th, 1941, the attack of Pearl Harbor, as “a date which will live in infamy“. There is no doubt in my mind that the day the student graduates, medical doctors, parents and Government officials were massacred in Mogadishu was a black day. Unlike any other incident during the civil war, the images of that day will never leave my conscience nor will I ever understand the logic and the intention of this heinous act.
I’m constantly asking myself how this happened, is this just another low point that Somalia has sunk to or is it a defining moment in our history? This is something so cruel, so senseless, whoever is responsible is a merciless criminal that should pay the price.
The ceremony at the hotel for the young graduating students would have been one of their fondest memories to cherish. Unfortunately, it would become a day remembered by all for its gruesomeness. Two tragedies have befallen on our people; first, it is the lack of an accountable and effective government and second, an international community that doesn’t have Somalia’s best interest at heart. A clear example is that for the past 18 years, five transitional governments were formed and instead of rebuilding the nation and reconciling among ourselves, the consequences were power struggle and continued conflict, and civil strife.
We all hoped that we will have a better times after the collapse of the central government in 1991, but these dreams have quickly dashed away when the brutal era of the warlords became a reality and then followed by the Islamic Courts — the ICU and its aftermath is unprecedented period of death, destruction & suicide attacks. Ethiopia, in pursuit of the radical elements invaded the country and killed thousands of innocent Somalis in Mogadishu and surrounding areas. The Al-shabab group began a campaign of terror and assassination plots of the businessmen, intellectuals, officials & elders.
Is TFG, a Government for the People?
Our current government appears to be a very weak and ineffective one, it has lost its legitimacy in the eyes of the Somalis — it has not built a single institution, the regime is unable to protect the population, and it exists only by name. The administration is comprised of leaders with no real education or government experience. They were conceived as instruments of foreign leaders and international organizations, some of the top leaders were in fact part of the original group of individuals, who were instrumental to the foundation and inception of the Islamic Movement that up to this day are the ones responsible of committing these horrific crimes . The Government resides in Villa Somalia and is being protected by AMISON soldiers, they cannot move a few blocks beyond their residence. It is the wish of many Somalis to see the current Administration go even before their term expires. The Ugandan & Burundian contingent forces should also leave the country as well, since they weren’t able to show any tangible results for the past years — their stay is only seen to protect and benefit a government that lost touch with its people.
What will the radical militants do next?
I believe the aim of the extremist is to terrorize & kill anyone who stands in their way; the intention of the recent suicide attack at the Shamo Hotel is to show all peace-loving citizens that they will not show any mercy to anybody who doesn’t follow their twisted ideology, anyone who attempts to foster good governance and the return of law and order will suffer the same fate. You have no choice but to submit to their will, there are no exceptions to this rule. Many experts predict that the worst is yet to come — I have an opposing viewpoint, it is my humble opinion that I suggest that we have already reached rock bottom. The inhumane assault of the students is a testimony of the lowest kind of human barbarism. I was at the ADAMS Center Mosque in Northern Virginia on the evening of the massacre, and after Isha prayer a Sudanese man who had watched the report of the suicide attack from Al Jazeera approached me with tears in his eyes, and asked, “What kind of religion do these people believe in”? and before I even got the chance to respond, he moved his head to the side in disbelief and said, “I know they believe the Diin of the Sheydaan”.
Where do we go from here?
The Somali crises has reached its climax; a whole nation is destroyed and no end is in sight for the suffering, death, destruction. Millions have been displaced and half a million lost their lives, in the southern and central regions of Somalia, there is no rule of law and the Northern regions claim to have seceded from the rest. Fish and resources in the Somali waters are depleted and waste materials are dumped on our beaches by foreigners. In the last few years the people of Mogadishu have suffered the most, much like being in an inferno, from the Ethiopian invasion to Alshabaab suicide atrocities. Residents of Mogadishu have no choice but to fight back and reclaim Mogadishu; the beautiful, cosmopolitan city. We have to take back our country by any means from these villains, no reservations. Organize the young and the old, man or woman to remove these killers (the youth) in our midst, clean your neighborhoods, and reclaim your life. Only then, you will see normality and the return of peace and coexistence. I will conclude with the following short poem.
My city is lost, my city is gone.
It has been swept under by a sea of blood,
My city use to be strong.
We fought for our independence, we overcame colonial strife.
Only to shine no more as we are drained of life.
What happened to my Mogadishu, what happened to my city by the sea?
They call themselves “My brothers,” but they are not of me.
They call themselves “the Youth,” yet they rob others of theirs.
They have taken our would-be Doctors; the caregivers to our wounds, also our ministers and politicians, do they not care?
What makes us so immobile when evil is clearly within our midst, walking casually among the crowd?
What has made us so deaf when the cries are so undoubtedly loud?
Let us reclaim the sanctity of our land, let us not settle to only reminisce about the past.
Let us expel this rot and find our relief from the stench, let us find a peace that lasts.