Nearly a year ago, the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) have ignited a flame so powerful in Somalia that it’s impacts are still being felt by those in power today. With the help of America and Ethiopia, the government troops are, to this day, hosing down the dying embers of that fire. Having been re-united by the collective call to Islam, many Somalis supported the ICU and saw it as the movement that would unite Somalis far and wide. They had raised the banner of Islam, however ill-prepared or ill-judged their actions might have been. Within the six months of their imprudent but somehow effective rule, a gigantic wave of optimism, and in no less measure pessimism, had captured the hearts of many and thus the ICU gained prominence.
Those impoverished and anguished souls whose minds have been severely debilitated by the anarchy and constant fear wished for a reprieve from the brutal war and therefore supported the ICU. They have had enough and resorted to the notion that any sort of governance ought to be better than non-governance and the spark ignited by the ICU had brought about a wave of nationalism to redeem the years lost in civil war. Immediately the few degenerates whose blinkered minds forbade them seeing past their tribal allegiances and borders leapt in hue and cry. Having been incensed by the support given to the ICU and the way they were frequently lauded, they became resolute in their opposition. A tribe other than theirs in power was something inconceivable to their tiny obstinate minds.
But the ICU, despite all their flaws, had brought about a short period of stability. A brief interval from the war, perhaps to reflect at it, ensued as a sense of relative calm hovered over the city of Mogadishu. And for the first time in more than a decade, people went out of their bullet-ridden houses without worrying about their return. The tribes that were once expelled from the hierarchy chain and cast as subordinates in the eyes of many have finally been accepted as men and women of equal worth. Women went outdoors without fear of rape or kidnapping, and mothers gained a resounding hope of seeing their children making it past adolescence and not loosing them to the war or stray bullets.
Hope had impregnated many hearts; hope for a better future, for change, for long lasting stability, for peace, for reconciliation, and hope for a nation. But sadly that hope was short-lived, for soon enough the fire was wildly spreading and America, upon hearing the trumpet of Islam and fearing the governance of Somalia, whom it has yet to reap its resources, by Shari’ah law quickly responded with fighter jets and covert surveillance operations. They had formulated a plan to wipe out any rise of Islam and together with Meles Zenawi, who was, with a handsome pay, appointed as their mission commander in Eastern Africa turned their attention to the new movement in Mogadishu.
On the pretext of war on terror, America waged war on the world. But I had always had my misgivings about Ethiopian involvement in the governance of Somalia. During the time of Siyaad Barre, Ethiopian generals and high ranking officials were usually seen tending to the vegetation or irrigating the soil and ploughing the fields in the vicinity of Afgooye. They were serving time in some of the toughest underground jails in Afgooye such as Labaatanjir or Laanta Buro for their attempts to lay claim on Jubba, Shabeele and Somali coastal lines. But today their army, consisting of emaciated debauchees scathed by the scorching heat whilst AIDS gnaws away at their insides, tread on the Somali soil with malicious intent. Their landlocked country, unable to gain access the vast coastal line of Somalia is now attempting to do so by force, surreptitiously. They have, perhaps, been plotting their schemes for quite some time to get their hands on Somali soil and water to wash away their non-coastal cesspit. For long though, the indomitability of the Somalis and their valour had stopped them at the borders, but now it seems that their opportunity, however gaunt and grey they are, had finally come. Today they rule much of Southern Somalia and any intentions of withdrawing have been dwarfed by their determination to make Somalia a culvert from their disease-infested cesspit to the coast.
And of course, being the feeble-hearted vultures they are, they never would have set a foot on Somali soil, had it not been for the repulsive schisms they’d seen between the tribes. They waited for long for Qabiil to sap all energy from its prey. Malevolently used, Qabiil is the evil that mars the dignity of the entire nation. And it is sad to see that, to this day, the iniquities of tribalism and the old established forms of bigotry are the order of the day. And i doubt qabiilism will allow us a chance to progress and save our country from being turned into another sewer. Unless reconciliation procedures start now and Somalis learn to settle their differences, I am afraid by the time they conceive the notion in their minds it would have been too late.
The fire kindled by the ICU and the wave of optimism it brought has been thoroughly extinguished. But sometimes, they say, bushfires need to burn for fresh grass to grow in their place. And that new grass or Cosob, as it is called in Somali, is rapidly beginning to grow.
p.s My tirade against Ethiopia is not a personal attack on it’s people, but is directed solely at the so-called government. Apologies to my Ethiopian friends. I am sure you would understand