There were three enemies that tortured peopleand put them in a bind: 1st Is khat (miraa)

There were three enemies that tortured Somali people
and put them in a bind: 1st Is khat  (miraa) The above words are part of a famous Somali
song by Maxamuud Tukaale Cismaan. It was
delivered by two famous Somali singers
(Maryan Mursal Ciise and Saado Cali
Warsame) in the heydays of Somalia. Both of
these singers were later forced out of their
country by three dangerous enemies that are
different from the ones mentioned in the song.
In the song above, Tukaale had
hunger, ignorance and falling in love in
mind. This article is about three
different kinds of enemies that have
somehow colluded to drag Somalia
into becoming a failed state where
anarchy, despair and hopelessness
reign supreme.
Enemy number one: Clan Identities
Somalia is a nation that had sown the seeds of
its own destruction when clan identities
replaced the concept of unity and nationhood.
Over the last two decades, those who could not
escape into foreign lands saw their tolerant
culture replaced by an alien culture that is
characterized by mayhem, destruction, rampant
rape and suicide bombers.
The residents of a once proud nation learnt to
beg, cheat and lie to reach unprecedented
levels of lows. Somali ladies started begging on
the streets of Yemen or work as maids in
Yemeni households where some ended as
concubines for ruthless employers. Huge waves
and sharks devoured women and children
before reaching their intended destinations.
Barefooted refugees trekking hundreds of miles
in dangerous territories streamed into countries
like Saudi Arabia where women and people of
African origin do not fare well. The sand dunes
of the Sahara desert swallowed hundreds on
their way to Europe through Libya. Countries
once considered as enemies became hosts to
thousands in refugee camps. The concept of
one Somalia evaporated like a distant mirage. In
fact, the country risks the redrawing of its
borders again by countries that already control
Somali territories such as the the Somali Region
in Ethiopia (Ogaden) and the Northern Frontier
District (NFD). The presence of thousands of
soldiers from these countries in Somalia does
not bode well for the territorial integrity of
Somalia despite the repeated calls of the UN to
respect and preserve that integrity.
All of this was predicted decades ago by a
Somali bard. He warned Somalis against
resorting to their archaic and outdated clan
identities if they were serious about building a
modern nation. No one listened and the result
was indeed catastrophic.
After Somalia collapsed, the concept that
destroyed it as a nation is still practiced with
vigor and renewed energy. Even in enclaves
that claim to be modern democracies, the ugly
clan monster rears its head from time to time to
devour the unwary and the unprepared. The
death of innocent civilians in Hargeisa, capital of
the Northwestern regions of Somalia,
demonstrating against unfair and rigged local
elections quickly transformed into an ugly clan
confrontation that triggered a criminal case
against the aging and former Somali National
Movement rebel who rules the Northwestern
regions. Events in Saylac, another city in
Northwestern Somalia also got out of hand
when the clan card was unleashed unabashedly.
Sporadic skirmishes in North Central Somalia
between the unionists and the secessionists
threatens to poison the peaceful co-existence
among the various clans in the area.
In the south of Somalia, the Kismayo affair
threatens the very fabric of the Somali state
after some sections of the Somali people tried
to drag the new and unwary president into the
clan quagmire. It seems that the Somali proverb
“Hadal Waa Mergi”, The spoken word can have
many interpretations, has almost tripped the
soft-spoken president who many expect to
become Somalia’s Peter the Great and drag
Somalis out of their clannish cocoons. Although
he has many detractors, he seems to be doing
his job slowly but steadily and in a manner that
may have earned him unprecedented audiences
with the powerful leaders of the United States,
the EU and the United Kingdom.
It is unfortunate for a nation that is on the brink
of a complete meltdown, and that barely
stepped back from the abyss a few months ago
with the birth of a new parliament and the
election of a new president, to be still
precariously perched on a sharp edged cliff,
with any wrong step having the potential to
destroy months of hard work and the
evaporation of the current international good
will towards Somalia. The maverick leader of the
Northeastern regions in Somalia recently voiced
his displeasure with the Federal government
and threatened to join the Northwestern
regions in their effort to secede.
Somalis will not get anywhere unless they break
free from the shackles of their clan identities.
This will take decades of hard work and a
focused education system that instills in future
generations the importance of putting God,
Nation and Flag before their clan identities. The
largest budget in the new government should
be earmarked for educating these young minds
about the destructive nature of this ugly
monster that the prophet of Islam compared to
a stinking corpse. Even with education, most
Somalis above 30 may have a hard time growing
out of their tribal cocoons.
For example, Ethiopia, with a population 10 times
that of Somalia, adopted a Federal system that
caters to the needs of each ethnic group .
Although the system is not perfect and is
marred by inequalities, it has so far worked.
With the spread of education and economic
opportunities across regions, the nine ethnic
enclaves may eventually coalesce into a strong
country like the United States of America.
Meles Zenawi, although considered by many as
a ruthless dictator, was a man of vision who
played an important role in transforming feudal
Ethiopia into semi-autonomous regions that are
responsible for their own development and local
governance. Such a model may work in Somalia
and is probably the only practical and pragmatic
solution to overcome the decades long clan
fragmentation that destroyed the nation in the
first place. The concept of Somali Federalism
may eventually transform into a decentralized
unitary state because Somalis are opportunistic
by nature and will naturally relocate to areas
that offer them better opportunities and will not
stick with depressed clan enclaves. Economic
prosperity is stronger than the clan identity
which mainly benefits divisive politicians.
Enemy number 2: Kat
Another destructive enemy of the Somali nation
is an addictive plant known as Kat and chewed
by millions of Somalis even in foreign countries
like the United Kingdom. The plant is grown in
Ethiopia and Kenya, two counties that are odds
with the Somali people because of the border
dispute created by the United Kingdom in
colonial times. Many coffee plantations in both
countries have been converted into Kat
plantations because of the higher returns on
investment. There are rumors that both
countries spray the plant before being
harvested with a harmful substance that affects
the health of its consumers. This may be
attributed to the dangerous pesticides used to
protect the plant from pests. These chemicals
may and end up in the belly of the poor Somalis
who do not wash the plant before chewing it for
long hours. A large number of Somalis seeking
treatment in the United Arab Emirates suffer
from cancer.
Although Kat provides a form of escape for
those who cannot earn a decent living through
hard work., Minsters, Director Generals,
Educators and even presidents are known to
chew Kat for hours. Some call it “Quut al
Awliyaa”, the food of saints. Chewing sessions
provide opportunities for exchanging the latest
news and gossip. Some kat sessions start in the
afternoon and can extend into the wee-hours.
Kat drains the coffers of the nation,
affects male fertility and health, and
reduces productivity. Long-time
chewers end up with different types
of liver and stomach ailments. Even
Somali ladies have joined their male
counterparts in chewing the plant in
social gatherings accompanied by
hookah smoking. Kat also threatens
the traditional family unit. Many male
chewers rely on their spouses to
provide the money for buying the
drug. The meager resources earned
by the female partner are hardly enough to feed
the family and sustain the habit of the head of
the household. This leads to constant bickering
and fights that may eventually result in divorces.
Enemy Number 3: Fanaticism
A new enemy that has been bred by the 20
years of anarchy is fanaticism and the
indoctrination of young minds into becoming
suicide bombers who kill hundreds of innocent
civilians in crowded venues like restaurants and
shopping centers. Thousands of young minds
are being trained and slowly transformed into
lethal bombs that can maim and kill without
notice. The indoctrination starts at an early age
when it is easy for susceptible kids to absorb
such concepts. Even children who grow up in
the West are not immune to these concepts. it
is a new phenomenon in the Somali society and
can probably be classified as the most
dangerous of the three enemies. Its eradication
requires the help of the international
Concluding Remarks
The only way Somalia can fight these enemies is
for the Federal government, with the help of the
international community, to start creating
credible programs that can spread education
and create jobs for the thousands of
unemployed youth.
Failure to combat these enemies will surely put
Somalis along the path of indigenous
populations in the Americas whose countries
had been overtaken by others . Let us not
forget that there are 80 million landlocked
Ethiopians who have their sights on the longest
coastline in Africa which lays untapped by its
people who have nothing else to do but chew
Kat and reminisce about long-gone ancestors
who may not even be real .By
Bashir hashi farayare  Source



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