Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sadia Aden on Somalia's grim future

My Somali-American friend Sadia Aden contributed the following piece to the BBC's "Have Your Say" section yesterday and shared it with me today. I fully share her anxiety about the country's future.

We do not know what tomorrow holds and we are only capable of false predictions. Nevertheless, I will say the future of Somalia as well as that of the horn of Africa looks very grim. I am a Somali-American and I see Iraq of Africa written all over this Ethiopian invasion.

For those Somalis who think Ethiopia is after the Courts, we are WRONG! Ethiopian machine guns do not know the difference between us and them, but for sure they know what a Somali looks like. The intelligence our western governments are using to condemn the Courts, is intelligence provided by Prime Minister Meles's government. This is tantamount to condemning India on intelligence collected by its arch-enemy Pakistan and vice versa. How ironic is that?

Those of us who closely monitor the status of Ethiopia understand very well that Prime Minister Meles is simply trying divert attention from the 2005 election he rigged that was won by the opposition groups whose over 200 peaceful demonstrators were killed and thousands more locked up in prisons including Ethiopian opposition leaders. With all the poverty, AIDS epidemic increasing. and human rights violations committed in Ethiopia under his watch, Meles like any other African dictator tightens his grip by instilling fear in people's hearts and deflecting attention from his dictatorial behaviors.

Wanting peace and saying NO to Ethiopian invasion of Somalia DOES NOT mean [we are] against the TFG or supporting the Courts. What it means is, that there is a dead body that lies upon all of us peace lovers, waiting for a burial, and to have a debate over it and watch it rot is a sin. It reminds me of Rwanda, where 800,000 Tutsi's were massacred in 3 months while the world debated whether it was a GENOCIDE or not.

The African Union's (AU) ill advised backing of the bombing of Somalia further complicates the crisis. If the AU was any help, or for that matter capable of easing the pain of the burden carried by African women and children, it would ease that of Darfur. From the drought of April 2005 to the severe floods that devastated Somalis, Somalia is on her knees, desperately waiting for a helping hand. Somalia stands naked, striped of her dignity on the highway of horn of Africa.

What all Somalis want will come, but we must realize that we can not furnish a burning house. We should put out the fire, allow home grown peace to take root, meet every Somali's basic needs and then call for the real thing, ELECTIONS. Remember what Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. correctly said decades ago: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." The history we always hear and read about is tantamount to the one before us today. Hence, history is in the making and I know with all my being that it will not be kind to many of us.

May peace, justice and equality remain our foremost conviction.
Sadia Ali Aden

1 comment:

Joseph Peter said...

I fully indorse Sadia's interpretation of Ethiopia's aggression towards Somalia, and the African Union's troubling indorsement of it. The recent escalation of conflict on the horn of Africa should be alarming to everyone who loves peace. Negotiation and compromise among the warring Somali factions, in my view, is the only path to peace for Somalis, and all foreign military forces, as well as other foreign instigators of violence and intrigue should withdraw immediately from Somalia, so that the long suffering Somali people can give peace a chance. I strongly believe that, if these steps are taken, the Somali people will find a way to the peace and reconciliation that has eluded them for so long. However, I fear that, unless all foreign intervention in Somalia ceases at once, the result will be a catastrophic conflagration that could engulf the entire region.

Joseph Peter Drennan