WHO ARE THE PEOPLE OF SOUTHWEST REGIONS?
A fairly large number of individuals all members of the people of southwest re- gions occupaying the vast area within the territory which lies between the two rivers (Jubba and Shabelli) proclaimed, under the impact of the federalism, a Political Manifesto advocating the creating of a state for their regions similar to those already existing in the middle region and in the northeast region as well.
Had those individuals succeeded in achieving that goal, they would have,prac- ticlly, demontrated to stand firmly by political principle for which the martyr Us- tad Osman campeigned during all his lifetime in the face of a strong oppos-tion which, ultimately, resulted in his murder before the country achieved its independence. Nevertheless, after 30 years of independence and other 15 years of civil wars, the concept of federation remains an accepted objective of the people of southwest regions, who badly need to create and develop their own state under theTransitional Federal Government program, so that not only to restablish themselves from the effects of the wars, but also for the purpose of creating opportunities for social and economic development.
LOWER SHABELLI REGION
Undeniably, the Lower Shabelli region is one of the richest and self contained regions in the southwest part of the country where a vast area which extends from district of Wanle-Weyn to a zone called Haway nearby Brava town, pass- ing through the districts of Afgoi, Awdhele, Mubarak, Janale, Qoryoley, Bulo Mareerta, is devoted to cultivation of a variety of crops and fruits mostly for ex- port purpose. In the coastal belt where emerge the cities of Marka (the capital) Brava, and Gendarshe is very famous for fishing of valuable marine products such as lobster, crayfish, prawn....and others. Not to mention the other quality of fish which is very abundant.
Historically, before the Italian occupation in 1889, the Lower shabelii region li- kewise the Lower Jubba existed only as part of the Benadir region under the administration of Sultan of Zanzibar. Since then the people of the Lower Sha- belli region (Digil, Bimal, Banadiri, and Jareer Weyn) have faced an uncontrol- led migration from the people of other regions, and the governments which ca- me in power in succession after the independence of the country in 1960 have only encouraged such a migration and, in the meantime, favoured a continous restructuring of the regions in order to create new ones, so that to enable the newcomers to acquire a monopoly of political power and to use such a power not only to prevent the natives of the region from having any political power, but also to keep them in a state of social and economic inferiority. It worth mention ing that in Lower Shabelli region at that time a few individuals could nullify the efforts of thousands,or even millions. Small wonder, it happened for several times, those individuals who also dealt with vital affairs of the region, represent the masses in the Assembly under a very limited franchise which was in effect in very different circumtances of post-independence period in our country, to be elected the representatives of the Parliament.
In conclusion, we have read with emotion and considerable pride the Political Manifesto couragously signed by our fellow-citizens, and regard ourselves as part of their political organization which heartened us and gave us renewed strength. We see now that our dreams are based on reality; our region could get free by virtu of the federation which was widely accepted and by the res- ponsible of self-governing which it implies. However, our problem in Southwest regions is a problem of pastoral community which sincerely believe that they are specially designed to be masters because they would use more violent methods to impose their will, and the others are specially designed to be ser- vants because the are pacifist or, fond of non-violence.Yet, our severeignty was a tribute to they people of southwest regions, but in particular to the mem-bers of Benadiri community whose membership and participation in indepen- dence struggle were not comparable.
Despite all the difficulties, we must move forward on this rocky mountain path because the people of southwest regions have a duty to their ancestors and to their descendants which they must not fail to carry out.