Will the Real Somali People Please Stand up?

With no official government for the last fifteen years, the Somali people have had to deal with chaos and trivial issues, instead of being able to resolve their problems. Dictatorship government had oppressed people for more than a decade. When the Siad Barre regime was overthrown, society was overwhelmed by its sudden freedom.
Somalia has always been subject to tribalism -in fact; tribalism is at the heart of its political and social structure. As a result, confusion often arises as to who is the oppressed and the oppressor. Is it the case of government officials oppressing the ordinary citizen or is it one tribe against another tribe? Most Somalis believed the latter was the case - every tribe had created its own political party during the Siad Barre regime. In the end, almost every major clan had its own political party - usually, the party name included the word ''Somalia'' in order to pretend it represented all Somalis instead of one specific clan. The Somali nation destruction had begun! Tribalism prevented political change in Somalia. It became impossible to sell to the public the regime change, coup d'etat image. With help of tribalism bride, the ideas of we have to defend our leaders even if they are wrong and some negative propaganda has resulted in a civil war.

The civil war first started among the major clans, and then raged within the clans and sub clans. The victim turned into the assailant and the assailant became a victim. The status of certain tribes has changed from being oppressed to becoming an oppressor or vice-versa. A small percentage of some tribes might be described as always being oppressed. Somalia's minority groups who usually suffer a great level of discrimination and exclusion have been oppressed since the birth of Somalia nation. In addition to the shifting roles among the tribes, the roles of the elite and the urban population have also changed dramatically. Immigration movement has also spread all over the country such as rural or nomads populations moving into the cities and the urban population departing their own cities and moving outside of the country or disappearing within their own cities.

Somalia's intellectuals have tried to promote peace, prosperity, unity, and nationalism. Personally, I have tried to be part of the peace initiative in Somalia and tend to have a pacifist approach. Unfortunately, there has been no major political change in Somalia for the last fifteen years.

How long do we have to take this insanity, of being oppressed at all the time? Every then and now, we have a new group, warlords and "leaders" telling us what to do, what is good for us. The same people following the same agenda for governing us, no matter what!

Who is considering the best interest of the Somali people? Who really represents the ordinary people? Who really cares for the Somali society?

Past, current and future leaders are reflections of any society and Somalis are no exception. Now, it's time for self-examination. It's time that we decide our future without current/former warlords, prejudice, tribalism, hype and propaganda.

Ladies and Gentleman, if you are oppressed, please join me and stand up for your rights. Forget the so-called government groups, warlords, peace conferences, militia intimidation, peacekeepers, and tribalism. Wherever you are in Somalia, just stand up for your rights and in turn you will stand up for your country. As usual, the Somali Diaspora will follow your lead, but that will be a different topic for another day.


Remember, Revive and Represent Somalia

Muhiadin M Ahmed "Abaas" lives in Ottawa, Canada