By Hama Tuma
The people of Somalia were recently exposed to a devastating bombing that killed more than 300 in Mogadishu and wounded many more. However, attempts to hash tag an “I am Charlie” type of solidarity has failed to catch up or engender any meaningful support. Actually, that was and is to be expected. Imagine anyone crying for Somali souls or for that matter for Congolese lives. Say a white nun is killed and a war can begin but close to six million killed for gold and cobalt solicit no outcry, The double standard is no novel thing, it is even getting worse and thriving under the neo-Nazis, right wing nationalists and “Trumpists” that have reared their evil heads.
My solidarity with the people of Somalia has little to do with the governments they had or have. Most of these were dictatorships and are still anti democratic outfits. The wobbling Somalia group that calls itself a federal government now and is allied to the dictators in Addis Abeba is even meddling in Ethiopia’s affair and harming the people as a whole and Oromos in particular. There has not been in my view at least a people’s government in Mogadishu and almost all have been inimical to Ethiopia. History and conflict aside, the people of Somalia were and our brothers and sisters more than any other people in our continent. I liked the Somali people even more because they proved Karl Marx right and showed the world that a State can actually wither and the people can continue to live and function without a State. Years ago, in one of my African Absurdities book I did ask if Marx, nicknamed the The Moor, was actually a Somali. None gave me an answer but Stateless Somalia functioned better than most centralized States in Africa. The industrious and inventive Somali people shamed many a so called State at least in Africa.
My solidarity with the people of Somalia is expressed during their difficult times and the fact that the loss of lives in Mogadishu (in Nigeria, Congo, etc) did not mean much to most of the world has not, alas, failed to surprise me one bit. As someone said be white at least when you die and people will notice. This has been true and is still true. Somalia suffered from its dictators who, aided and abetted by foreign powers, led Somalia into the chaos that still grips it. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Al Quaida, Al Shabab –we know who stirred the mess and stoked the fire. Not to mention poor Yemen. Who is behind the carnage in the Congo? South Sudan? Who backs African dictators and foments and fans conflict and war?
Pity all the victims in Somalia. Condolences to all the bereaved and well wishes to all the harmed.
Our solidarity is with the people of Somalia.
We are indeed Mogadishu.