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Sun

17

Aug

2008

Massacring Under The Minarets
Sunday, 17 August 2008 11:46
by Ahmed A/Kadir (Shiine)

From the nasty shells of the cruel warlords, to the heavy bombardments of the Ethiopian Army, the weak remainders of war destructed Somalia are still struggling, trying to survive and finish the long deadly trip, that took the lives of their beloved ones. Though the folded files of forgotten Somalia are opened again, and another reconciliation process is finally initiated, the sincerity of helping them find a sustainable peace still seems uncertain, but the reality will soon come on sight, and the Djibouti accord will either become a remembered route to recovery or turn to another aggravating ruse, and will remorsefully be regrettedy.

A complicated local conflict, a mixture of power hunger, religious aspirations, tribal competition, and the everlasting financial desires, that made the thick layers of the perplexing civil war in Somalia, was harshly intensified by the congregation of three striking elements of Oil, Islam and strategy that rarely reside together in a single spot.

Olaad, which means “war” in English, is the name of seventeen year old boy in Somalia, who was born at the beginning of the civil war, that caused the death of thousands of innocent civilians, much more wounded and displaced millions of weedy women and children. Olaad, who never entertained under the rule of law, was the oldest of four brothers and two sisters, that accustomed fleeing back and forth from their home to the nearest uninhabitable countryside for over a decade, today he is the only one left behind on this earth, and if nothing changed, he will never stay any longer.
“I don’t want peace, I must take revenge and kill many Ethiopians.”


Hardly controlling his emotions, Olaad nervously told me when I met him in Somalia a month ago. Like many others, Olaad was a very descent young boy, overflowed by a combination of anger and sadness, that was clearly visible through his eyes, and seemed a hopeless one that was just willing to kill or die.

Buying some food from the flaming, under siege market, Olaad was hurrying back home to feed his family that only had a single meal for over twenty four hours, when a heavy Ethiopian artillery called PM flattened their house, blending the tiny pieces of his mother, two brothers and two sisters, lightly injuring one of his younger brothers and his father was severely wounded.

“My injured brother took my father to a nearby private hospital, but not far from our home, Ethiopian troops stopped him, and they purposely shot to death both my father and brother.” After a moment in silence, Olaad took a deep breath and underlined that their bodies remained on the street for a day and a night, until the Ethiopians moved away.

Olaad who studied a little in local schools, had an idea about the civil war in Somalia and the role of its neighboring countries, but like most other Somalis including many older politicians, he never considered the Indian Ocean as a vital neighbor of the longest border line with Somalia, and had no idea about the maritime war, that ultimately changed the original shape of the international system of geopolitics.

Mogadishu was totally different than the one I knew, most parts of the city were totally demolished by the indiscriminate heavy bombardments of the Ethiopian tanks and their unremitting artillery missiles, that made the city an abandoned place, unsafe to stay for even a single night. Unabashedly, the Ethiopian army were based in hospitals, mosques and many other important public places, where the wild war lord militias never entered.

They had many check points inside Mogadishu, and the two main connecting roads, one to the south and the other towards the north of the country, where they persecuted many innocent civilians, that they forced to flee from their homes. About thirteen Kilometers south of Mogadishu, Farah a senior civil servant was sitting under a tree, little far from a place where thousands of families resettled living under the tree branches and paper made huts and cottages.

After explaining the misdeeds and the unpleasant transgressions that the Somali government troops and the Ethiopian army were doing, Farah told me that they used to run to the mosque, when ever there is a war and nowhere is save, but unfortunately, he said , the Ethiopian troops were constantly attacking the mosques, and killing people inside it, “They turned our mosques to a military base, we know they dance and drink alcohol inside the mosques, that is really a big offence to our religion.”

Though I heard many times, I finally proved that mosques were under constant attack, and many people were massacred under the minarets of their mosques.

I also practically saw Ethiopian troops based in a mosque near Mogadishu stadium.

People were annihilated, punished, tortured and displaced, then neglected under the trees.

Women are brutally raped, children and infants of early months already lost important parts of their bodies, overcrowded on the hard floors of poorly facilitated hospitals, obviously incapable to help and treat them.

What happened in Somalia was really an awful genocide operation, much worse than reported to the outside world, and is still lacking the full attention and the immediate action of the world media and the international justice tribune, that can simply heal the emotional bad feeling of many vindictive victims, and reduce the rage and the chances of further hostilities. With no doubt, what happened in Somalia was much bigger than the one in Darfur of Sudan.



Ahmed A/Kadir (Shiine) Peace And Justice Activist
Based in Toronto, Canada
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