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By M. M. Afrah

The mushrooming Somali websites are in need of major surgery if they hope to keep pace with the new electronic media, or information highway. But the diagnosis is far from grave according to recent news stories, columns, editorials and opinions that are available in many Somali websites.

We are moving from the "oldies" to the business of instant news as many Somalis and non-Somalis are still interested to read the latest developments in Somalia on a daily basis, but want more colourful, objective and personal content that reflects the reality of the situation. This is not the October Star in view of the fact that there is the need for uncensored topics and greater interaction with readers for products that are easily digestible in one sitting and delivered quickly with most up-to-date information possible.

No one can contest the fact that Somalia, once the Pearl of the Indian Ocean in the 1960s, is now the laughing stock of the continent, and continues to reel from under unending blood path and childish political intrigues perpetrated by a bunch of petty politicians that brought the country to its knees. Even when the international community have been willing to give them the benefit of doubt and leeway to do things in a bid to bring an end to their trivial differences. But they still continued to juggle.

As watchdog it is the top priority of Somali journalists to tell these perpetrators in clear terms that it is long over due for them to get off the gangland bandwagon. Enough is enough!

In this electronic age free information is becoming more mainstream by the minute. Millions of the latest news is distributed on websites across the world every minute, and many of these websites do not require you to register in order to log in and get access to their latest news and are now the driving force in the industry. All that has came about from understanding the readership.

Efficient Internet search engines, such as Google, are today's main sources of information as was the case of popularization of the television more than 50 years ago.

Commentators and Editorial writers cannot be blind to the fact that the people of Somalia are in a unique position as the only people in the world who are hostage to the gun in the hands of individual pursuits, hungry for power and ill-gained profit. We cannot be blind to the fact that the future peace of the country is in the hands of the Somali people and not individuals and that the wishes and aspiration of the people are respected. It is a test to the Somali websites to show the way for the country. We must not summarize what most of us feel when unpleasant things are happening to our people. Words like: Nassib-darro, Ayaan-darro, Halaag, Naxtin, geeri lama filaan ah are very frightening words that are daily utterances in Somalia. But the gun boys measure their accuracies by the number of innocent people they hit with their guns. No sweat!

You should see people lay down with blood all over their bodies as they expire in agony, but it is all pleasure and laughter from the Mooryaans as they watch the end result of their gruesome crime. And if you dared to stop them they would rip you to pieces. Then the boys go off and chew copious bundles of the drug Qaad or Jaad imported from Kenya.

Time to call the Somali media to account. Unlike their counterparts at home, who face threats, censorship, arbitrary detention and murder, those of us in the Diaspora are in a position to come out of the closet and exert pressure on the perpetrators of clan-based violence in the South.

Of course, it is worth mentioning here that the work of many contributors to some of the highly regarded websites is very stimulating and objective, and I wish them success for the tasks ahead for they are the real pioneer torchbearers.

By M.M. Afrah,

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