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Toronto (Canada)
15 June. 2002

M. M. Afrah

Nowhere is the war of words against lawlessness and anarchy in Somalia being fought more fiercely than in the area of language, particularly on Somali Websites in the Diaspora. Part of the battle is to try to wrestle power from those who committed crimes against humanity during the last eleven years. The other half have been busy fueling more violence against a population that is still wriggling from the aftermath of wholesale massacre perpetrated by a bunch of ruthless killers in the name of their clans.

I remember reading an article by a Kenyan journalist who said that Somalia is a bad country, one that has taken the insult out of the word ANARCHY, and now demands new vocabulary for its state of affairs. He said it has defied peace initiatives for a very long time. On the other hand, the Western press invariably describes Somalia as a failed state that is breathing its last gasp on this planet.

But there are also voices of underlying principle and wisdom by some people in the Diaspora. Take the recent article by Liban Goobdoon (Libanagedon) that appears on this Website.

A regular crusader for peace and unity, Libanagedon castigated several Somali Websites, including for failing to provide sites as a way to express their views and make sense out of the chaos that they have the capacity to do so. KUDOS to Libanagedon and others with the same school of thought! Keep up the good work. The old country surely needs young blood like you.

Speaking about the old country, a visitor from another galaxy would not believe that the wasteland that is Somalia today was once a beautiful country with people endowed with traditional hospitality, respect for human rights-a nation of bards, playwrights and entrepreneurship, among other intrepid human achievements. There was once a Somali National Army that was the envy of Africa. Or so we thought. That army, spoiled and misused by the former regime, virtually disbanded itself. Many of the troops joined their clans. Some used their expertise and weapons to rob and loot the very people they swore to protect. The wailing babies, denied their milk and the women who were raped and looted by the clan militia and those crazed by the falling mortars and artillery shells have stories to tell.

There are thousands of teenagers and boys of school age with no schools to attend. This is where the youth in the Diaspora comes in with the expertise and education they acquired while abroad. This is not an issue to be taken lightly. Reports say that many who went back home made their presences felt by successfully launching factories that produce soft drinks, electronic components, cartons from recycle papers, plastic goods and other vital every day use implements. Others are engaged in the field of fisheries and communications, using hi-tech equipment. Of course risks are involved in these ventures in present day Somalia, but it is worth trying. If there are certain quarters who close their eyes on Somalia's plight, we understand those people are not promoting our national aspirations. I hope stability will return to Somalia, although I do not see the instability as an adequate justification to write off Somalia as a failed state.

Even the United States was labeled as a failed state during the American civil war but Abraham Lincolns famous Gettysburg address: A government of the people for the people shall never perish from the earth had silenced the rumour mongers at home and abroad. Let it be known that we have not given up on Somalia yet. Not yet.

By M. M. Afrah,

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