May I first of all take the opportunity to send my heartfelt condolences to the victims and families caught up in the monstrous bombing yesterday. Today is a moment of prayers, reflection and a call for resolve. May we all find solace in the fact that we, as part of a global humanity are all in this together in the struggle against Alshabaab terrorists with condemnations/horror, and a new bold military action to bring an end to this horror carnage once and for all.
As I write this today, the bodies of the victims are still being searched and collected for identification under the cloud of the ashes. Early estimates put the death toll over 200. If proven correct, it will account as the deadliest and callous attack against innocent Somali lives. If anyone had any measure of misconceptions about the goal of Alshabaab, yesterdays’ massacre should wipe those misconceptions. Alshabaab is after the dignity and sanctity of Somali citizens, to large extent humanity. It has been the case for years and yesterday was a stark reminder of the challenge a head for all Somalis and the international community. Alshabaab wants us to submit to them with brutal means – however, they will soon find out Somalia and the international community is full of brave souls, resilience/ resolve and is united against this struggle of our time. Alshabaab has not seen anything yet and yesterday’s mass terrorist carnage should be the day we finally implement a comprehensive security plan that will wipe Alshabaab off the face of the earth. It will no doubt mark watershed moment in the fight against Alshabaab.
For this to happen, the Government and the international community will have to re–organise its resources and plans for final solution to these monstrous soulless terrorists who are morally and intellectually bankrupt. When the dust settles people will rightly ask hard and relevant questions about the effort of the international backed AMISOM Mission and the Somali Government leaders, who have for the past ten years been bravely engaged in bringing stability and security back to Somalia. Political squabbling and disputes within The Somali Government and the Regional Members State’s political squabbles will no longer be tenable and acceptable to the Somali public who have paid and are continuing to pay a huge price from Alshabaab attacks. This is an issue of leadership and courage, and Somali leaders will have to ask themselves tonight whether they are fit to lead Somalia and see through this struggle for survival. It is struggle for survival for our sense of Humanity, Muslimnimo, Somalinmo, Wadanimo, – and our sense of place in the world and beyond. We must now see a galvanisation of our troops, civil society and the international community around a common security plan that will finally root out the merciless terrorist and end these heinous crimes of Alshabaab.
Alshabaab is losing huge swathes of lands and military personnel – with more political defections, showing they have lost the political cause and have shown themselves to be not only targeting the Somali government and AMISOM but indeed preying on the Somali public. With all these loses, it is not surprising they have resorted to targeting innocent civilians, showing their political desperation. It may not feel like it today, but I see yesterday horror as evidence of their desperation. The end is near and their days numbered.
This must also serve as a wake-up call to those who gathered at the London Somali Conference in May 2017 that the inaction and political promises of business as usual is no longer tenable or acceptable to the world. This is a struggle for a humanity and sanctity of life and I am confident that we will see through this struggle together. Now, more than ever the spilling of the blood of innocent Somali citizens must not be worthless. This is a time for bold and urgent action from the international community and Somalia, because if this battle is not won in Somalia, it will not be won elsewhere in the world. This is a test for a global leadership and struggle for survival.
Mohamed Ibrahim (BA, MSc London School of Economics & Political Science LSE) is a Ummadda Media regular contributor who lives in London, UK, a Social Activist and keen Author – he can be reached via: