Somali people angry with lack of security 

A general view shows the scene of an explosion in Mogadishu, Somalia November 9, 2018. REUTERS/FEISAL OMAR

Mogadishu (UM) – Friday’s triple bombings claimed the lives of over 40 innocent people enjoying their Friday. Many more were injured and  the explosions destroyed private businesses which took years to build. UM interviewed many survivors and witnesses and they all say that they blame the government for the dangerous security situation in Mogadishu.

“The President left for Ethiopia and the government was celebrating the arrival of Ethiopian airlines but they forgot about our security,” said Iman Muse, a trader who lost her stool and a colleague. “My colleague is dead and I have lost everything. I just don’t care anymore about these politicians, they should just end our suffering and go back to the Diaspora.”

Many people were saddened by the death of Abdifatah Abdirashid Shire, the son of the former owner of Sahafi hotel who himself lost his life in the terrorist attack on his hotel in 2015. This tragedy made many in the hotel and surrounding area angry.

“This government is fighting hard to take taxes from our cups of tea, hotels and other businesses but they are doing nothing for us. They can’t even keep one street safe,” shouted a man who identified himself only as Mohamed. “We are all in shock and just angry. This young man returned home after the tragic death of his father to run the hotel and now he is dead.”

Many interviewed agreed that there has been relative security in the last few months but they did not credit the government for this. They instead thought that it was a tactical decision by Al-Shabaab to re-group and not attack. Many questioned the wisdom of the continuous security structure overhauls and change of key personnel. Many pointed to the poor training, equipment and discipline of the Somali police forces and National Intelligence Service who still drive round big black vehicles with “NISA” written all over it.

“I really don’t understand what soldiers with guns can do about bombs in cars. Why are soldiers checking for bombs with their hands? Why can’t we use technology and other things? I think this government is not serious about security because if they were they would not be allowing the people to suffer from the same things again and again,” said a member of the Diaspora who has finally decided he will no longer live in Somalia after 5 years of living here. “I have to leave because it is not safe for me and my family and this government is doing the same failed things to protect the people.”

Somali Police Force officials who spoke to UM on the condition of anonymity said that they sympathize with the people. They also said that the leadership of the security service lacks coordination and they give contradicting orders daily because there is no single command structure. “We are trying our best daily for the people as Police officers risking our lives but we need leadership and more resources.”