Feel like letting go, take gasoline burn down and call it a show, people drop like yega bombs call it the year round Arab spring. Everything burns down and the government doesn’t learn. What do you tell a hungry child? what do you do without a job? the police abuse the people, who are they to trust? Education is the key to motivation, can’t even locate the lock omfg excuse my abbreviation. but there’s hope. We put an end to segregation call it emulsification. I’m about to go crazy if I cant pay for my tuition, confusion and the refusing to believe makes it a failed institution. Thats why the youth turn to the distribution, one wrong one bang. thank you for you contribution. Youth retort call it a modern emancipation proclamation. One God, different nations.
By Mohamed Ahmed
September 13, 2012
NAIMA ALI – Can Somalia’s new government break the pattern of ineffective interim administrations?
“Will the London conference change Somalia’s future or was it the wrong route to peace and just a bigger recipe for disaster in the Horn of Africa?” was the question on many people’s minds after the London Conference earlier this year. The summit which promised to set a new strategic agenda for transforming Somalia and to finally put the country on the road to peace and stability may have played a role in charting a new course in the region.
Significant things are happening which could serve as models for a new start. With the recent elections in the capital earlier this month, Somalia’s leaders have shown a commitment to reform a country that was thought to have been lost to chaos and war lords which makes it apt to ask the “elephant-in-the-room” question: Can Somalia’s new government break the pattern of ineffective interim administrations?
It is no secret that Somalia’s new government will face major challenges in security, political stability, economic recovery and national reconciliatory but indeed out of nothing came something and from it will come something bigger.
The fact that people in Mogadishu are so quick to use weapons to settle arguments (or to even move traffic along) is a sign of how fragile the situation is. But asking people about the possibility of disarmament would almost always be greeted with a resounding ‘no’. People did not trust the army, the police or the African Union peacekeepers. However, the established approach to tackling Somalia’s failed state syndrome does not work without disarmament - disarming the local fighters and the general population in Mogadishu could be the single most important part- and genuine reconciliation which call for a comprehensive long-term strategy and not a quick fix.
An even bigger problem is likely to be persuading the Somalis to trust the politicians to lead them out of a shattered state into what could be a bright and profitable future. Suffering for almost a generation through violent political infighting, lacking honest competent leaders and office administration professionals, there are even fewer people who are educated or trained for effective government work.
There are some reasons to be hopeful.
One part of the new constitution that may play a part in healing Somalia is the provision for the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission along with its promised federal government which could play a major role in the success of the constitution.
Away from the headlines and the stereotypical media images of skeletal children, skinny pirates in tiny skiffs, and gun-wielding Islamist rebels, their heads wrapped in black and white scarves, there is another side to the Somali story that is positive, enterprising and hopeful as BBC Somalia specialist Mary Harper argues.
In the case of commerce amid chaos, in 1331 a Muslim traveller, Ibn Battuta, described “Maqdashu” as one of best cities in the world in which to do business. Somalia’s capital has lost that distinction. On the upside, there is no taxation system to speak of. On the downside, there is no government to speak of either.
The most lucrative import is khat. The khat network reaches every corner of Somalia every day of the year and doesn’t stop for wars, drought, floods, epidemics, Friday prayers, Ramadan - anything really. (Maybe the local authorities and international aid agencies could learn something from those in the khat business about how to deliver supplies, perhaps of food, medicine and other essential items, to difficult and dangerous areas.)
Somalia’s geostrategic location and proximity to waters surrounding the Horn of Africa with the confirmation of large scale oil plays make it a prime location for oil import and export which could present possible opportunities for its economic recovery under the new government whose leaders will need to show pragmatism and work together on a national level as opposed to a tribal level.
So whether these new beginnings indicate a more effective future for Somalis is still questionable but amidst all the questions we can hold our breath as the new leaders stir the constitutional recommendations forward to implementation stage, thus proclaiming the dawning of a new era of peace and prosperity for all.
About 100,000 refugees fleeing the fighting in the Sudanese state of Blue Nile have taken refuge in Maban County in South Sudan. In the camp of Batil, home to 34,000 people, malnutrition is increasing. More than 1,000 children have been admitted to Doctors Without Borders’ nutritional programs, and the number continues to rise as the humanitarian response struggles to keep up with the needs.
Photo:A child is examined for symptoms of malnutrition at Jamam refugee camp in Upper Nile State.
South Sudan 2012 © Robin Meldrum/MSF
They say what you can’t see can’t hurt you. But I have seen a lot in my young life, a lot that we could see that hurt us. Children get abducted and and forced into being sex slaves, men wipe out entire families with machetes, armies destroy entire nations. for the satisfaction of few men there is the destruction of whole communities. Just because he wants a private jet, no a private yatch, a condo in New York and a mansion by the beaches of Rio. To fund his golf trip to Hawaii a whole country’s aid disappears. His wife needs to shop in Paris so they sell the AIDS medicine that was donated to the people who cannot afford it. They infect the water so they could clean it and sell it to the poor. They make education out of range because to educate a child you empower a community. Girls in the slums use plastic underwear and a sponge to help them with what nature imposed upon them. No I have not seen all of these with my own eyes but a child out there has.But I will not shed a tear and give in to their fear, I only encourage my peers to stand and make it clear who is to lead and steer this generation that is so in need of a leader. I will survive because I have the courage of 7 billion lives. What you don’t know about me is that I am the same guy who committing all of these crimes. Because I am a human who’s evolved into being inhumane. Like vampires we all crave blood, Just the one that’s green. I am the preacher and I am the believer, I am also a sinner. My father was there for me like FEMA was there for Katrina, little girls buy products with promises they will look like Adriana lima. Buy this pill I swear it will make you slimmer. I understand now this is just human demeanor.
To be continued….
By Mohamed Ahmed
The Congo is the largest and most resourceful country in Africa and in almost anywhere in the world. Uranium, timber, coal, gold, coltan, silver, copper and tin are among the resources found in the Congo. They fuel several world economies except Congo’s own. Blessed with thick rainforest and rivers, rich soil and potential farming ground capable of feeding over one billion people, it should be one of the richest nations but instead it is one of the poorest. The average income per person is a mere $300 a year, less than a dollar a day.
The Congo has lost ten million people, as a direct result of the rule of King Leopold II, in ways that were brutal and inhumane. In a case where an individual was not able to bring the expected amount of sap from the rubber tree in the forest, he or she was to lose a hand or a leg and was still expected to bring the same amount of rubber. Failure to do so resulted in more punishment and death was welcomed as a relief from constant pain.
In 1960 Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically elected prime, minister along with a coalition government with president Joseph Kasavubu, was soon to become one of the leading voices of the Congo.
With his independence day speech condemning the involvement of Belgians, directly or indirectly, with the new nation and praising the effort of the people of Congo to fight for their independence and tarnishing the Belgian claim of giving them self rule. (http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/lumumba/1960/08/31.htm). What was soon to be his doom (his arrest brought to an end seventy six days of democracy). This eventually led to his assassination, an effort carried out by both the United States and Belgium with the latter succeeding. They killed him, chopped him into pieces and dissolved his body parts in acid. This was a huge breach of human rights, and a disgusting one at that. Since then Congo has declined in economic and political progress. Congo was a once promising nation, with dreams of Pan Africanism (an unthinkable act at the time to most western countries).
Congo to me represents the heart of Africa, it needs awakening and democracy and to restart Congo could be the beginning of resurrection for the continent. It maybe an over statement but if we were to start somewhere I would start there.
Lumumba was a visionary, not the first in Africa and certainly not the last, and his ideas, however short lived they may have been, should live on in every mind. Take his ideas, his passion and mould them into your own…this is how progress begins. Utilizing African resources for Africa itself is a recurring notion. Changing that notion into realistic and practical action is a challenge the world has extended to our generation. Challenge accepted.
By Kevin Kamau De Leeuw and Mohamed Ahmed
Thousands of people have been killed in Syria. And no nation has imposed any sanctions on the government to withdraw weapons against the helpless people who only rely on having enough numbers living until the rest of the world takes action to stop the atrocity that is the Bashar Al Assad’s regime. History repeats itself but we can only hope that we learn from it and stop genocides from happening ever again, but again we are caught sleeping while another man massacres his people. When will we learn that one life is more than enough and it shouldn’t take thousands before we react.
To the people of Syria you have my prayers and sympathy and also my utmost respect for standing up and fighting for your freedom. I promise to do as much as I can to spread the word until help comes your way. Thank you for standing for justice.
By Mohamed Ahmed
I get asked all the time how do you propose we put Africa back on it’s feet, I say let her be. A mother knows what’s best for her children and her children will act appropriately and with respect to treat her. No man shall mistreat his own mother. Let her feed her own children and let her heal herself. All you have to do is to let her be. She needs no aid nor help from the outside world. For once let the people of Africa be whom they want to be and not who you see it as to be.
By Mohamed Ahmed
There has been a boom in crimes in the last 40 years. in 1970 there were 280,000 prisoners in the U.S. by the new millennium there were 2 million prisoners. In the early 1980’s Tennessee investors with close friends in the legislative branch saw a business opportunity in privatizing prisons. Their plan was use venture capital ( its a financial capital provided to early-stage, high-potential, high risk, growth startup companies) to build new prisons and to lease them to states like a hotel for a profit-making endeavor.
There has been severe criticism from human rights’ activists, accusing these companies of corruption, corrosive incentive and resemblance to racist practices in the old Confederate States of America i.e. convict leasing ( this is where you use prisoners for free labour).
% in U.S. Population % in prison, jail
Whites 66% 34%
Blacks 13% 40%
Latino 15% 20%
Other 6% 6%
Truth is there will always be crimes, but that doesn’t make it justifiable if the system is working for generating revenue and not for correctional purposes. The danger behind this that todays prisons work like a hotel. hotels make money by the number of beds they lease every night. The more the empty beds the more you lose money. Good hotels also make sure you come back frequently and stay as long as possible. If a prison is run under these same policies then it doesn’t take a genius to notices the faults. This has to be brought to light. To have a better future for the next generation we have to solve these problems now.
To stop this from happening please petition this issue through online petitions or call your local legislators because trust me these companies have people lobbying these law makers everyday and even though the public doesn’t have the money to hire lobbyist, we do have the votes and we can threaten to deny them those votes.
By Mohamed Ahmed
By Jeremy Patterson
The United States government once served as the center of white supremacy, but do these Eurocentric racist ideals still exist in our criminal justice system. Our nation has deep historical roots of policing, prosecuting, imprisoning, and executing Black Americans. The criminal justice system was originally created in response to the abolishment of slavery. The south wanted to develop a penitentiary system that could legally nullify the 13th amendment (Abolishment of slavery and involuntary servitude). Directly after the Civil War, Black Americans were often imprisoned (for little or no reason) and sold by the government to private parties such as plantation owners, railroad and coal companies for their sentence length. This system was called convict leasing and ended in only 1928.
The progression of time led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed major forms of discrimination such as Jim Crow laws and Black Codes. As a result, a colorblind society has been created and the notion of the removal of race rhetoric in policy and institutions is the removal of racist ideals. The dramatic escalation in criminalization and incarceration is the start of the association of Black America and the word ex-convict or criminal. The reproduction, recirculation and reception produced by institutions, such as media, acts to reinforce and normalize the portrayal of Black Americans as criminals. The ability to critically think has been blocked by colorblind lenses that accredit the high presence of Black Americans in the penitentiary system to an individual problem vs. structural or systematic.
The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world (over China). There are a total of 3,300 jails, 1,500 state prisons and 100 federal prisons. The annual average cost per inmate is $47,000. Inmates are often given the opportunity to work for 25 cents to one dollar per hour. One in every eight Black men between the ages of 25 and 34 is in prison or jail. One in three Black American men are under some sort of correctional supervision and approximately 50% of all prisoners are Black, 30% are White, and 17% are Hispanic. More than 90,000 prisoners are women, and they are overwhelmingly women of color. Black American women are 3 times more likely than Latinas and 6 times more likely than White women to be in prison. These Incarceration rates are negatively correlated with employment rates of Black America. The $146 billion dollar per year criminal justice system is a self-perpetuating system of profits from cheap labor, private and public supply, job creation and media profits from exaggerated crime reporting and crime punishment entertainment. Politicians and lawmakers have ensured an endless supply of clients from the disproportionate police presence, racial profiling, decreased funding for public education combined with zero-tolerance policies and mandatory three-strike sentencing. As a result the consequence of a felony can result in the loss of an individuals 13th, 14th, and 15th amendment rights, which is the same rights as a slave. So is slavery over for Black America?
Unlike you’re average descriptor, whose description of the Horn of Africa is the customary doom and gloom, I’d like to simply address assertations of the so-called failed state in the far East of Africa from the perception of a Somali-born 18 year old.
I have two aims in writing this. First, that little is written to understand the failure of Somali Peacebuilding efforts which equally also make the nation a byword for the term “failed state”. And also ranks highest at that according to what they call the ‘Failed States Index’ in some magazine columns.
Second, news of wars and pictures of civilian victims have always aroused my emotion and many others might share this sentiment and would therefore merely like to recognise the grievances of a people that I deeply associate with in Language, religion, culture and much more.
It’s safe to say that too often we casually use the term “failed state” without grasping the true meaning and nature of phrase and most importantly what constitutes as a failed state. Many readers would be quick to react and fairly enough with the fait accompli comments: Well yes, Somalia is ranked as one of the world’s poorest, most violent countries, plagued by warring militias, bandits, and pirates. Accurately enough, this is true.
Now, I do not intend to get into the literal analysis of the phrase itself, but that’s always an open-discussion.
Failed state or not this, in regard to Peacebuilding efforts, brings us to the matter of the recently held London conference 2012 on Somalia that took place in the British capital of London. Which also frankly left many Somalis, I included, unconvinced. The international community’s approach to building peace in Somalia is confused. Thus, Peacebuilding efforts have been based on organising Peacebuilding conferences outside the country and often before the outcomes of a peace conference have been implemented the next one is being organised!
In many of the previous countless peace conferences nothing of substance has been done to construct the Somali state. And it is of course this statelessness that is the source of the country’s conflict and grievance.
Shortly after the beginning of the crisis the international community abandoned Somalia at a time when a major famine was building up and people were dying in large numbers and this, I can openly say, exposed absence of good will on the part of faction leaders, and lack of genuine and active involvement from the outside world.
I understand it is not fair or reasonable if you may say, for me to express a cynical attitude towards Peacebuilding efforts in my country but I can undoubtedly only put across a popularly held notion among many Somalis eagerly awaiting the outcome of the London conference. Of course the major concern with the conference being, legitimizing a parallel intervention whereby, the EU, African Union, and other faces of the international community each do their own thing which would only increase the confused approach towards Somalia and further destroy the little ‘Soomalinimo’ (Somali nationalism) left.
The existing fact of the common corruption of the leadership of Transitional institutions, namely the current TFG in Somalia, is also one that many of us choose to overlook. But it is these people who will attend and did attend the conference at Lancaster house earlier this week. At the same time we are aware that in much of Somalia our cultural traditions are not compatible with the constructs of a modern state and there are many highly respected elders, men and women, in different civil society organizations. They, however, will not be invited.
It should therefore come as no surprise to the international community that its continued failures and efforts towards re-establishing a viable Somali state over the last two decades are neither accidental nor due to bad luck!
So perhaps what these great conferences should focus on is bringing in some Somalis who essentially represent the real interests of the country and the grievances of the people and usher off politicians into luxurious hotels or better yet, out of the scenery.