Mogadishu – Citizens in Despair

In all the advancement in communication technology, there is no invention as effective as the human voice. When we hear the human voice, we instinctively want to listen, in the hopes of understanding and relating to the message from a speaker in search of words; in the end, all we hear is cacophony. The human voice resonates differently from anything else in the world. That is why we can hear a singer’s voice over a full orchestra, regardless of other variations of noise around that beautiful voice. I take this example, because it is my wish that our president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo could hear our voices and resonate with the messages we convey.

This is the voice of the weak and the innocent, the complaints of the citizens and an address of the painful circumstances. You might ask what our concerns are. We are crying because a young tuktuk driver – a three wheeled motorcycle – was deliberately killed by the security forces without a reason. A mother had to give birth in the middle of the road, just meters from the hospital, because she was denied access to the hospital. A firefighting crew couldn’t reach the scene of fire because the road was blocked off by government officials. Travelers miss flights routinely because making to the airport is a daunting commute. All because of the city’s roads were shut-down, no exceptions and no regard for anyone – regardless of the mitigating circumstances, usually being circumstances of life and death. Your Excellency! We are crying for your intervention to this dire situation quickly.

We do honestly acknowledge that security concerns are the main reasons behind the closure of the city’s roads. We do know that terrorists too could take advantage of the open roads and in a single instance kill 40, 50, 100 or even 500 innocent citizens as we all lived through the catastrophe in Zoobe junction on October 14, 2017. We also acknowledge that it is always a tough balance to strengthen security and ensure the convenience of the public. But sincerely, the security institutions can do better than this with proper planning and advanced collaboration with the public, most of whom are deprived, rugged by the brunt of violence and living in dire conditions. There is always room for improvement if there is a will to develop, if our security forces are fully aware of the objective of strengthening security, they should be able to be human, understand exceptional circumstances and adapt to needs of the society they serve first and foremost. Security forces should not kill those they were supposed to keep safe. People’s cooperation cannot be achieved by brute force, it is earned through good services and proper outreach.

We recognize that our security forces make daily sacrifices to keep us safe. They take huge casualties every time the terrorists strike. They endure hardships, loss of lives and critical situations, and earn very little salaries. They make us proud the reason they have our enduring support. But there are some within their ranks that disregard law and order, disrespect every citizen including elderly, children, sick and mothers in labor. These are the ones that are responsible for the murder of the citizens, deny access to emergency services and kill the hope of the public. They are the ones that proudly deny to offer passage to a mother in labor. It’s them, that we ask you, your Excellency, to summon and deal with appropriately. They reverse the gains that you made in security.

We know, Mr. President, that you are doing great for a country that has diverse problems but you made a choice to come on board and make changes. Be the changemaker we expect you to be. We are very glad that throughout Ramadan, there were no major terror incidents that resulted in mass deaths or destruction.

Finally, we, the citizens, are ready to work with the government and the security institutions. You have our moral support to build a stronger Somalia! Give us, the citizens, the opportunity to restore the peace together. Listen to us, and address our concerns.

Your sincere citizen,
Maxamed Dhugad; on behalf of all Mogadishians
mdhugad@gmail.com