Continually scrolling through twitter, reading every news article available in languages I can read. I feel physically distant and yet my heart is aching. It’s an intense ache I’ve felt for days.
#IAmMogadishu or better still we should all be standing there with those suffering in Somalia. But money doesn’t take the pain away and I’m too far to send blood.
What’s really needed is peace. Or better still, peace plus the space for the Somali people to create their own future. Away from external interference.
Debt hampers the development. War hampers the peace. Hunger hampers the population.
The photos and stories from Mogadishu show true camaraderie, citizenship, love. People cleaning up the streets, fishing out body parts and burying them. Lines to donate blood. Donations from the diaspora and communities overseas particularly Eastleigh or the Scandinavian countries. Though even following a Coldplay tweet for the latter, the world has not responded with the kind of generosity we’ve seen elsewhere.
Red scarves, t-shirts but the photo that captures it the most, for me, is a volunteer kissing the forehead of a man in an army uniform as they clear through the rubble together.
The reason for this attack is still unknown but the stories of a revenge attack for a previous foreign led attack are already coming through. There is no justification for this kind of action. But there is a need to understand the impact that war or armed action has on human beings.
Somalia was turning a corner: earlier this year MPs voted in a new President and a federal structure is under creation. The reaction and response to this recent terrible attack could leave Somalia vulnerable to a backwards pathway, or it could be utilised to further progress.
We all pray for the latter.