Somalilandsun – MUSLIM institute organized a Round Table Discussion “Rebuilding Somalis” to discuss different aspects in which international community can play its role in rebuilding Somalia.
In the round table discussion Ali Sheikh Abdullai Chargde Affairs Embassy of Somalia Said that Somalia was a beautiful and peaceful country in the world before the civil war. After 1991, central government was dissolved and the entire situation changed. When the central government was demolished, warlords started civil war to capture the resources. UN peace keeping missions and international community came in Somalia to help the people who were facing the civil war and drought but the attacks on them by armed groups forced them to leave Somalia. After that no one looked back and severe human crisis in Somalia and hundreds of thousand people hit by famine and civil war. Somalia is also known in international community due to pirates, but the root cause of pirates is the absence of central government, lack of education and economic problem in Somalia. Illegal fisheries and dumping in the waters of Somalia gave rise to piracy. So handling the piracy needs to demolish the root causes which require providing the people legal economic opportunities and stopping the illegal fisheries as well. Somalia has strategic importance in the regions but peace is main thing to utilize its importance.
Talking about the role of international community in Somalia, he said that today we don’t need financial assistance only, we need infrastructure, educational, political, diplomatic, commercial and capacity building supports as well. It is very difficult for us to rebuild Somalia ourselves alone. African Union, OIC, UNO, EU and other organizations are helping the Somalia. Many countries have taken the initiatives to reopen their embassies in Somalia and we will encourage Pakistan and other countries as well to do so. He told that Tayyip Erdogan, the PM of Turkey visited the Somalia in 2011 along with his family, businessmen and other delegations and is involved in constructing infrastructure including roads, costal ports, airports etc. in Somalia. He paid thanks to Pakistan that a big number of Somalia’s students are getting scholarships here for completion of studies.
Dr. Marjan Lucas a Dutch Expert on Somalia said that we should help Somali people but at the end it should be Somali people who should own their land. In Netherland, there are a big number of Somali communities and that is why I took interest in Somalia and worked for it. 1991 war is the base of all the problems of Somalia. Somalia faced long period of dictatorship and then became victimized of Cold War as well. Therefore the situation ended on the 1991 war. Today pirates are connected to the domestic problems in Somalia and dealing with piracy needs not only power but solution to internal problems of Somalia like economy and justice are necessary to deal with piracy and European Union recognizes this factor as well. Tayyab Erdogan took good initiative and came to Somalia and talked to people directly and started helping them. International community has to look inside the country and take part in solving the problems. Only helping the govt. economically is not enough to rebuild the Somalia. Somali people should not lose hope for good future. Women in Somalia are very strong and they take care of their families in very tough time. Somali people settled abroad also help their people in Somalia which is a very good sign for bright future. She further said that when we talk about a nation in problem, we need international community to help because no nation can progress in isolation.
Audio link His Excellency Mr Ali Said Faqi Ambassador of Somalia in Brussles Appreciated the MUSLIM institute for organizing Round Table Discussion on Rebuilding Somalia. He said that today international community should take active part in building Somalia. People need infrastructure, schools, hospitals, police, national army and other things. Turkey actively helping Somali after 2011.There is difficult situation of law and order in Somalia and dealing with armed groups needs much more attention. He said that 4th EU –Africa Summit which is going too held on 2-3 April in Brussels can be a source of attention for Somalia; he said that EU should take some practical and positive steps to help in the infrastructure development.
After the views of experts, interactive session started. During the interactive session Ali Sheikh Abdullai Said that OIC as an institution is not helping on the level it should do. But the member countries of OIC are helping Somalia a lot individually. Collective effort should be made. Answering a question about reasons of Somalia civil war, he said that dictatorship and lack of justice made the people frustrated and that caused civil war despite of fact that people had same language, ethnicity, religion and culture. Dr. Marjan Lucas answering a question said that Cold war affected Africa and Somalia was affected much more. She said that internal and external factors both are important to take into account for rebuilding of Somalia. She said that EU & other countries should help Somalia not for the sake of any business opportunities but on the humanitarian basis.
The round table discussion was attended by professors of universities, foreign diplomats and members of research organizations.