Trump Targets Somalia, Somali Communities in the US and Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minneapolis

Trump targets Somali communities and Rep. Ilhan Omar in Minneapolis

Somalilandsun: Squeezed between the covid-19 epidemic and the black riots, Donald Trump thought it well to attack Somalia during an electoral rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he spoke of a country in the throes of anarchy and attacked a Congresswoman of Somali origin, Ilhan Omar. Though the Somali government in Mogadishu said it had “no comment” to make what are the criticisms addressed to the East African country by Trump? And what is the situation in Somalia?

The usual fury of the US President has this time found an outlet against the Democratic Minnesota deputy Ilhan Omar who, of Somali origin, has been accused of wanting to import into the United States “the same model of anarchy” of his nation: “would like to make the government of our country just like the country it came from, Somalia, “said Trump, adding” no government, no security, no police. Nothing, just anarchy. And now he is telling us how to manage our country. No thanks”.

A decidedly senseless statement and, above all, out of place, if we consider the difficult situation that the Somali population has been experiencing for thirty years. Starting only from the last few days, in fact, at least seven people were killed in two separate attacks by the al-Shabaab jihadist group. The first occurred on Saturday night in the city of Wanlaweyn, 90 kilometers west of Mogadishu, where a bomb went off near a military officer’s home. Then a second bomb went off and hit the people who had come to the rescue site. A suicide car bomb exploded on Sunday at a checkpoint outside a military base in the city of Ba’adweyne, 170 kilometers southeast of the city of Galkayo in central Somalia. Both attacks were claimed by the al-Shabaab jihadist formation in response to the operations carried out to stem them from the Somali army.

The terrorist group, affiliated with al-Qaeda and very active in the central and southern regions, is not the only cancer that undermines the stability of Somalia. In addition to the covid-19 with around 2,800 infected and 90 reported dead, the country has in recent months taken into account the damage caused by torrential rains and with the invasion of locusts which have had serious repercussions on economic self-sufficiency and the safety of large sections of the population. The result? In southern and central Somalia, it is estimated that floods and river floods caused by seasonal rains have already forced 90,000 people to flee and that still others will flee, inflating the number ofinternally displaced people who are also moving due to violence and terrorist attacks. Since the beginning of the year, more than 220,000 Somalis have been displaced within the country, including 137,000 for conflicts.

REp Ilhan responds to Trump

Somalia is also tormented by clashes between the troops of the Somali federal army and the militias of Jubaland (a semi-autonomous region located in the south of the country), which have provoked strong tensions on the border with Kenya. In addition to tensions with Somaliland , an independent state although not recognized internationally, and Puntland , a semi-autonomous region.

In this regard, a few days ago the news of the meeting – defined historical – between Somali President Mohamed Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmajo’ and the president of the self-proclaimed republic of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi. After a failed attempt in 2015, the government of Mogadishu and the Somaliland independentists seem in fact determined to try again to define diplomatic relations , with the help of mediation.

Another positive event is the approval by the Lower House of the Somali Parliament of a law which guarantees women 30% of the seats in both parliamentary chambers. The lower house has a total of 274 seats while the upper house has 54 seats. The bill, which obtained the favorable vote of 134 parliamentarians, responds positively to a request for greater visibility of women in politics.

It is hoped that, in the country, it will be possible, slowly, to find some stability. UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, has been clear: all emergencies will have devastating consequences, unless the international community, national and local Somali authorities and humanitarian actors implement effective and coordinated action to respond to the huge needs of the population.

Trump’s controversy doesn’t make sense. Somalia, amid a thousand difficulties, is trying to pull itself out of the black hole in which it sank in the nineties. Perhaps this is why the Somali government has deemed it superfluous to respond to Trump’s claims.

(Valentina Giulia Milani)