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Nationalism in the Midst of Tribal Conflict

Nationalism in the Midst of Tribal Conflict

Nationalism in the Midst of Tribal Conflict
July 05
20:39 2017

 

This week the Somali community worldwide celebrated and marked the 57th anniversary of Somalia’s independence from foreign occupation. Celebrations were held globally from the heart of Mogadishu to the farthest continents that are home to the Somali community in diaspora. The festivities in included music, dance, food, and a flood of blue and white, the colors of the Somali flag. This display of patriotism is heartwarming and refreshing, yet it begs the question of what true nationalism means in the current political climate in Somalia.

It is no secret that tribalism is the culprit preventing us from rebuilding our fragile state. The casualties of our division are immeasurable, resulting in war, famine, terrorism and occupation of foreign enemies.

While I enjoyed the festivities and the cultural resurrection on display, I question our knowledge of what a patriotic event such as independence day is. Should we celebrate our independence from an occupier while living as refugees? But yet killing each other in our homeland. How unpatriotic!

I am not doubting our loyalty to the noun “Somali”. Indeed, we often hear the proud declaration “I am from Somalia”  in response to an inquiry of origin. However, amongst ourselves, we are divided.

In my humble opinion, nationalism results in working for the common good of the nation, not the tribe. I am a firm believer that we could channel the enthusiasm of celebrating independence day to finding true solutions to eradicate tribalism in this destructive 25 year division and unrest. Only then can we celebrate our freedom from the chains of tribalism and honor what our forefathers fought for with their lives.

Author: Mohamed Samatar

 

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