Somali Independence Day, 1st July 2012, a speech by Dadaab Refugee Camps.
I take this opportunity to thank the almighty Allah who has given me the strength to address such a big gathering in the commemoration of the 52nd anniversary of “Somalia Independence Day” for the first time in two decades as I represent over 500,000 refugees living in Dadaab camps. Secondly I remarkably appreciate and recommend the Kenyan government for hosting us in dadaab, Kakuma and Nairobi. It’s a historic event and priceless effort by our neighboring Kenya. I’m glad to express my inner feelings of gratitude to the distinguished dignitaries from the TFG, delegates, guests of honors, international community, nationalist, ladies and gentleman and the participants at large for making the night colorful and Somali- like. Finally I thank the head of Somali-embassy at Nairobi, his Excellency, Ambassador Ali America for making the night possible.
On behalf of the entire dadaab camps, Ladies and gentlemen, as we celebrate tonight right with joy here and everywhere, I would like to deliver their wishes, hopes and the messages on this night which means a lot to every Somali patriot, in essence, it’s a night to appreciate the efforts of our ancestors who committed their souls, shed their blood to achieve independence and give birth to the republic of Somali. Moreover, our brave men fought long, harder and endured hardship and sacrificed till their hands were raw so that we may live better life. Unfortunately today, at this moment, our country is at the midst of crises, civil war, violence, and incidents of crimes against humanity. Famine and drought heavily weakened our economy as a result of greediness and irresponsibility within us; tribalism has been our source of conflict and led to the mess of today’s stage. As a nation of the same color, race, religion, language, let’s put our differences back, bury tribalism and re-affirm our historic sprit of patriotism as we prepare our Somali nation for a new age and era and prove our better history. The time has come to carry our nation forward in inclusive promises of good governance, equality, transparency, integrity and accountability. A journey of one thousand miles begins with one step. In every aspect of our country, a country ravaged by civil war for over two decades, the agricultural sector is dilapidated and the infrastructure is of low standard and this calls for mass action in rebuilding the nation’s economy.
Ladies and gentle men, for those of us who are pessimistic in our inauguration tonight, are surely declining my ambitious, targets and let me ask–Do we really doubt ourselves as a nation? And are we up to the hard task? How many of us prefer to be a refugee forever? The unique blue-star symbolic flag is crying, the history is long and true as some in this scene can bear me witness, the sweetness of a government in your motherland? As the proverb goes “bad government is better than none”. As we consider the differences within our homestead and the task ahead, for those of us who want to lead us through the indecent route in to power shall not truly be our savior as competence in our leadership is the only demanding at this time, on this regard I honor the diligent work done by the current TFG government in ensuring security, rebuilding one united Somalia and amending our proposed constitution, it’s a great sense of collective responsibility as a result of honest and hard work ,tolerance and curiosity, courage and fair play ,loyalty and patriotism. I congratulate them as we follow. I also appreciate the extended hand of the international community, Neighboring African countries and any other stakeholders who took part in the candles lit and the cold breath in Mogadishu and elsewhere in the country. On this note, I look forward with the wish of the almighty Allah that the August Election to bear the kind of leadership that Somalia was craving for since 1991 in the light of democratic, free and fair election.
Finally, As I speak tonight, there are over a million of Somali refugee across the world that are fed with unbearable situations embedded with least issues of lack of freedom of speech and movement, unemployment ,nostalgia .other worst and imminent scenarios emerge as lack food and water, less medical services, rampant dyeing of mothers due to anemia and the mortality rate remains high for children, education is as well cornered as basic needs fades away and is no longer a priority for a Somalia family, majority of the Somali origin asylum seekers make their destination by using inappropriate sea vessel to end up just eaten by sharks in the seas! Think of the number eaten by sharks or died on their way to the country of protection since 1991? Out of experience, I say this must stop at all,
Fellow citizens, I understand, being a refugee is a situation every human being would not prefer as a status but just a fate and as well it must not subordinate our mindful to change in leading our country back to peace and instability. As many of you may have had about Dadaab refugee camps, it’s a habitat for over 500,000 refugees in a 50 km square for a period of two decades. UN efforts in delivering humanitarian aid and services are overstretched as dadaab camps hold thrice its capacity and new refugees flow in to the camps due to famine and drought in our country. Incidences of insecurity as well hamper UN operations. The future leaders of tomorrow and especially the in these camps are encamped to a compound with majority faced by unemployment and lack of scholarships. The school drops out form a larger percentage of the youth population hence drug addiction, theft and other crimes including going back to Somalia to join militiamen are the only options exposed to for these youth. However there are organizational youth associations which are functional in each of these camps that make them engage in youth forums, debates, sports and other recreational activities. Few percentage of the youth make up to their university but are also handicapped as employment is illegible for refugees population. In the name of dadaab refugees, I ask for a double recognition and co-corporation of the current TFG government, Kenya, International community, the in-coming August government, Nairobi Somali Embassy and as well as the political parties in mapping out Somalis political wavelength because we are the people who suffer most in the Diaspora.
As I conclude my speech, I appeal to the international community; fellow African countries, well-wishers, donors and other stakeholders to assist in re-establishing our nation and making our dreams come true. As dadaab refugee population, at this defining moment, we look forward for the new president’s arrival to dadaab in the first week of his election in August 2012; our repatriation soon to Somali remains a priority and lastly our get-together inauguration of the 53rd anniversary, 1ST July 2013 in Somalia INSHALLAH. East and West, Home Is the Best, I urge all Somali citizens who are here tonight and others who might hear my speech to unite and rebuilt the abandoned nation. Henceforth our motto shall be: FORWARD NEVER BACKWARD
God bless the people of Somalia.