President Obama must cast his net afar and bring hope and peace to the very poor of Somalia. It can be done.

Halkaan ka akhri

Over many years I have been writing about Somalia.

Now what has happened is that foreign powers with their state-of- art fishing vessels and floating factories have decimated the thousands of years’ old coral reefs and breeding grounds for the world’s best lobsters and other shell fish that were the only means of living for Somali fishermen.

Even the planet lost out to global warming with so much destruction. The West, especially the world leader, the USA, has made no comment or effort to protect the livelihood of the poor Somali fishermen as well as preserve the planet’s ecological structure; coral is part of the planet’s future.

The foreign ships come with steel nets to which are attached long metal spikes resembling vicious plough shares; these dig deep into the living coral to get at the lobsters and other sea life, leaving the Somali coast an ocean graveyard.

As a consequence there was only one way of living left to the brave Somali fishermen; and make no mistake, they are very brave seamen and navigators. They had no choice but to take revenge on foreign shipping and earn a living by ransom demands.

The foreigners who caused such devastation were considered reputable business men: the Somalis who have retaliated with infinitely less damage to our precious planet are the ones who are considered criminals and called “pirates.”

None of them wish to endanger their own lives and that of foreign crewmen but it has become their only answer to the murder of their ancestral fishing grounds.

Their best hope now is to have the teenager,  Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse,  who has been brought for trial in America make a gallant stand in front of America’s might and defend, in front of the watching world, the Somali fishermen’s reasons for disturbing trade vessels of the super powers.

It rests on President Barack Obama, who has real dignified contact with Africa, and an inherited understanding of the problems facing the weak when battling the strong, plus an intelligence corridor superior to that of the CIA’s, to keep a special watch on this case.

After all, the world has been kept agog over the activities of a pet water swimming hound.  Let’s now see similar attention on the progress of this brave fisherman who saw his three comrades shot down as if they were vermin. From his trial, perhaps we will see the new America reflect those old values that made the country so admirable, rather than the blazing-gun mentality that recently predominated and has so harmed its reputation.

There is always a silver lining and so we look to President Obama, who is an African Jaluo by ancestry; the Jaluos’  main occupation is that of fishermen.

President Obama must cast his net afar and bring hope and peace to the very poor of Somalia.  It can be done.  In my many years in Africa, I variously battled and worked with the Somali people for years. I learned enough to recognize that they are a people of great dignity and demand respect despite their poverty.

President Obama is uniquely placed to understand their plight.

Astles who now lives in Europe, was an advisor to the late Ugandan dictator Idi Amin Dada; the movie “The Last King of Scotland,” is loosely based on his life in Uganda.

Sourse Black Star News

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