Somalia, a country once considered as one of the most feared nations in Africa due to its resilient political standards and its top quality military forces and weapons, has passed through different and difficult stages in the past two decades. The horn of African country has been torn by demolishing civil wars and political related fallouts. From the beginning of the political instability of Somalia in 1989 to the eruption of the deadly civil war in 1990; some of the neighboring countries of Somalia namely; Ethiopia and Kenya were backing all the Somali rebels, warlords, and other militias to make sure that Somalia will never stand on its feet again. These two countries gained more benefits from the Somalis’ loss. They supplied dangerous weapons to the faction leaders in Somalia that killed millions of Somalis and injured more others.
Somali people who are said to be smart thinkers and master minders begun to doubt whether they will see again their old nation back, although they never gave up completely, thus, hopes were going in to a deep borehole gradually after realizing that external parties are involved in the country’s long term conflicts. Therefore, Somalis decided to face other directions to seek better means of survival, some emigrated to western countries, some faced the ocean to reach Saudi Arabia, Some fled to neighboring countries’ refugee camps especially Kenya, while some others who were better-off decided to invest their money in to businesses to generate more profits, however, since there was no any reliability and security in Somalia at the time, most of the wealthier Somalis jammed Nairobi to start up their businesses.
Somalis started to develop businesses in Eastlight-Nairobi without any fears and worries for their properties and lives. Although there were times of tussles in Nairobi, thus they managed to cope with all the problems they faced in Nairobi.
Somalis-People with the same language, culture, religion and ethics- have a unique thing in their hearts and that is when they are targeted and faced by external groups, they always tend to be one strong population to protect their status and dignity. Therefore, all these treats along with their hard working abilities led to be successful community in Nairobi-Kenya.
Meanwhile, Kenya was one of the most beneficiaries of the political instabilities of Somalia. The government of Kenya, The people of Kenya and all the institutions, companies and organizations of Kenya benefited from Somalis’ presence in Nairobi. I will pinpoint some important areas where Kenyan people benefited from the instability of Somalia;
Business; there are thousands of Somalis who have business centers in Eastlight-Nairobi. Top quality hotels, shopping malls, supermarkets, remittance companies, Forex bureau shops and Bus coaches which all belong to Somalis are available in Nairobi. This means that thousands of Kenyan nationals get employed by Somalis in Nairobi and they are paid highly and probably more than what they would have been paid by their government of Kenya, likewise, the Kenyan government gets millions of dollars of tax from Somali business community in Nairobi, reports state that it is the Somali remittance companies and forex changers who control and decide the foreign exchange rates of all Kenya since they transfer hundreds of millions of dollars daily to the globe and the bank of Kenya depends on the demand of these remittance companies. Therefore, if Somalia was stable and quite, Kenya would have never gotten this chance of being developed by Somalis, so Kenya should think twice of their behavior towards the Somalis otherwise they should realize that Mogadishu is becoming more peaceful and saver than Nairobi nowadays.
Humanitarian; the topic may surprise some, but the fact is that 80% of all the humanitarian organizations working in Somalia are based in Nairobi and paying rental fees to Kenyan nationals, employing Kenyan people for the position of Somali nationals. The supplies and procurements needed for the Somali projects are made in Nairobi, bids and tenders are given to Kenyan companies and individuals; therefore, the opportunity for Somali people is robbed by the Kenyan people.
Dadaab and other refuge comps; Kenya is paid millions of dollars yearly by UNHCR for the bad conditioned refugee camps which host thousands of Somalis who fled from the fighting in their country. It is not that Kenya let Somalis to stay freely in those refugee comps but they save a huge sum of money for the rent of those sites. Nevertheless, this is one of the real reasons that Kenya is always reluctant those refugees to return to their home country.
Export of KAD (Mira) and other products to Somalia; Somalia receives thousands of tons of KAD (Mira) from Kenya daily, where Kenya receives millions of dollars for those leaves (Mira) which they don’t have any other country to export to. In other words, Kenya exports tea leaves and mattresses to Somalia, although Somalia has top quality local foam factories which produce better mattresses than the Kenyan ones, thus, the Kenyan mattresses are highly sold in the markets of Mogadishu without any troubles.
The presence of the so called Kenya defense forces in Somalia; Kenyans would never thought of their soldiers entering a step of Somalia once if strong and independent government of Somalia existed; but the poor quality Kenyan forces are now in Somalia in which they are misleading the people that they are fighting terrorists whom they failed to fight in Nairobi.
But the fact is that Kenyans are in Somalia to utilize the Kismayo port which is located in much better environment and location than the Mombasa one, Kenyan forces are also illegally exporting charcoal from Somalia to the Arab gulf which they are making a lot of money from it and at the same time they are degrading the environment.
However, after witnessing all these benefits that Kenyans have been attaining from Somalia, KENYANs never paid back to Somalis for their favor and wonderful inputs and efforts of developing Kenya.
In the past weeks, Kenyan soldiers have been torturing the Somali people in Nairobi indiscriminately, pregnant women, lactating mothers, kids, elders and disabled ones were all harassed incredibly and simultaneously by the Kenyan soldiers in Nairobi.
More than 4000 Somalis are held in Kasarani stadium where they are asked to pay thousands of dollars to get released. This means Kenya never accepted Somalis but they were just exploiting on them. The Somali community in Nairobi attempted to do everything they could to show their commitment and solidarity to Kenya. They offered some food and drinks to the Kenyan soldiers in the front line during the four days siege of Westgate mall attack which they rarely do in their own backyard back home, they lined up in most medical centers in Nairobi to donate much blood to the casualties of the Westgate attack. Thus, all these deeds were not enough to convince the Kenyans that Somalis love peace and stability as they mistreated all Somalis unbelievably bad.
!!!!!Kenya Take a note!!!!! Somalis are those who never forget and forgive their enemies, they are always ONE against their enemy; I FEAR that this is the beginning of rancor and a long hatred war between Somalia and Kenya. There are dozens of Kenyans in Mogadishu-Somalia who are working as university lecturers and humanitarian aid workers; before now, there were regarded as local residents but I am not sure what will the relatives in Somalia of the victims in Kasarani stadium will be thinking of those Kenyans who used to move freely inside Mogadishu.
Mohamed Y. Moalim