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Saturday 7 April 2012 | KON

Distortion of Somali history, and the problem of refugees

Since their invasion of Jubbaland regions, the Somali nomad clans carried out various attempts to exterminate the Wagosha Bantu Somali clan, but failed. During the colonial time the Wagosha people bravely resisted the Italian rule, leading to the capture of the last King of Wagosha in Jubbaland, Nasib Bundo.

Teaser Image Distortion of Somali history, and the problem of refugees

The Italian authorities jailed him and later on died under suspicious circumstances, though reliable sources confirm that he was the victim of political assassination by the colonial administration.

When Somalia attained independence 1960, the power fell into the hands of Somali nomads. Apart from adopting clear segregation policy, the government also launched massive campaign of compiling and writing false history to eradicate all roots of Bantu people in Somalia.

For the first time, some scholars have been used as pay as you go tools to fabricate history of Wagosha people in Somalia, as they collaborated with some Somalis to write distorted history to justify the discrimination of Wagosha people.

One of the things fabricated by these so called scholars is the denial of the Shungwaya Empire that ruled Jubbaland and had its seat in Kisimayu (a Bantu word that stands for the higher water well). Also they came up with another ridiculous myth that has been copied by other scholars, which says Bantu in Somalia are descendents of slaves, which is completely untrue.

How come scholars or people who claim to be educated cannot distinguish between false and truth? The claim says these people were brought to work in the Somali farms, while Somalis are pastorals and did not own farms.

Secondly, how come the Bantu people inSomaliaare living in their ancestral farmland and still they are called slaves, because of apartheid.

Because we know in USA, the African slaves never owned land and their own towns or cities, and even given names of their masters. As we know the Somali nomads invaded the fertile lands in southern Somalia to chase away the indigenous people, and they failed, because the people resisted.

So, it’s quite ridiculous that an invader gives land to his enemy, an argument that the so called scholars cannot verify.

In all the fabrication histories made you never find a single nomad Somali who owned slaves, but since the issue is politicized, some international institutions collaborate with Somali nomads to justify these false claims.

Ethiopian refugees inSomalia

Somali government also took an illegal move of deploying thousands of refugees from Ethiopia and settle them in Jubba regions. A part of this US government document verifies this event..

“The international aid community became especially familiar with Somalia during the late 1970s, as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and bilateral donors were asked to support Ogadeni (ethnic Somali) refugees from Ethiopia.

This was a result of Barre’s launching of the Ogaden war againstEthiopiain 1977 in an attempt to annex Somali-populated areas of that country. The war initially won wide support among Somalis and brought Barre considerable popularity, but this support eroded as Somalia suffered sizeable casualties, large refugee flows, and economic havoc — and ultimately lost the war.

The Barre regime proved adept at finding ways to wrest maximum resources from refugee aid programs, claiming that 1.2 million refugees needed aid. UNHCR and other donors agreed to officially assist a still-inflated number of 700-800,000 refugees (or some 20 percent of Somalia’s then-total population) throughout the 198Os, even though this generated more food imports than needed; the real refugee number was estimated at 300,000.

2 The siphoning off of aid to Barre’s army and to enrich the small elite caused a lack of donor trust in Somalis that would colour subsequent responses to crises in that country”.

In this regard, many people may wonder why the international community and the UNHCR are not taking measures of repatriating these refugees back to their country. These are refugees, who have the rights to go back to their country.

Somaliais in a crisis, and one of the best options to achieve lasting peace is to repatriate the refugees to their countries, and leave the Somali citizens to resolve their conflict.

Drs Fatuma Lamungu Nur - Expert in international politics - New York,USA

www.wagoshanews.com

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