The Somali MP and former singer, Mohamed Omar Dalha, expressed dismay over continued injustices being meted out against people of Lower Shabelle. In an interview with Somali Cable, Dalha, likened the situation in Lower Shabelle to the one people of region lived under the Italian colonialists. He singled out Keli Asayle incident when Italian colonial settlers forced locals to lie down on a small watercourse near plantations and walked over their backs to avoid mud their wellington boots.
“It is a continuation of colonial tactics to deprive people in Lower Shabelle of their rights. Lower Shabelle can be the bread-basket of Somalia” Dalha said in the interview in which he sent people condolence over the passing of the legendary musician and singer Daud Ali Mashaf in Jigjiga, the capital of the Somali Region of Ethiopia. “People living by the river bank lack health facilities” Dalha said to highlight deprivation people in his area of origin have to endure.
Dalha belongs to the segment of the Somali people unfairly described as minorities (Others). Lower Shabelle is a region known for diversity – no single clan can lay claim to it. Only one socio-economic group (agro-pastoralists) from different clans claim the region as a traditional stronghold.
Dalha seemed somewhat less forthright in discussing the situation in Lower Shabelle, which is a part of the South West State of Somalia. “Dalha was implying that South West State of Somalia is an illegal and occupying force in Lower Shabelle” says a Baidoa-based journalist who prefers to be quoted anonymously. “I expected him to discuss the situation in Lower Shabelle candidly but he has beaten around the push.”
Most Internally Displaced Peoples in Somalia are from Lower Shabelle. The Middle Shabelle is an equally fertile region but, unlike Lower Shabelle, has not suffered the pressure of armed clan militias who occupied made Marka, Afgoye, Barawe and Qoryooley.
© Puntland Post Monthly, 2020