Tag Archives: Somalis

Finland Leads In Anti-Somalia Violence!

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights reported that Somalia immigrants in Finland encounter more prejudice and violence than any other minority in a European nation. There were about 74 instances of violence or threats for every 100 Somalis who were interviewed compared to 44 in Italy for those of North African backgrounds. Figures in Denmark were 40 and in the Czech Republic 42 where there are many of Roma background. Ironically, the report indicates that not all Somalis fall victim to violence or threats, but it appears a particular group is more prone to encounter such behavior from native born Finns.

Is the fact there are few Somalis in Finland a factor in that it makes those who are around stand out for those who are bigoted and seeking someone to hate? Perhaps, it is time for the Finnish government to do an intensive study of what are the causes of this violence.

Somali Refugees In South Africa Want To Go Home

Crises in Darfur, Somalia and Zimbabwe have resulted in millions of people flocking to South Africa in search of jobs and security at a time when there are millions of South Africans seeking work. Many Somali refugees were subjected to outbreaks of violence on the part of xenophobic mobs who rampaged through their areas burning, looting and physically attacking people. The result was the establishment by the South African government of camps to house and protect the refugees. On Monday, the city of Tshwane burnt shacks belonging to Somalis which meant they had no place to live. Ironically, many refugees are angry at the United Nations for seeking to integrate them into South African society. Somalis believe the UN is “misleading the government and everyone about our requests and demands.” The refugees want to be repatriated home to Somalia because they fear remaining in South Africa.

The real problem is chaos in Somalia which is currently trying to sort out who is in charge after Ethiopian troops have left and the weak Somalia government has collapsed. It is unclear if any single faction can create stability in Somalia. This raises the question of can Somalia refugees ever return to their homeland, and, if not, do they have a future in South Africa.

Ethiopian Soldiers Brutalize Somalis In Ogaden Region

Ethiopia has been used by the Bush administration as its chief ally in the fight against terrorism in east Africa. The Ethiopian army was encouraged by Bush to invade Somalia in order to defeat Muslim fundamentalists. As part of the anti-Somali stance, the Ethiopian army has been engaged in destroying any Muslim opposition in the region of Ogaden in its own nation. The area is inhabited mainly by Somalis some of whom are part of the Ogaden National Liberation Front(ONLF). Human Rights Watch has uncovered evidence of a systematic campaign by the Ethiopian army to destroy villages and drive people away from their homes in order to deprive the ONLF of support. Civilians have been forced to fight and the Ethiopian army is killing livestock, driving people from their homes, burning over 80 villages and publicly executing people it deems to be part of enemy forces.

Human Rights Watch representative in Africa, Georgette Gagnon, said, “We don’t like to rank abuses in the world, but what is happening in the Ogaden is up there with the worst.” She added there were numerous examples of women being raped by Ethiopian soldiers.

Hate Campaign Against Foreigners Continues In Africa

Members of a Somali community in Johannesburg charge the police fired on them during the course of fighting in Gauteng. At least 42 people have been killed and over 17,000 displaced since violence began against foreigners in South Africa. Tension is mounting among foreigners who believe they have not received suffficient protection from the police since the violence began. Reporters for the Mail & Guardian found a police vehicle that had been stoned by Somalis. Community leader Mohammed Abdul Hakir said the police have initiated problems by attempting to arrest Somali men instead of protecting people against violence. “People are on edge. They said(to the police). When we are being looted, you are not here. So why are you shooting now?” Hakir claims over thirty people have been arrested and even a newspaper photographer was threatened with arrest for taking pictures of attacks on Somalis.

A particulkar concern of the victims is the ever present fear of police corruption against illegal foreigners. One witness claimed: “They always come to ask for papers. If you don’t have, you must give them money. They search our rooms and take anything they want, like phones and TVs. If you can afford to give them money, you can get your stuff back. The bad ones are from John Vorster police station.”

Meanwhile, the police and army are cooperating in an effort to restore peace and order to the area. Morgan Tsvangirai, the Zimbabwean leader and a Kenya diplomat visited the area in an effort to reassure foreigners they will receive protectiona against violence. There are reports over 400 people have been arrested in conjunction with the violence but there is yet any evidence they have been brought to court and formally charged.

On a hopeful note, the Home Affairs Department has decided not to deport freigners who have been victimized by the violence. Former Cabinet minister Kader Asmai urged the government to declare an amnesty for foreigners in South Africa. He noted, “we have betrayed the children of the African disapora by not helping our fellow South African citizens to understand who these ‘strangers at the gate’ were, why they were in South Africa and what value they are adding to our economic and civic life.”