December 25, 2017
are occasions when words cannot express emotional feelings. The car bomb attack at the Zope street
junction in Mogadishu on 14 October 2017, which killed over 300 innocent people
and wounded many hundreds is definitely one of them.
two months, emotions are still running high inside and outside Somalia. Some
people are left frightened, confused, sad and helpless; others are very upset
and angry. Mogadishu residents are still asking why this happened to their city
just when it has started to recover from years of warfare and destruction.
who had been following the news as the attack unfolded would have seen eyewitness
description of the ugliness of the massacre. Mutilated bodies were dumped on
the ground by the power of the blast, their heads, guts, legs and arms
scattered all over the place. Some bodies were burned beyond recognition. Some
eyewitnesses could not tell whether some bodies were male or female. One witness described a body he had seen just
like a burnt stick.
besides human cruelty, human bravery, compassion and empathy for the victims
were abundant. Rescue workers bravely risked their lives to rescue the injured
and transport them to hospitals given acute shortage of medical facilities and
rescue equipment in Mogadishu. Government officials and ordinary people donated
blood due to shortage of blood in hospitals.
officials did what they could to coordinate the rescue efforts. A classic
example was to see Thabit, the young mayor of Mogadishu, struggling to hold
back his tears as he was giving a press conference. He was obviously shaken by
the carnage he had seen.
felt sorry for this young man who was brought in from North America to lead Mogadishu
residents only to find himself in such terrible tragedy where hundreds of his
fellow residents had been murdered or maimed by a mindless criminal.
it was also heart-warming to watch the bravery and defiance of the young and
their spontaneous demonstrations against the terror attack. The young, wearing red
bands as a sign of anger, made a protective circle around the mayor, lifted him
up and made him to lead the demonstration, marching through Mogadishu streets.
It was a rare moment of solidarity between the mayor and his people.
salute the youth, the mayor, government officials and ordinary people for their
bravery and kindness amidst the carnage.
Understandably, families of the victims cannot
comprehend why their loved ones had to meet violent death at the hands of a
murderous terrorist cell. Whole families, including children and their parents,
had been wiped out in this awful massacre for no reason other than minding
their business at the Zope junction. Please help them financially or otherwise.
My condolence goes out to the families of the
victims, as I pray for the injured speedy recovery.
residents had been through many challenges before and proved to be resilient
and brave. I am sure they will survive and come out of this tragedy stronger
positive outcome of the tragedy is that the terror group Al Shabaab is falling
apart. Hundreds of misguided young people are leaving the group having realised
that Al Shabaab is a murderous cult with distorted ideology and has no place in
among other factors, the Zope massacre will be remembered as a prelude to the
inevitable collapse of the nihilist cult because its barbaric action has united
the Somali people against this criminal group.
we Somalis tend to forget national disasters easily, I add my voice to the
suggestions that the government, particularly the mayor, erects a peace
memorial garden at the Zope junction in memory and honour of those innocent
people who lost their lives in the attack.
is a national calamity and only collective national memorial services can