BY BASHIR GOTH
If you think that Dalits (untouchables) exist only in India think again. We have them in Somalia. But what makes the situation of ours even worse is that unlike India where people belong to different races, languages and colours; Somalia is the most homogenous country in Africa with people belonging to a single race and sharing a common language, a common religion and a common skin complexion.
One such blunder that went unnoticed appeared in the March 2007 report of the Minority Rights Group International (MRG), which placed Somalia above Iraq as the world’s most dangerous country for minority groups. For anyone familiar with Somalia, this assessment will conjure up images of clans who suffered for centuries from sub-human treatment. We Somalis know them; UN organisations on the ground know them and anyone with Internet access will have no difficulty to find them. Amazingly, however, the MRG, which brags in its website of listening to minorities and indigenous peoples to avoid prescriptive and patronising approaches, and having some 130 partners in some 60 countries, has not only failed to find them but has shockingly confiscated their only right of being a minority and adorned it to their tormentors.
The MRG described the Somali clans of Darood, Hawiye and Issaq as minorities who were under threat. These three clans are the most numerous, most dominant and most powerful clans of the Somali race, but by an absurd twist of fate they have become the most threatened minorities in the books of the imminent MRG, thus negating the true minorities such as the Gabooye, Midgaan, the Bantus, the Xamar Cad and others.
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