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Target Practise!!!

A tragic and horrifying incident happened recently. Two young men who were best friends were sitting at a café chewing khat; an addictive narcotic drug which is very popular in Somalia. A bird landed nearly, and one of the young men decided to shoot at the bird, however, the other instantly slapped the gun trying to save the bird, but the unexpected happened. The young man was shot whereby the bullet entered his body through the kidney side. He was rushed to the hospital but he died soon after. This is surely a devastating incident. Moreover, it was decided that the young man did not really intend to kill his friend and it was declared an accident, therefore no charges have being filed and the family pardoned this young man for they knew the close friendship that connected these young men.

But was it really an accident? Yes, he did not want to kill his friend but then he did intend to end a life, the life of a living creature, the bird. The question remains. What did the bird do to deserve the shooting?
These incidents occur repeatedly and hundreds of people die every year because they are used as a target practice.
On the one hand, Somalia is a country where almost every household owns a gun, as shocking as it might seem there was apparently a ban on selling and dealing arms legally, which means all of that heavy arms were obtained illegally. On the other hand, the U.N. partially lifted arms ban on Somalia recently which means selling and obtaining a gun is about to be legalized. So I wonder, with the guns already heavily distributed, what will lifting the arms ban serve?? Don’t we have enough guns in this country, and aren’t we supposed to reduce their number instead of increasing it??


radiocami's picture

Such a sad story... Also,

Such a sad story... Also, incredible is that they and so many people have guns out in the open. The guns are a problem but a bigger problem is the culture of acceptance of violence created around them. Years ago, in Jamaica, they made a law which reduced the amount of violence that could be aired on TV. Within some time, violence in the country had also gone down. This may not be the case now but the point remains that we can change laws and place bans on guns but it isn't the guns it's the people who use them that need to be changed. A return to the realization of the importance and value of life is needed. What do you think is needed for this to change in Somalia?

valerie camila rhodes

Deqa's picture

Good Question

You raised a good question my dear. The acceptance of violence is quite widespread and personally i think the answer to this would be Peace education among youth. I have written about introducing peace education in schools and we are already on the process of collecting the materials for this curriculum.
I know the young generation needs to learn how to become peaceful and instead of resorting to violence they need to learn to manage conflicts peacefully, and that's why this project is very crucial for the young people of Somalia. And I am glad many WP members have lent their hand in supporting the peace education program for schools, maybe even global curricula can be established in order to teach conflict resolution to children across the world.
However, the availability of guns is also a major issue and as we can see the UN is apparently trying to make it more available among youth. There are a lot of dynamics in this situation and changing the perception of youth in violence is crucial but also making the guns scarce is also equally important which the international community needs to support in my opinion.


I agree completely with you and think guns should not exist at all. My intention was to add perspectives about how complex the issue is and how many other components need to be address in addition to gun control so we can finally have what we all want for the world, Peace. Congratulations on the great work you're doing!

valerie camila rhodes

Precious M's picture

Too many guns

I am surprised to know that almost every household in Somalia has a gun. When so many people begin to harbor guns, they will be itchy to use them ad the result... well it will not be pretty. Keep speaking up.

Best regards,

My pen speaks

Deqa's picture

Many Thanks

you are absolutely right my dear, having access to armed weapons will translate into using them. Human beings are curious and I know many kids have even accidentally killed their siblings because they had access to guns and they were curious to see what it does and one child lost his life. Thanks for the support my dear I will keep raising these questions and we talk about these matters in the local radios debating about it.

Est-ce que c'est la loi de ton pays qui permet aux citoyens de disposer chacun d'une arme? Je te remercie beacoup de nous faire part de cet information. Je suis impatient de lire ton prochain journal.


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