Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Somali Prayer Flags?

Today, on my way to a local NGO, I noticed thousands of plastic bags caught up in a fence. Management of solid waste is a growing problem in Somaliland, and it is not the first time that my eyes catch pictures of colored plastic bags lying or flying around. They are usually all over the place. Caught up in trees, they are commonly called the "Somaliland flowers". Today, however, they reminded me less of flowers than of tibetian prayer flags. I have never been to Tibet, but I imagine the sight of hundreds of prayer flags somehow similar...
Meanwhile, Somalilanders have hold a big demonstration today against threats from the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia to reunite the various parts of Somalia: South Central Somalia (thats where all the mess takes place), Puntland (less noisy, somehow autonomous and not as much catched up fights as the South) and Somaliland (declared unilaterally independence in 1991, but did so far not receive international recognition). It seemed that every Somalilander, regarless of party or clan, participated or at least passively supported todays (peaceful) demonstrations in Hargeisa and other towns of Somaliland. United against the Unity. Looking at the wretched mess that is left of Somalia and its hypocritical TFG, I can only support these demonstrations.

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