Central Ohio Somalis Fear Homeland Could Fall into Hands of Al-Qaida
Hundreds of Somalis protested the recent takeover of their capital by Islamic militants. And Mogadishu's largest clan has threatened a counter attack if the militants do not leave. Some Somalis who sought refuge to Columbus say their country needs law and peace.
For more than 15 years Somalia has been without any kind of government control. Gangs have been running the country's towns and cities. Thirty-four-year-old Burhan Ahmed immigrated to the United States ten years ago. He works at the Community Refugee and Immigration Services in Columbus. Ahmed said it's not clear to him what the agenda is of the Islamic militant group, but he said his homeland needs government.
"We need a government who can properly grant people their safety, and the basic living that we need like school systems, hospitals and roads. To bring the vision for the people in Somalia," Ahmed said.
The U.S. and other Somali allies are concerned the Islamic group is connected with a terrorist organization, like al-Quida. They fear the militant group will turn Somalia into a breeding ground for terrorists.
Ahmed Kamil, a case worker at the community refugee center, has been in America for five and a half years. Kamil agrees that Somalia needs law makers, but not if they're connected with al-Qaida.
"If we hear that word of, that connection with al-Qaida, Somali people will never accept them. I'm sure they will fail it," Kamil said.
Since the Islamic militants have moved into Mogadishu, the gangs controlling the land have moved out. And Kamil said that's a good thing for Somali people.
"At this time since warlords have run away from the city, I hope a kind of settlement will come to the Somali people, especially for the Mogadishu people. They've suffered a lot, suffered a lot, a lot, a lot. So, my symphathy is with them to get any kind of government that can serve them better and I hope they'll get it," Kamil said.
Kamil and others continue to monitor activity in Somalia.