Like most Somalis, I am still shocked by last Saturday’s deadly terrorist bombing in Mogadishu.
More than 350 people were killed and hundreds more injured in the incident. Properties that took years to build were destroyed in a flash.
The attack was the most destructive in modern Somali history.
The magnitude of the losses brought the international media’s attention, and urgent medical assistance was provided by concerned partners from across the world, including Kenya, Sudan and Turkey.
The White House issued a statement, condemning the bombing.
Many world leaders called the Somali president to offer their condolences and messages of solidarity in that hour of need for Somalis.
The global response is commendable
The attack has seen Somalis go through pain. It has made them extremely angry.
What they need to do is to make efforts towards ensuring that such a tragedy does not happen again.
The cowardly act is certainly perpetrated by Al-Shabaab.
This group is still seeking to impose its weird interpretation of Islam, a peaceful religion, on a population that shuns it.
Contrary to the popular perception perpetuated by the international media, violence is not a national trait in Somalia.
The country has suffered one of the most devastating civil wars in modern history and is only turning the corner towards stability and progress.
When people across the globe see headlines on one of the largest terrorist attacks in the world, they obviously get the impression that there is no stability or progress in Somalia.
However, keen observers have noticed progress across the country.
Somalis are tremendously resilient and have beaten the odds against terrorists and ineffective governments time and again.
Survival has been ensured by their can-do attitude.
Somali entrepreneurs trade proudly across the continent and the world while government institutions are slowly but surely getting stronger.
Those in the diaspora, who have been an external lifeline during the civil war and unrest in Somalia, are returning in large numbers to invest, settle and help build public and private institutions.
The pain of terrorism is real and has been felt across Somalia and the region.
Defeating terrorism in Somalia must continue to be a regional effort.
While Somalis are grateful for Amisom’s efforts, there is no doubt that only a well-trained, equipped and financed national army can secure the country permanently.
More importantly, the Somali Government must strengthen its regional and international security partnerships to enhance knowledge and intelligence sharing to keep both the country and the region safe.
Following last Saturday’s attack, there is need for renewed resolve against terrorism through security cooperation.
LIBAN OBSIYE, Kakamega.