We feel like we are foreigners in our own country

We live in a country were the rights of ordinary citizens are denied, disrespected and sometimes brutally violated. For those who would be angry for what I am about to say you need to read the following Article 21 in our constitution which says “Every person lawfully residing within the territory of the Federal Republic of Somalia has the right to freedom of movement, freedom to choose their residence, and freedom to leave the country.”
As civilians living and working in Mogadishu, too many obstacles are placed upon us, we face difficulties in our own city, we sometimes feel like we are foreigners in our own country when you look at the way the security forces mistreat us, the one who were supposed to protect us.
In Mogadishu, We, the civilians, are banned from using certain streets and roads not because we are threats or because we are foreigners but simply because we don’t have government Identity Card (ID). Is it possible that the 3 million people living in Mogadishu have government ID? If you are student for example or health professional or teacher or even any another ordinary person you will not have access to some streets in the city even if you show your work ID card to the security forces. In fact it seems that the security forces were commanded not to allow anyone expect the government ID holders to pass those streets. It even seems that they were specifically instructed to check if the ID card has the national symbol or the ‘coat of arms of Somalia’. They don’t care what is written on it because they either cannot read it or don’t have the will to read it.
The use of the “national security threat” to justify the denial of these roads is unacceptable because it is the responsibility of the government as duty bearer to balance the rights of its citizens and at the same time protect them from the harm without violating their basic rights. Yes there are some serious circumstance in our country that could cost lives of hundreds but the way the government is handling is miserable and it doesn’t help protecting its citizens.
In 2016, my friend and I wanted to visit another friend living near the airport but the security forces at KM4 area refused us to pass the airport street because we didn’t had government ID. I showed my work ID and the man who seemed to be former armed militiamen wearing government uniform said to me
“this is not allowed, do you hove government ID card?”
“No” I said “Because I don’t work for government, how am I supposed to have one?” I replied.
“Then go back to where you came from” he said.
We tried to reason him but the next move he made was pointing his gun toward us! We made U-turn without saying a word. Later on, I was told that if you have government ID card you are cleared by default to pass any road in Mogadishu even if you are not government staff. It is worth mentioning that some people who are not working for the government have already managed to get the IDs through various channels, probably through their God fathers inside the system. Ironically, the same government ID cards were used to execute attacks against the government itself.
Mogadishu-City of Road Blocks
The biggest concern right now is the roadblocks in Mogadishu which are good for nothing but being obstacle to our daily activities. There are key roads that are blocked for hours during the day , some are blocked for an entire day and some of them are even blocked forever. For instance, the road that connect KM4 junction to Tarabuunka is blocked for the Qatar embassy, in my personal view, I would advise that the embassy be relocated to another location; the diplomatic village inside the airport would be good place for them for their safety if safety is their excuse of blocking such key road. The use of that road is very essential for business and the movement of people within the city. It has been blocked since 2012.
When you ask the reason why roads are constantly blocked, the security forces would often say that it is measures of mitigating risks and threats but to me it is just making life easy for the politicians and government officials, it is a way of pleasing them and facilitating their movement within the city.
Yes, there are definitely some moments where roadblocks are necessary to use, for instance when there is high level conference/summit in the city or when hosting foreign head of state. That can be accepted with prior public announcement being made by the government so that people are informed about it. However, this continues and unending roadblocks will neither protect citizens nor the politicians. If we learned any lesson from 14th October incident, it is that we realized that roadblocks won’t be helpful but increase the casualty even though everything happened under Allah’s plan. The government should think other possible strategies of taking measures to protect its citizens without putting much burden on their shoulders. Don’t make us feel foreigners in our homeland!