Thursday, April 26, 2012
The photography exhibition by African Union Mission in Somalia troops tells a story of the futility of war much better than Hollywood’s gun slinging heroes ever would.
Forget Rambo, Iron Man and The Incredibles for they are fictitious film characters that bomb up places and all ends well. In Somalia, Amisom are the heroes that are fighting against al-Shabab militants. You can instead visit the “Brothers in Arms” exhibition at the Uganda museum that ends on May 2, to see photographs of Somalia’s 20-year-old civil war.
From a line of photos, is one of a young child crying from the burns caused by a bomb blast. Because of the war, the country has inadequate infrastructure that the locals have come to depend on Amisom centres for help. As a result, the communities and soldiers have developed a bond.
As seen in the photo of soldiers distributing clean water to the communities, the soldiers have gone beyond their duty call. The photos also show the trying conditions sour soldiers in Somalia endure. Many of the soldiers live in shacks, cushioned by sacks filled with sand and soil to guard against bullets from the enemy.
Sadly, the photos do not have any signs of when the suffering will end. Just a few weeks ago, al-Shabab said it was responsible for bombing the museum, in which dignitaries lost their lives. Somalia also has other dilapidated buildings; and photographs by Ugandan and Burundian soldiers, and Zimbabwean photojournalist Kate Holt will tell of this horror, even long after it is over.