The Impact of Execution Grounds on Communities in Conflict Zones

In conflict zones, the effects of violence and death extend far beyond the immediate victims. In Somalia, a football pitch on a beach in Mogadishu serves a dual purpose – a playground for children and an execution ground for those deemed deserving of death. The stark contrast between the joy of playing football and the horror of witnessing executions creates a complex environment for the residents living nearby.

The concrete posts used for firing squad executions stand as a haunting reminder of the brutality that plagues Somalia. The sight of bodies lashed to the poles, their heads covered with black hoods, is a chilling spectacle that children in the area cannot escape. The blood spilled on the sand where people are shot seeps into the ground, creating a macabre backdrop for innocent play.

Parents in the neighborhood are torn between allowing their children to enjoy some semblance of normalcy and shielding them from the harsh realities of their surroundings. The fear of their children being accidentally caught in the crossfire of an execution weighs heavily on their minds, leading to sleepless nights and constant anxiety.

Despite the trauma and fear that pervade the community, the practice of executions continues, with support from many Somalis who view it as necessary in the fight against groups like al-Shabab. The normalization of violence and death only serves to perpetuate a culture of fear and desensitization among the youth who frequent the beach.

As journalists like Naima Said Salah shed light on the atrocities committed in conflict zones, it becomes crucial for the international community to acknowledge the long-lasting impact of such practices on the mental health and well-being of individuals living in these environments. Only by understanding the full extent of the harm caused by executions can we begin to address the underlying issues that perpetuate violence and suffering in these regions.

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