The news that two of the failed suicide bombers ware Somalis who arrived in the United Kingdom as asylum seekers has dealt a blow the confidence of Somali commnity already at athe metcy of fragmented community leadership. "Unlike other refugee or immigrant communoites, Somali community in Britain cotinue to suffer in the absence of united community representation. The many somali community organisations based in different parts of the United Kingdom confine their wok to serving a community through drop in advice servie, supplementary schools, and youth programmes. "The multiplicy if groups point to the absence of a consensus on the need for one commntiy organisation representing all somalis and practising equal opportunity policy," said a Somali elder in Manchester where the Manchester Council for Community Relations aims to bring to togther the ten plus active Somali communty groups under the a consultative forum with a code of conduct.
About 10,000 Somalis are living in Manchester. The fragmented community leadership continues to affect efforts by the local authority to raise children's attaitment in shools and introduce regeneration schemes with long term impact on a community traumatised by a civil in their homeland and made more insecure by the news that some of their compatriots have become terrorists and are ungrateful to the a Britain that heped thm when in need.
There is, however, a way to counter the culturalist assumption that all Somalis care about is loyalty to a clan. The absence of quality assurance curtails Somali community groups' ability to reduce the impact of social exclision on Somalis living in inner city wards in Manchester.
There is a increasing need for a bold and imaginative apporach to reducing the duplication of services provided by the clan based Somali community groups in Manchester and making them more accounable to the very community they serve. " It is a good way to promote a genuine community leadeership our community needs," said Abdirizak Yusuf, a an editor of the weekly Somali langauge show on ALLFM community radio based in Manchester.