Posted on | juli 26, 2011 | No Comments
“One of them said how she left her sick child on the road because he was too weak to make the journey to Kenya. Burdened by other small children, she left him to die alone in the desert.” - BBC account of Somalia’s famine and terrorism.
Somalia’s terror group Al Shabaab has reneged on lifting its ban on aid agencies and has accused those, who speak out about the famine, of engaging in “sheer propaganda”.
The United Nations in New York on Wednesday said several areas in Somalia are suffering from a deadly famine after the Horn of Africa nations experienced the worst drought in 60 years.
Al Shabaab, a radical Islamist organization which has ties to al-Qaeda and controls much of the country, accused the banned humanitarian groups — including Non-Governmental Organizations such as the Salvation Army and Christian missionary groups — of being political in nature and not welcomed.
The U.N. insists that a horrible famine indeed exists and that the humanitarian aid must continue.
Most Western aid agencies stopped aiding Somalia in 2009 following Al Shabaab’s threats, though some claim they have managed to continue operating through local partners.
Millions of people are said to need food aid across East Africa but Somalia is the country suffering the most, since there is no real national government to co-ordinate aid after two decades of fierce fighting.
Thousands of people have been fleeing Al Shabaab’s territories in search of food and water — some to Mogadishu, where aid agencies are operating in areas controlled by the weak interim government, and others are fleeing to Ethiopia and Kenya.
U.N. officials say there are planning an airlift of food into the capital city of Mogadishu within the next few days to help the thousands of malnourished children who face starvation in the country.
“We’ve seen the evidence of the emergency in the faces and wasted limbs of the malnourished children who are being forced to trek out of the famine zone, sometimes for days and for weeks,” an eyewitness told U.N. aid workers who’ve since left the region.
AUTHOR: Jim Kouri
E-MAIL: COPmagazine [at] aol.com