It has been widely reported in the media that as a result of the famine in East Africa, Somalia is facing ‘not only a humanitarian crises’ but also ‘a human rights crises and a children’s crises.
This indication is contained in a report by the Prayer Communication team of Open Doors UK a United Kingdom based Christian humanitarian organization (www.opendoorsuk.org) adding that Islamist insurgent, Al-Shabaab, the main armed group opposed to the government in Somalia, is reported to be systematically recruiting children under 15 as child soldiers.
It noted that the group is denying the children access to education, and carrying out indiscriminate attacks in densely populated areas, resulting in the deaths of civilian adults and children.
Quoting Amnesty International and British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), it observed that two regions of southern Somalia were officially declared to be in a state of famine by the United Nations (UN) earlier this week, amid the worst drought to hit the region for 60 years.
Open Doors said that the crisis is being exacerbated by Al-Shabaab’s refusal to allow foreign aid organizations access to the parts of the country under their control. An Al-Shabaab spokesman has accused aid groups of being political, saying that UN reports of famine are ‘sheer propaganda.‘
According to it, Al-Shabaab currently controls the majority of southern Somalia and targets Christians, who are then routinely killed. Kidnapping and killings of NGO workers have also been reported.
The (real) situation in the country is so grave that people who thought there was an “economic miracle” in Somalia, due to the lack of government, are considering they were wrong:
If telecommunications’ business has prospered (ejem) in Somalia is not because “all” the country is showing an upward trend, but because there is a powerful coastal minority, formed by the famous pirates and their protector clans, who can afford to buy cell or satellite phones . The majority of the population, many million people, can only communicate by smoke signals, if they can find a dead branch somewhere. The real data to compare, if you want to show the relative strength of the country, are not the costs related to individual people, but of community investments. And there the picture is bleak: no airport, no harbor, no fucking kilometer of paved road, not a single unpaid water treatment station by the United Nations, no school or university (the illiteracy rate exceeds 80%) zero infrastructure of any kind since the days of Methuselah. We can’t say in any way that they go relatively well, even if we don’t consider the famine.
- Somalia: Extremist Group Bans Samosas (teaandpolitics.wordpress.com)
- Calls for aid agencies to channel famine relief through Somali NGOs (guardian.co.uk)
- Somalia: Islamists kill NGO workers and burn food and medicines (teaandpolitics.wordpress.com)
- Somalia Militants Bedevil Efforts on Famine (online.wsj.com)
- Horn of Africa: 400,000 crammed into refugee camp fleeing worst regional drought in decades (teaandpolitics.wordpress.com)
- Horn of Africa: UNHCR calls for aid to Somalia in worst food crisis (teaandpolitics.wordpress.com)