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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 27th, 2011
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

NGOs say: Families in the Horn of Africa walk for days, even weeks, in the harsh sun, desperate to find food. Sometimes the children are too weak to keep going. The lucky ones make it to camps – but too often there isn’t enough food to eat there, either. Children are literally starving to death. In village after village, millions of families in the Horn of Africa are facing unimaginable suffering. For families to get the food and water they need to survive, President Obama must bring global attention to the devastation in the Horn.

(The following is for tomorrow’s – October 27, 2011  – special ceremony to mark World Food Day that we received from Louis Belanger spokesman for OxfamInternational.org)  Military action in Somalia risks pushing more people ‘beyond the reach of aid agencies’
New York – Nearly two weeks after the government of Kenya announced it was sending its troops into Somalia, the CEO of Oxfam, Barbara Stocking, will warn that military action risks worsening the effects of famine on the Somali people, and pushing more people “beyond the reach of aid agencies,” in a keynote speech to the UN for a special ceremony to mark World Food Day and the food crisis in East Africa.
Stocking will tell the audience of UN representatives, including the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, aid agencies and private sector members, that the fate of the 750,000 Somalis threatened by death due to famine is in the hands of the international community.
Ahead of the ceremony, Stocking said: “Somalia is at a turning point, and the next three months are critical if three-quarter of a million lives are to be saved from the ravages of famine. Oxfam and other humanitarian agencies have increased our efforts to provide relief and prevent more deaths, but the situation now risks going beyond our reach. The international community must make a dramatic change in approach to ensure humanitarian aid can be safely distributed throughout Somalia.”
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We really would like to understand what turned the Horn of Africa into the cursed land it is today. We know that climate change is hitting the people of the region with draught, we know that colonialism has splintered the Somali people into many parts and we know that today they are infested by Al-Qaeda cancerous fingers and their home grown Shabab is not any better – but what is the link between those seemingly separate realities? Is there the possibility that that colonialism broke up the society and helped destroy the environment so that when climate change hit the path to desertification was already established and the society broke down further allowing the Islamists to dig the region into further disaster? Is there an escape from this?

Somalia is the home of the Indian Ocean  pirates – and these are not new social pirates but rather the old style thieves and hostage takers. The region is thus a multi-danger to 21st Century civilization.

Now, we hear of one area that tries to break out from the misery and is helped by the diaspora of successful Somalis that live in Europe and the United States of America. People helped carve out on the northwest shore of the Horn the Somaliland region that is able to rule itself in an orderly way – has trade with the rest of the World – albeit in major part with Dubai and other Islamic States, but for reasons of African prejudices, are not allowed to separate from the rest of the Somali mess.

Why cannot the UN allow them to establish an independent Somaliland that is separate from the failed State of Somalia? Will the Islamic World be ready to help the rest of the World find a solution from an ousing wound that came about in an area the two met?

The Landesverteidigungsakademie (LVAk) / Institut für Friedenssicherung und Konfliktmanagement (IFK) of the Austrian military has now published its sixth volume in its series of publications that deals mainly with the Islamic World – this sixth book deals with Somalia. It is a very timely publication and I hope the BOEHLAU Publishers will make available eventually an English translation.

The authors are Brigadier General Dr. Walter Feichtinger and Dr. Gerald Hainzl.

Further participants at the official book-presentation were Max Satner of the Austrian Red Cross, Sissy Mayerhoffer, head of the Humanitarian department at the Austrian Broadcasting and TV = ORF and a consultant on the issues to business, and Ambassador Georg Lennkh who was for many years international secretary of Chancellor Bruno Kreisky, then Austria’s Foreign Ministry’s man on Africa.

Somalia was a hodge-podge – There were French, italian, British, Ethiopian, and Kenyan Somis – now you should add Chinese, Indian, Korean, Japanese and US interests.

If God does not stand up for the Somalis – Allah will.

Before I will be able to do an in depth review of the book – let me at least point out an article in today’s news – this because of the further fact that Somalia is this year’s poster-country for the UN Food and Hunger day that happens to be today.

Giving food (a fish) to the hungry will save them for a day – we think more is needed here then plain teaching them to fish. We think they know how to fish, and had they only been allowed to fish…..

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For several years, the American-backed Kenyan military has been secretly arming and training clan-based militias inside Somalia to safeguard Kenya’s borders and economic interests, especially a huge port to be built just 60 miles south of Somalia.

But now many diplomats, analysts and Kenyans fear that the country, by essentially invading southern Somalia, has bitten off far more than it can chew, opening itself up to terrorist reprisals and impeding the stressed relief efforts to save hundreds of thousands of starving Somalis.

Somalia has been a thorn in Kenya’s side ever since Kenya became independent in 1963. Somalia has become synonymous with famine, war and anarchy, while Kenya has become one of America’s closest African allies, a bastion of stability and a favorite of tourists worldwide.

Kenyan officials said it was becoming impossible to coexist with a failed state next door. They consider the Shabab, a ruthless militant group that controls much of southern Somalia, a “clear and present danger,” responsible for piracy, militant attacks and cross-border raids.

When Kenya sent troops storming across Somalia’s border on Oct. 16, government officials initially said that they were chasing kidnappers who had recently abducted four Westerners inside Kenya, two from beachside bungalows, and that Kenya had to defend its tourism industry.

But on Wednesday, Alfred Mutua, the Kenyan government’s chief spokesman, revised this rationale, saying the kidnappings were more of a “good launchpad.”

“An operation of this magnitude is not planned in a week,” Mr. Mutua said. “It’s been in the pipeline for a while.”

Many analysts wonder how Kenya will be able to stabilize Somalia when the United Nations, the United States, Ethiopia and the African Union have all intervened before, with little success. They argue that the Kenyan operation seems uncoordinated and poorly planned, with hundreds of troops bogged down in the mud during seasonal rains.

Kenyan military officials also publicly said the United States and France were helping them, but both countries quickly distanced themselves from the operation, insisting that they were not taking part in the combat.

“The invasion was a serious miscalculation, and the Kenyan economy is going to suffer badly,” said David M. Anderson, a Kenya specialist at Oxford.

The Shabab, who have pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda, have killed hundreds in suicide attacks in Somalia and are now vowing to punish Kenya, much as they struck Uganda last year for sending peacekeepers.

For the New York Times article by please read further:

 www.nytimes.com/2011/10/27/world/…

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