Thursday, December 13, 2007

Somalia, today -

The scourge of war has been ravaging the population of Somalia for more than a year now causing a major humanitarian crisis that words alone cannot describe. Some 600,000 people, or, half the population of Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia, have opted to flee Inferno for the rural regions, in search of food or hope. Not that there is much of either food or hope in the impoverished villages, but anyway - let's assume there is.

Failed negotiations in late 2006 between the Transitional Government and the Islamist Movement led to a large-scale warfare when neighboring Ethiopia and the USA intervened on behalf of the Transitional Government, that is, against the combined forces of the Islamists and the Eritreans. Today, the Transitional Government is back in the capital but retaliation acts from the Islamists turn Mogadishu into a battlefield almost daily.

Famine is, for a second time in less than 20 years, a gloomy prospect for Somalia as political precariousness, lack of security and hostile checkpoints around the capital make the distribution of whatever UN and other food reaches the country disturbingly uncertain. Gross suffering and excessive deaths appear to be occurring as wounded women and children are frequently prevented from accessing UNICEF medical stations. If confirmed, the soon-to-happen expulsion of journalists from the area of Somaliland will seal the "death decree" for Somalia as it will sever the region from the world for good.

Reporting from the Shabelle River region for the Washington Post, Stephanie McCrummen is a voice in the field - and she communicates not only the plight of Somalis but also the quintessence of virtue in her article "A wealth of kindness among Somalia's poorest": entitled to only a loaf of bread and a few tomatoes per family, locals welcome their displaced compatriots knowing very well so that this means putting their very own survival at risk. Amidst so much misery, Somalis teach lessons for life - they truly do.



For updates: UN News on Somalia

Stephanie McCrummen's article: "A wealth of kindness among Somalia's poorest: Clan Ties Open Doors for Refugees From Capital"

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