Famine in Sight in Somalia

Woke up this morning, had a toasted sandwich and a coffee. I logged in online to read the day’s news. The catastrophes of Burma and China are still on the headlines but there is also Safia Ali‘s story on the front page of the NYT’s website. The resident of Dagaari, central Somalia and mother of five is dying. She is dying from hunger alone. She hasn’t eaten in seven days. More than likely, her five children will follow too – unless food is delivered right now.

Safia and her children are perfectly healthy but over a year of drought has caused the obliteration of their livelihood – their animals. There is no farm harvest to speak of. Not to mention the violence between the resistance and the Ethiopian military has prevented aid from reaching almost anywhere in southern Somalia. Just couple of weeks ago the next biggest town near Dagaari was bombed by the U.S. military going after Aadan Hashi Ayro, member of Al-shabaab. In retaliation, Al-Shabaab has been going after anything Western, including aid workers.

Although the drought is an act of the Almighty, the violence between the resistance and Ethiopia is hastening the complete annihilation of the Somali people. Most of us Somalis in the diaspora know exactly the ugly face of famine in Somalia. The question now is how long will it take for the international community to realize the perfect tsunami they have created in Somalia with the Ethiopian invasion and ‘War on Terrorism’ double-down? More importantly, will Somalia has to reach the famine catastrophe of 1991 before any attention is paid to Somalia again? 

But then again, thousands of Safia Alis will not get the benefit of an answer to those questions, because more than likely, they would already be dead. And I, more than likely, will block the images of dying Saifa Ali and her children the next time I’m enjoying my french toast and coffee. 

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Categories: East Africa, Somalia | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Famine in Sight in Somalia

  1. Oh man, this makes feel so guilty with my petty concerns and whining! I don’t know how long this suffering will continue in Somalia; there is an entire generation that knows nothing but suffering.

  2. Om

    I wonder often if I’m cheating because I see the luxuries I have. Reading Saifa’s story only compounded my guilt but what can I do? What will Somalia look like if there was peace – I mean, my whole generation is unequipped to take care of this country because the only thing they know is war.

  3. Om, in addition to the guilt, it is this despair I feel that the same beasts who’ve sunk this country are the ones being coaxed into these futile peace conferences. Civil war, foreign invasion, US bombing, drought. How much more can innocent Somalis take?

  4. cigaal

    I just saw a bizarre scene on CNN where the gang of Abdillahi Yusuf and ina Jama Jemeli on a picture opportunity with szarkosi, and Abdillahi being asked a question on somalia and he asking back “what happened in somalia?”.
    I don’t know how these TFG thugs can live with themselves.
    I don’t know how much popular support this has in puntland, but these men are sewing the seeds that will divide somalis forever. Siyaad Barre nearly bombed us to extinction in Hargeysa and I hope the somalis will survive again.

  5. cigaal

    During the liberation movement of africa in the 1960s Ali Sugule wrote the song Afrika Hurudooy (sung by Magool), I’ve found this song and listening to it makes you very sad:

    hohey afrikaay hurudooy
    cadaw ku helyey hurudooy
    halyeeyadaadii hurudooy
    haad baa cunaaye hurudooy
    haamaa la saraa hurudooy
    hayin sidisaa hurudooy
    la hogaamiyaa
    duli lama hilaabtee
    aaway hanadadaadii
    doqon baa habawsane
    waligeed halaysane
    sida xoolihiibaa
    xero nalagu hooyaa

    habeeno badan baan hurudooy
    hamuun ku seexdee hurudooy
    hirtaanyo awgeed hurudooy
    la hadli wayaa hurudooy
    caanihii hashaydaan hurudooy
    haleeli waayee hurudooy
    la’iga horjoogaa
    duli lama hilaabtee
    aaway hanadadaadii
    doqon baa habawsane
    waligeed halaysane
    sida xoolihiibaa
    xero nalagu hooyaa

    horor warabaad hurudooy
    waaxyo ku haysaa hurudooy
    oo hantidaadii hurudooy
    ka hirqanayee hurudooy
    hadlina waydee hurudooy
    hadmaad ogaan hurudooy
    aad hagaagi hurudooy
    duli lama hilaabtee
    aaway hanadadaadii
    doqon baa habawsane
    waligeed halaysane
    sida xoolihiibaa
    xero nalagu hooyaa

  6. Om

    Aya, this is something I’ve yet to understand: the ‘international community’ has accepted the belief that only warlords and mass murderers will be asked to build a government for Somalia instead of hunting down and eradicating these warlords thugs. Maybe it is in Somalia’s destiny to never ever have anything but death and suffering.

    Cigaal, wouldn’t be nice if the rest of the world knew what these men are? But then again, they know but don’t care because Somalis only deserve warlord thugs to lead them. Thanks for posting this poetic gem:-)

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