By: Harun Tanya
Somalilandsun- We have seen the terrible pictures from Somalia upon the internal conflicts and a major drought in the country in 2011. People starved to death; the international community had not taken strong steps for that and the entire world watched the quarter of a million people, starving to death, from a distance.
The same circle is now loath to see these terrible pictures in Somalia once again, as the region has been hit by the drought harder than ever. The United Nations reported that due to the longstanding drought in Somalia, 305,000 children are being malnourished and 58,300 children face death. According to the UN, nearly 40 percent of the population of 4,7 million people are in need of humanitarian aid, which has influenced the neighboring countries in the Horn of Africa. In Ethiopia, more than 10 million people need food assistance because of the failure of the rains while the drought-affected areas in Zimbabwe have been declared as a state of disaster.
While one million people in Somalia have been facing such kind of threat, the areas facing the very real threat in the country are the autonomous regions of Puntland and Somaliland. The drought in Somaliland has perished thousands of undernourished animals. The people, depending on animal husbandry, which is the only means of livelihood for them, are now unable to find anything to eat. The international aid organization Islamic Relief, stated that some of the women on the verge of starving have been attacked by hyenas.
A non-profit aid organization, Save the Children, warns that malnutrition rates – especially for children– are alarming and likely to increase. The drought in the region is the worst of all time according to the people who have been suffering from it.
The news from Kenya, which is regarded as the mere shelter for many Somalis on the run, further added to the severity of the situation in Africa. In a statement by Kenya this week, it was announced that all of the refugee camps in the country would be closed and the department of Refugee Affairs would be disbanded by the government. The refugee camps of Kakima and Dadaab, planned to be shut down, have been providing housing for more than 600,000 refugees. The refugees in the camp are generally the people who flee the threat of terrorism in Somalia, Tanzania, Sudan and Ethiopia. The government would shut down the camps due to economic issues and the threat from the terror group Al-Shabaab.
Sure enough, a country, no matter what the conditions are, should adopt an indispensable principle to look out for the oppressed people. However, as things stand, it is a must to come up with a solution for Kenya and to provide not only the monetary aids but also any other means for fighting against terrorism in the presence of the international community. Indeed, it should be also noted that any region where the fight against terrorism is carried out based on violence and armaments would be inevitably on the line. For that reason, it is of critical importance that Kenya should not stumble in the fight against terrorism like the entire world. When the country fulfills its duty for the fight against terrorism by means of providing “education”, the issue of terrorism will be radically resolved and the country will be free from the threats from which it has been suffering.
A serious awakening and enlightenment are the only way to raise concern over the issue of Africa, which has remained unresolved throughout history. To this end, it is vital to create awareness. While the hunger and the situation of refugees in Africa have reached critical dimensions, the enlightenment on the issue is highly restricted and of no avail. Extending the scope of the on-going tragedy will mobilize more non-governmental organizations and ensure a greater number of conscientious governments to deal with the issue. At one time or another, the voice of the people may be louder than those who seize the initiative.