The famine in Somalia is yet to reach its peak, UN officials said and the news is shattering. With all what have occurred what dive would it have to be?
The forecast remains bleak with 3.7 million people in crisis a quarter of them children who now can hardly find strength to cry aloud because they are weak.
One turning point although not food wise is that the security situation in the besieged country is now on a better footing after the abrupt and unexplained ”tactical” withdrawal of al-Shabab Islamists from the capital, Mogadishu.
The move shocked even the mildest critics leading to varied guesses.
As could be expected African Union troopers quickly moved in to take charge while analysts said the Muslim group is fragmented and grouping for funds to keep alive their doctrine.
Middle East countries that once used to bankroll the group are now busy fighting off their own internal political woes and have little vigour to focus on the goings-on beyond their borders.
As things now stand, the Somali famine is faced as to where to cough up some 100 million dollars to keep food relief afloat and to save an estimated 12 million people in the Horn of Africa from being brought to an early end.
The situation remains both scary and urgent as it is inconceivable that food aid handouts will have to become a permanent feature of every day life for people in the axis.
Behind the scene moves should be started as to how the drought can be combated and people urged to find alternative methods to have food kept for emergencies.
The Transitional Government in Somalia should put aside the current rivalries for leadership and concentrate on the welfare of the people for it is their needs that count and not who should be President or Prime minister.
Somalia is regarded as a bad case in all forms and donors would hardly be seen to give ready help to a country widely considered as a non-state surrounded by democratic nations.
Besides many of the states now helping out from the debacle have had their shipping fleet hijacked by rascally Somali pirates who have forced them to pay huge ransom for the release of their cargoes. Their shipping companies are pressuring their governments to do something to eclipse the menace. So they don’t want it to look like be hard on one hand and soft on the other. The handouts now are being done purely for humanitarian reasons but how long will the gesture last?
It would be short sightedness to think that Somalia would continue to ride piggyback on international goodwill for all times and would sooner have to be like a bone standing alone.
Across the Atlantic though, it is a relief that London, the British capital and other cities are now counting the cost of the days of rioting which left many baffled as to what the cause was all about.
Streets of London, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham were like war zones taken over by thousands of battle-clad policemen.
Prime Minister Cameron’s words were tough: “we will not allow a culture of fear to exist on our streets. Whatever resources the Police need, they will get. Whatever tactics they need to employ they have legal backing to do so. We will do whatever is necessary to restore law and order in our streets.”
It is still difficult to find the linkage between the shooting dead of a 29 year-old man in the economically depressed Tottenham neighbourhood and the riot itself.
Some have traced the affray to the establishment of gang groups which transcend the colour line.
Unruly youngsters going out for fun and games armed with curvy knives, bicycle chains and other offensive weapons to waylay peaceful citizens in dark alleys, late buses and trains.
Now these dreaded gangs that make many workers hurry home before dark have turned their venom on riots, looting shops, smashing cars and burning buildings in an apparent revolt against the society they are part of.
Cameron said; ”when we see children as young as 12 and 13 looting and laughing, when we see the disgusting sight of an injured young man with people pretending to help him while robbing him, it is clear that things are badly wrong in our society.’’
Youngsters complained of being jobless, escalating cost of university fees and higher cost of living.
So who is responsible? Is it the spring upheavals that happened in North Africa creeping in summer to Britain?
By Rod Mac-Johnson