Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hungering For This Post About Somalia

And the Globe isn't satisfying my appetite:

"Somali famine far worse than thought, report says" Associated Press, April 30, 2013

NAIROBI — The 2011 Somali famine killed an estimated 260,000 people, half of them age 5 and under, according to a new report to be published this week that more than doubles previous death toll estimates.

The aid community believes that tens of thousands of people died needlessly because the international community was slow to respond to early signs of approaching hunger in East Africa in late 2010 and early 2011.

And now we have a lot less useless eaters, 'eh?

The toll was also exacerbated by extremist militants from al-Shabab who banned food aid deliveries to the areas of south-central Somalia that they controlled. Those militants have also made an accurate death toll difficult.

A previous estimate set the toll at 50,000 to 100,000. A Western official said the new report found that 260,000 people died, and that half were age 5 and under; two other international officials confirmed that the toll was in the quarter-million range. All insisted they not be identified because they were not authorized to share the report’s contents before it is released.

The report is being made public Thursday by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network and the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit — Somalia.


"133,000 Somali children died in famine as Islamists cut off access; Study also cites world donors in unfolding crisis" by Jason Straziuso |  Associated Press, May 03, 2013

NAIROBI — A decision by extremist Islamic militants to ban delivery of food aid and a ‘‘normalization of crisis’’ that numbed international donors to unfolding disaster made south-central Somalia the most dangerous place in the world to be a child in 2011. 

Btw, Islamic extremists is mouthpiece code for intelligence agency operation. Thus children must suffer and starve for the Empire's geopolitical and propaganda goals.

The first in-depth study of famine deaths in Somalia in 2011 was released Thursday, and it estimates that 133,000 children younger than age 5 died, with child death rates approaching 20 percent in some communities.

That’s 133,000 under-5 child deaths out of an estimated 6.5 million people in south-central Somalia. That compares with 65,000 under-5 deaths that occurred in all other industrial countries in the world combined during the same period, a population of 990 million, said Chris Hillbruner, a senior food security adviser at FEWS NET, a US-sponsored famine warning agency.

‘‘The scale of the child mortality is really off the charts,’’ Hillbruner said in a phone interview from Washington.

FEWS NET was one of two food security agencies that sponsored the study. The other was the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit — Somalia. The two agencies had warned the world as early as fall 2010 that failed rains in Somalia meant a hunger crisis was approaching.

‘‘The world was too slow to respond to stark warnings of drought, exacerbated by conflict in Somalia, and people paid with their lives. These deaths could and should have been prevented,’’ said Senait Gebregziabher, the Somalia director for the aid group Oxfam.

The new study put the total number of famine deaths at nearly 260,000.

In March 2011 some 13,000 people died in the famine, the study found. In May and June 30,000 people died each month — at least half of them children. The UN’s formal declaration of famine did not occur until July.

‘‘I think that one of the key issues is that there was this normalization of crisis in south-central Somalia, and that I think the international community has become used to levels of malnutrition and food insecurity in southern Somalia that in other parts of the world would be considered unacceptable,’’ Hillbruner said.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said the hardest-hit famine regions were controlled by the extremist Islamist group al-Shabab.

‘‘Al-Shabab’s inhumane blockage of humanitarian assistance prior to and during the famine, including banning dozens of humanitarian organizations from providing lifesaving assistance, thwarted a more rapid international rapid humanitarian response that could have saved even more lives,’’ Ventrell said. ‘‘And equally, al-Shabab’s refusal to allow affected populations to leave al-Shabab-controlled areas prevented them from seeking assistance elsewhere.’’

Would that be the Al-CIA-Duh-linked al-Shabab?

The study was conducted by Francesco Checchi, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Courtland Robinson, a demographer at Johns Hopkins University. It drew on 200 mortality surveys by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit, including 61 from the famine period, and data on food prices, wages, and humanitarian access.

Philippe Lazzarini, the chief UN humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, said in a news conference from Mogadishu Thursday that the death toll was shocking and sobering. He said the report confirms that aid groups should have done more before famine was declared.

Lazzarini also noted that more than a dozen aid groups were banned from operating in south-central Somalia by al-Shabab, a hardline anti-West political decision that made saving lives ‘‘extraordinarily difficult.’’ He said that before famine was declared the crisis did not get the attention it should have, in part because of a lack of access because of al-Shabab.

You know who I'm blaming for that!

‘‘The famine was almost a silent drama of tragedy,’’ he said. ‘‘It was not on the news. Media did not have access. Agencies did not have access. The extraordinary challenge of access explains why the early response, despite the early warning, did not really take place.’’


Related(?): Somali Starvation Was a Sales Pitch 

To get troops in there?

"International donors pledge more than $300m for Somalia" by Cassandra Vinograd  /  Associated Press /  May 7, 2013

LONDON (AP) — International donors heeded warnings about the need for increased support for Somalia by pledging more than $300 million Tuesday toward bolstering security, justice, and financial institutions in the conflict-scarred east African nation.

No food?

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and British Prime Minister David Cameron cohosted a one-day conference in London to bolster the beleaguered government in Mogadishu, the capital.

Mohamud called the level of support at the conference ‘‘very, very encouraging,’’ after stressing that there is a ‘‘huge amount’’ at stake in Somalia and asking for broader regional security.

‘‘We have been given a chance and we will prove in the eyes of the world that we will deliver,’’ he said. ‘‘We cannot afford to miss this golden opportunity and we hope the world’s support and commitment will be materialized soon.’’


Cameron welcomed pledges made at the conference, saying attendees had taken "major steps" to back Somalia's president and his plans for long-term security and transparent and accountable government.

Somalia has endured years of civil war and governing chaos since its dictator was overthrown in 1991.

Except for the brief period in 2006 after Islamists expelled the CIA-supported warlords (who now seem to have all disappeared?) and before U.S.-encouraged Ethiopian troops invaded and occupied.

Mohamud was inaugurated in September at the end of an eight-year U.N.-backed transitional government. But from roughly 2006 to 2011, Mogadishu was controlled by Al-Shabab, an al-Qaida affiliate that seeks to overthrow the Mogadishu-based government and install an Islamic one. African Union troops forced al-Shabab out of the capital in 2011 but the group still controls wide swaths of south-central Somalia.

I wonder why the affiliation was left out of the above article on famine.

Those attending Tuesday - including African heads of state, representatives from the IMF and the World Bank - heard how Somalia plans to develop its security forces, its justice sector and its financial management systems.

Where the print ended.

The U.S. said it would provide an additional $40 million in aid to Somalia, while Britain said it would give 35 million pounds ($54.2 million) to help with security....

In this age of austerity? Not like I'm opposed to helping Somalis; however, as in Syria, this is a self-created problem, Americans!

Cameron earlier praised the gains made in Somalia over the past year, saying that extremism is in retreat, piracy attacks are down and the government is moving ahead.

Yeah, haven't seen an article about pirates in months.

"After two decades of bloodshed and some of the worst poverty on earth, hope is alive in Somalia," Cameron said. "Now it is time to fulfill the hope for the people of Somalia. That is what they have been living and waiting for, and we must not let them down."

Unless you are a child.

Cameron acknowledged that Somalia still faces huge challenges from poverty, malnourishment and extremism.

"These challenges are not just issues for Somalia," Cameron told the conference. "When young minds are poisoned by radicalism, and they go on to export terrorism and extremism, the security of the whole world, including people here in Britain, is at stake."

Or by war propaganda from governments or newspapers.

The meeting came under harsh criticism from Al-Shabab, whose leader Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr released an audiotape over the weekend calling the conference a plot to "plunder" Somalia's mineral wealth "under the guise of international trade relations and fighting corruption."

Well, he's probably right about that, and that is a great piece of propaganda. The truth is discredited because it is from a "terrorist."

Zubeyr also urged his followers to increase suicide attacks to "permanently cripple" Mohamud's government....

RelatedCar bomber kills 7 in Somali capital

Also seeBomb kills 2 in Somali compound

Does killing innocent people help their popularity?

--more-- "

"Car bomb explodes near bus in Mogadishu; 7 dead" Associated Press, March 19, 2013

MOGADISHU, Somalia — An explosives-laden car that apparently was targeting a truck full of Somali government officials instead hit a civilian car and exploded, setting a minibus on fire and killing at least seven people Monday, police and witnesses said.

Flames and smoke rose over the explosion, which occurred close to the government’s headquarters.

Mohamed Abdi, a police officer injured in the blast, said it appeared that its target was a truck of Somali intelligence officials....

The Islamic extremist group al-Shabab has carried out terror attacks in Somalia’s capital since being pushed out of Mogadishu in late 2011. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack....

Shocked bystanders stared at the pools of blood on the ground at the blast site.

One woman cried. ‘‘They [al-Shabab] are the enemies of Somalia and Muslims,’’ she said. ‘‘They kill our children, elderly and everyone. They are brutal and inhumane and feed blood and terror with their minds.’’

There is your answer.

Al-Shabab controlled much of south-central Somalia, including Mogadishu, from 2006 to mid-2011, when African Union troops ousted the fighters from the capital.

There was the goal.


"Brazen attack on Somali court complex leaves at least 7 civilians dead" Associated Press, April 15, 2013

MOGADISHU, Somalia — A barrage of bullets and two car bombings rattled Mogadishu on Sunday when nine Al Shabab Islamic extremists stormed Somalia’s main court complex, officials said, in a two-hour attack that shows the country’s most dangerous militant group may be down but not defeated.

A preliminary death toll stood at 16, including all nine attackers. The government didn’t immediately publicize the number of security forces, government employees, and civilians who died in the attack.

The assault was the most serious in Mogadishu since Al Shabab was forced out of the capital in August 2011. The group controls far less territory now than in recent years, and its influence appears to be on the decline, but Sunday’s attack proved the extremists are still capable of pulling off well-planned, audacious assaults.

Yes, government intelligence agencies are always capable of doing this type of false flag work.

The top UN official for Somalia, Augustine P. Mahiga, said he was shocked and outraged by the attack. Mahiga said the total number of dead wasn’t clear, but that reports indicated that ‘‘many innocent civilians were killed including women and at least one child.’’

The attack on the Supreme Court complex began around 12:30 p.m., sparking running battles with police and army forces. One car bomb detonated outside the court, and gunmen were seen on the roof of a court building firing shots....

The militants took an unknown number of hostages during the siege. Many other government workers and civilians in the court complex — a confusing labyrinth of buildings and rooms — hid while fearing for their lives.

Western officials knew militants had been planning a major violent incident. The British Foreign Office released a travel warning for Somalia on Friday that warned of a high threat of terrorism.

False flag confirmed. Must have been MI6 assets.

The complex and sustained nature of the assault on the court suggested the extremists hoped to inflict severe casualties. Later, a suicide car bomber rammed a vehicle carrying Turkish citizens, killing two.

On a Twitter feed believed to belong to the militants, Al Shabab appeared to take credit. A posting said five militants from the ‘‘Martyrdom Brigade’’ took part in the “attack....

Oh, the "terrorists" have a Twitter account? Pffft!


"$10m offered for arrest of 2 Americans in Somalia

WASHINGTON — The United States is offering $10 million for information leading to the arrest of two Americans in Somalia who are on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List.

The State Department said the rewards are $5 million each for Al Shabab members Omar Shafik Hammami and Jehad Mostafa. It said Hammami, 28, lived in Daphne, Ala., before moving to Somalia in 2006. He has served as a propagandist for the Qaeda-affiliated organization, attracting English-speaking youth with rap songs and video statements, and as a military commander. 

Another Adam Gadahn, 'er, Pearlman!

The department said Mostafa lived in San Diego before he moved to Somalia in 2005. He commands foreign fighters for Al Shabab, which has fought for control over Somalia. 

Translation: He's a CIA agent.


And how do we know he's an AmeriKan agent (other than the skin color)? He's a "mini-star on Twitter." Just another bad actor in my book.

So they killed the spy, huh?

"Somali government charges woman who says she was raped" by ABDI GULED  |  Associated Press, February 01, 2013

MOGADISHU, Somalia — The Somali government has charged a woman who has said she was raped by security forces, according to an international human rights group, which says the case is politically motivated.

Are you sure they weren't Islamists?

The group said a journalist who interviewed her was also charged.

Human Rights Watch said three other people including the woman’s husband were charged with assisting the alleged rape victim to evade investigators. The rights group said in a statement Wednesday that Somali government should drop the politically motivated charges.

The woman was charged in Mogadishu court Tuesday of insulting a government body, inducing false evidence, simulating a criminal offense, and making a false accusation while journalist Abdiaziz Abdinur has been charged with insulting a government body and inducing the woman to give false evidence.

This is the government backed by the West, right?

Rights groups say the arrests are linked to an increase in media attention due to reports of the high prevalence of rape and other sexual violence in Somalia, including attacks allegedly committed by security forces.

‘‘Bringing charges against a woman who alleges rape makes a mockery of the new Somali government’s priorities,’’ said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

Rape is rampant in Mogadishu, where tens of thousands of people who fled last year’s famine live in poorly protected camps. Government troops are often blamed.

Yes, the refugee camps rarely receive a mention.

Attempts to contact officials from the Somali government for comment were unsuccessful. Most government officials evaded calls and questions.


Related: Aborting This Somalia Post

Other pieces of tissue:

"Somali court gives jail sentences to rape victim, reporter" by Abdi Guled  |  Associated Press, February 06, 2013

MOGADISHU, Somalia — A Mogadishu court on Tuesday handed down one-year prison sentences to a woman who said she was raped by security forces and a reporter who interviewed her. The judges decided the woman falsely claimed she was raped and had insulted the government.

The judges based their decision on medical evidence that the woman was not raped, said the court’s top official, Ahmed Aden Farah. Farah said the woman’s prison term would be delayed so she could care for her young child.

I'm sure these guys would feel right at home in the Republican Party over here.

Rights groups have decried the case as politically motivated because the woman had accused security forces of the assault. Rape is reported to be rampant in Mogadishu, where thousands of people who fled last year’s famine live in poorly protected camps. Government troops are often blamed.

The charges and resulting sentences may result in even fewer victims of sexual assault coming forward to report attacks in conservative Somalia, rights groups fear.

Three others charged in the case, including the woman’s husband, were acquitted.


"Somalia admits soldiers’ roles in rapes" by Abdi Guled |  Associated Press, April 10, 2013

MOGADISHU, Somalia — After months of denial, Somalia’s government has for the first time acknowledged that its security forces were involved in rape cases that drew an international outcry by human rights groups.

Once again, we see that GOVERNMENTS INITIAL INCLINATION is to LIE!

Army commanders often denied accusations that soldiers were involved in a spate of rapes, blaming the crimes on the Islamic extremist rebels of al-Shabab who wore army uniforms to smear the reputation of the military.

‘‘Those few among the security forces who rape and rob our citizens must be fought and be defeated just like Shabab,’’ said President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, while speaking to military cadets at a training camp in Mogadishu on Monday.

‘‘Criminals who commit rape ought to be opposed just like [the Islamic extremist rebels of] Shabab,’’ said the president, in a statement.

He also affirmed that his government would ‘‘fight those who rape as he’d fight al-Shabab,’’ the Al-Qaeda-linked rebel group fighting his government and the African Union forces in Somalia.

I'm sure you ladies have heard it all before.

In March, Human Rights Watch, which is based in New Yor, accused Somalia’s security forces and armed groups of raping and beating Somalis who came to the capital fleeing famine and armed conflict. But Somalia has begun tribunals in which soldiers have been punished, and the number of rapes has declined since then, say residents.

‘‘The president’s commitment to tackle abuses, including rape, by security forces, is an important first step but needs to be followed by concrete action, including proper vetting of police and military,’’ said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch.


Also seeFemale genital mutilation down in Somalia


"Militants attack UN compound in Somalia" by Mohammed Ibrahim and Nicholas Kulish |  New York Times, June 20, 2013

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Militants staged a deadly assault on a UN compound here Wednesday, the latest in a series of attacks that have chipped away at the security gains the Somali capital has experienced in recent years.

Al Shabab, an Islamist militant group that once controlled much of the capital, claimed responsibility for the attack, which government officials said left at least 15 people dead, including seven attackers.

The attack began when Al Shabab militants blew up a pickup truck rigged with explosives outside the compound, witnesses said. Militants armed with rifles and wearing explosive vests then stormed the facility on foot. Somali and African Union troops responded to the scene. The ensuing firefight lasted more than an hour, punctuated by a series of blasts.

Somalia’s minister of interior and national security, Abdikarim Hussein Guled, told reporters that the dead included four foreigners, four Somalis working for the United Nations as security personnel, as well as the attackers. In a statement, Somalia’s prime minister, Abdi Farah Shirdon Saaid, condemned “the senseless and despicable attack on innocent UN civilians.”

Mogadishu has experienced a period of relative calm since African Union forces and the Somali Army pushed back Al Shabab, leading it to announce a hasty retreat from the city in 2011. The militant group vowed to shift tactics more toward guerrilla assaults, assassinations, and suicide bombings.

Militants “are now in complete control of the entire compound and the battle is still ongoing,” Al Shabab said on its Twitter feed during the attack. “Inside the compound are several clueless foreigners who were lulled into a false sense of security by a strong disinformation campaign!” Al Shabab, which has sworn allegiance to Al Qaeda, said that the group’s Martyrdom Brigade had carried out the attack....

Translation: Al Shabab is nothing more than a covert intelligence operation.

The attack came six months after the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, made a surprise visit to Mogadishu in December, promising to relocate the UN political office for Somalia from Nairobi, Kenya, where it was based for security reasons. The United Nations had been increasing the number of staff members before the attack....

The tactics used by the group were similar to those in a deadly attack on the Mogadishu court complex in April, which killed at least 30 people. In that attack, as in the one Wednesday, a suicide bombing was followed by an armed assault.

In February, a popular seafood restaurant at the city’s Lido Beach was bombed. A sports bar and the National Theater were attacked last year.

Related: Skipping the Somali Show

Security had improved in Mogadishu since Al Shabab was driven out that growing numbers of Somalis living abroad had returned to the capital to aid in reconstruction. Businesspeople have arrived in greater numbers, and Turkey and Britain reopened embassies.

The attack Wednesday raised the question of whether security gains were fleeting, given Al Shabab’s capacity for staging large-scale, complex strikes at well-defended targets....

Clan warlords overthrew the government in 1991, breaking the country into militia-controlled fiefs and sending it into decades of chaos....

Except for the 6-month period at the end of 2006 after the Somali people routed CIA-sponsored Somali warlords and before the U.S. ordered Ethiopia to occupy the place.