Somalia drought a conspiracy, rebels say

2011-07-30 12:00

Nairobi - For Somalia's al-Qaeda-linked rebels, the drought devastating parts of the country is being exploited by external enemies, claiming that local Muslims were adequately addressing the crisis.

The Al-Shabaab insurgents have expelled several foreign aid groups from regions under their control since 2009 and reiterated recently that the ban was still in force after the United Nations declared famine in two regions they rule.

Shabaab spokesperson Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage denied there was famine in the southern Somalia regions of Bakool and Lower Shabelle as declared by the UN, but admitted that there was drought.

In a speech to the rebel radio, Rage said local traders and other residents have been the main providers of help to the drought-hit population and that "God did not make them need an outside enemy or non-Muslims, the people in the country fed them very well".

"We need Muslim people to be aware that the external enemy especially non-Muslims have been thinking of a new strategy.

"The new strategy is to transport them abroad, especially in Christian countries like Ethiopia and Kenya, so that their faith can be destroyed and that they could be staff and soldiers for the Christians," Rage charged.

Thousands of Somalis have fled to neighbouring Ethiopia and Kenya to seek relief from the harsh drought that has affected some 12 million people across the Horn of Africa region.

Public pronouncements

Somalia is the worst hit country by the drought, with malnutrition rates in some regions reaching 50%, according to the UN, while nearly half of its 10 million people are in need of humanitarian aid.

The aid restriction by the hardline rebels, who control much of southern and central Somalia, has been singled out as having worsened the effects of the drought.

However, a handful of foreign aid groups were spared the ban and can operate in the militia-controlled regions but with limited scope.

"For the Shabaab it means that if the bulk of aid comes from Somali communities, foreign aid cannot be rejected," according to Support Programme (NSP), an organisation which advises aid groups on the Somalia operation.

But the NSP warned that the authority granted by the Shabaab to the few foreign aid groups can suddenly be reversed, so the UN and other relief organisations should be cautious about their public pronouncements.

Whether to accept or reject external help has also deepened traditional divisions between moderate and extremist Shebab elements, a Western observer told AFP.

Hardliners led by Shabaab chief Ahmed Abdi Godane reject any kind of foreign aid, while the moderates who have strong clan links are more open to outside help.

Internal dissention

After initially appealing in early July for help and pledging to allow aid in - even from non-Muslims - the Shebab later clarified that the previous ban on some foreign aid groups was still in place.

"It is possibly an illustration of internal dissension among the [Shabaab] leadership," the NSP said.

"The announcement of a famine and the massive media reporting over the subject further raised internal discontent and prompted a rapid response," it added.

Forced to pull out of the Shabaab-ruled regions in early 2010, the UN's World Food Programme has been distributing aid in Mogadishu and this week began airlifting supplies to feed malnourished children.

The UN children's fund Unicef and the International Red Cross have on their part distributed aid to insurgent areas recently.

Battered by a relentless civil war since 1991, the plight of Somalis has often been referred to as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

  • Al Chemist - 2011-07-30 12:13

    Conspiracy? Have they been attending lectures by Julius Malema?

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-07-30 12:19

      Malema has been attending THEIR lectures, apparently.

      World Traveler - 2011-07-30 14:14

      A good man does good things. A bad man does bad things. For a good man to do bad things it takes religion.

      za101 - 2011-07-31 00:35

      Please Malema, dont build your 16 million rand house..........give the money to Somalia

  • Marcell - 2011-07-30 12:19

    Leave them to look after themselves. Life is tough.

      Ryan Tunney - 2011-08-01 11:48

      Exactly, f**k 'em!!

  • crackerr - 2011-07-30 12:28

    Only atheists and non-believers should be allowed in positions of influence and power. The rest can exercis their beliefs as they like provided they afford every other creature - human and animal - freedom from their (the rest's) religious beliefs. In other words, on with your belief system but if you overstep you get f..cked up. Fair is fair. Bastards!!!

      Grayman - 2011-07-30 13:04

      Interesting view point crackerr. But what makes the atheist or non-believer a better leader or decision maker than anyone else? Another thought ... where do you draw the line with influence and power? Are you saying that a Muslim man may not have influence or power over his own children? Or maybe a Jewish man may not own a business because he will have power over his employees? What about a Christian man becoming a policeman where he will have influence over persuading a criminal to change his behaviour?

      Creeky - 2011-07-30 13:26

      Grayman... Athiests and non believers DON'T KILL for their beliefs! Where as Christians, Muslims, Hindu's etc..... Kill to FORCE their beliefs ONTO OTHER PEOPLE!!!!

      Frungy - 2011-07-30 13:35

      @Grayman - As far as I'm concerned religion is a private matter, and shouldn't EVER enter the workplace (except possibly to ask for permission to use your leave to attend to religious obligations). An Islamic policeman who believes that thieves should have their hands cut off, a Christian politician who believes that God gave him dominion over the whole earth so environmental pollution is okay, an Hindu who shrugs his shoulders at death because it's okay, they'll be reincarnated, or a teacher of any religion who thinks its okay to preach about their religion in class... these are all examples of how religion and work don't mix. At its heart religion is about a person's personal relationship with God, and it should stay that way, a personal and private matter for outside of working hours. Anyone who breaks that rule should be fired on the spot. Freedom of speech has limits, for example it doesn't extend to expressing your political views in the workplace, and it shouldn't extend to religious views in the workplace. Personally, any person who needs to say, "I'm Christian!", isn't a Christian, in the words of the bible, "By your good deeds will you be known". Anyone who needs to say it is a hypocrit.

      crackerr - 2011-07-30 13:51

      @Grayman I can tell you what makes them worse leaders and decision makers. And huge liars and deceivers. The article gives us one more example of it and what religion does to the human mind. It never stops. Rooting out religion is not possible and it is against freedom of etc etc. But we can at least start by protecting our freedoms by not permitting religionists to take part in influential and powerful positions. They can however be allowed as advisors but in only clearly defined areas and WITH NO PARTICIPATION IN IMPLEMENTATION. Include bigots like communists in the prohibition as well. The sooner humankind realises that there can be only one true and real belief system (more accurately perhaps to refer to it as a reality system) but that every current belief system could be wrong and only one of them could actually (at almost prohibitive odds) be true, the better. In the meanwhile many are being subjected to some or other religious rubbish.

      World Traveler - 2011-07-30 14:12

      @Grayman - The difference is that the atheist will give the women equal rights and equal influence over her children and that applies to all other people, whatever their religious beliefs.

      World Traveler - 2011-07-30 14:14

      A good man does good things. A bad man does bad things. For a good man to do bad things it takes religion.

      FutureProductions - 2011-07-30 22:13

      I am a Christian and I never would kill someone, not even to force my beliefs on people. Most Christian's I know would not kill someone. We believe in living our faith in Christ by his command to love our fellow human people. Christ Himself warned:"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord!' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the person who does what my Father in heaven wants." It is easy to say one is a Christian, but only them living according to the fruit of the Holy Spirit, is truly Christian. Jesus said: "THIS IS MY COMMANDMENT, THAT YOU LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU." How did He love us? He gave Himself on the Cross.

      Grayman - 2011-07-31 08:19

      @Creeky: No, atheists and non-belivers may not kill for their beliefs, but they do kill for other reasons. Mainly Power and Money.

      Grayman - 2011-07-31 08:25

      @crackerr: The trouble with us humans is that we are exactly that ... human. We are all fallable no matter what background, religion, creed, race - you name it. Sooner or later one or another of us is going to succumb to being bad. In an ideal world we would not have to have religion, we would not have to have government. We would all do what we are meant to do for the good of the whole community. You and I know that that is a pipe dream.

      Grayman - 2011-07-31 08:26

      @ World Traveler: There is another saying: In order for evil to survive, all it takes is for good men to do nothing.

  • Totman - 2011-07-30 13:04

    The only conspiracy is you guys who wants to control the only food and through that having control and extend your hold with all the things that goes with it. It think it is a fair system where people, with food in their tummy, can decide for themselves. Not be forced to join you because of empty tummies.

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-07-30 13:32

      Looks like we have another conspiracy theorist. If you're starving do you REALLY feel the need to be picky about where your food is comming from? "oh i am SOO hungry, but this bread came from Brazil, and i don't like them so i'll die instead. Oh well, but at least it was MY CHOICE"

      World Traveler - 2011-07-30 14:14

      A good man does good things. A bad man does bad things. For a good man to do bad things it takes religion.

  • umhlopo - 2011-07-30 13:16

    Let nature take its course,these people hate the west and everything it stands for,yet when the shyte hits the fan they know where to run for handouts.The middle east arab countrys are wealthy why dont they help their brothers

      Creeky - 2011-07-30 13:27

      Every single African is born with a BEGGING BOWL!!!!! South Africa is no different! Give 'em a finger... .and they TAKE THE WHOLE FUGGEN ARM!

  • Newsferret - 2011-07-30 13:23

    Why help the ungrateful bastards, let them save the situation without infidel help and money. Let us see how they will cope.

  • GSXA - 2011-07-30 13:52

    Interestimng to note that these so called leaders are willing to let their followers die because help is coming from someone outside their own circle. Leaders my arse.Leaders care for their people and come up with solutions. These self same leaders ensure that their ilk are fed first and could not care a hoot about anyone else. It is a widely known fact these idiots pocket the aid to ensure that they can keep their actions going against the same people who are providing this aid. I say let the suffer, yes innocent victims like children will also suffer, but our ANC government wants to continue punishing our children for the action of their parents and grandparents. There is no difference. Lets se Mal Enema come up with a peraler on this one.

  • Kunta-Kinte - 2011-07-30 14:00

    A little razor would not go astray in many commenters logical repertoire.

  • Kunta-Kinte - 2011-07-30 14:04

    "God did not make them need an outside enemy or non-Muslims, the people in the country fed them very well". Where are the psychiatrists who recognize that false beliefs which harm people held in the face of all evidence to the contrary are psychotic delusions especially when politicians hold these beliefs? Rhetorical question, of course, for shrinks are as mad as the politicos are in this one.

  • World Traveler - 2011-07-30 14:08

    What are muslim mainstream countries doing for their own people? Probably not much, as usual. The West must provide! Then take the flak for all and sundry!

      za101 - 2011-07-31 00:36

      The largest donors at the moment are from Arab countries

  • World Traveler - 2011-07-30 14:13

    A good man does good things. A bad man does bad things. For a good man to do bad things it takes religion.

  • World Traveler - 2011-07-30 14:16

    Have you ever seen those ancient Egyptian pictures of people with one hand out front and one hand out back? Sort of moon-walking? They are begging with both hands!! Ha! Ha!

  • Atoombom - 2011-07-30 14:25

    What I just don't get about Somalia, is hte fact that they have no water, no food, no nothing, BUT MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of babies! Breed they must, because the rest of the world will look after them. Eish!

      Jeffrey Jones - 2011-07-30 14:39

      Yeah, that's also puzzled me why the starving poor people all over the world never cease to produce so many babies that will worsen their position.

      MoJo - 2011-07-30 15:56

      If you guys don't know better, then begin to understand the conditions of Developed countries is different from the Developing and it all has to do with productivity. Developed countries are highly productive and efficient in all sectors of industry. In the developing world you require more farm hands, more miners, more for every sector of industry to really accomplish the same things a developed country requires. With machinery, electricity and comforts we in the Developed countries have gotten used, the Developing countries rely on reproduction for increased productivity. Also believe it or not their is more benefits in having more children because of the very high infant mortality rate, and high overall mortality rate for for every person ... there is more people being born then dying, but it isn't at an astronomical rate is you make it out to be. The developed countries all went through this transitional stage during the pre-industrial era, it shouldn't be a surprise requiring this explanation. Also Somalia doesn't have Millions and "Millions of babies", that is completely a mischaracterization of the country. Also the world doesn't look after Somalia, they left with the United States back in 1993 ... they only came back to patrol the ocean for pirates and bomb them with drones because of the Shabab group which they kindled the fire for through neglect. NGO's are be their very name non-governmental but even they are scarcely based inside Somalia.

      Atoombom - 2011-07-30 21:31

      My dear Mojo, you have no idea about Somalia. THey have NOTHING!. Pireates, yes, but that's it. Another black country ruined by their own greed for power and money. Their people die due to MALNUTRITION in heaps every day. The rest of the world feeds them every day. DO you think the Somalian government give a SHT about their people? The answer is no! They hate the white man there, but we must feed them, eish

  • Peter Baxter - 2011-07-30 15:20

    Well I guess it is up to the Islamic world to mobilse support now. Where are they?

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-07-30 20:29

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Oh man, islamic countries heling out each other in famine and drought situation. That just made my weekend.

  • mavuso77 - 2011-07-30 20:43 WFO history in somalia. Read it.....

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