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the international community must demand that neighboring countries open their
borders. All too often, the casualties of war are those that are unmentioned:
the innocent men, women and children, caught in the middle, left with no way out.
The “War on Terror” and Africa’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis
By Sadia Ali Aden
Approximately three months ago, Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG), pressured out Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi. Surprisingly, this political re-arrangement of deckchairs generated much noisy headlines.
Meanwhile the real story – the great unfolding humanitarian disaster – continued unnoticed.
For the Somali people, the Ethiopian invasion of December of 2006 could not have started at a worse time. Defeating the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) and propping up the TFG; this was Ethiopia’s immediate rationale for violating Somalia. The larger goal? Forging a partnership between Washington and Addis Ababa in order to execute “war on terror.”
A year later, this mission has not been accomplished. Instead, the “war on terror” has become the terror of war being visited on the Somali people.
Admittedly a handful of Somalis have benefited from the invasion, specifically the dozens of warlords previously driven out of Mogadishu by the UIC. These warlords, the instigators of Somalia’s current civil conflict, were reinstalled in their fiefdoms riding on the backs of Ethiopia’s invading tanks. As a result, the reviled check points and road blocks used to bully cash out of unarmed civilians were reintroduced in Southern Somalia, particularly Mogadishu.
To keep the invasion and Africa’s worst humanitarian catastrophe going, heavy and modern weapons, including airplanes were used. One was a U.S. Air Force AC-130 gunship that attacked and killed Somali villagers and countless livestock in the hunt for three foreign men suspected for the bombing of 1998 American embassies in Africa, who yet remain at large.
Among those caught in the chaos were visiting Somalis from the Diaspora. In the period between June and December 2006, Somali technocrats returned to their native country to partake in the rebuilding during the six month period of peace and stability that was established under the rule of the UIC. The Diaspora arrived with the intention to give back to the land and the people they left behind and contribute to rebuilding their lives.
Unfortunately, “extraordinary rendition” programs were the gratitude they received. The TFG, Kenya, Ethiopia and US are all implicated. Males as young as 12 were seized from their homes in the dead of the night, blindfolded and taken to unknown destinations.
Fleeing refugees met a similar fate. Unfortunately, these refugees had nowhere to escape, as Kenya decided to close its borders and deny them entry. This paved the way for the current nightmare scenario: one million internally displaced persons (IDPs,) mostly children and women, without any provision or protection from the UN or other humanitarian agencies or NGOs.
In order to create a safe haven for the displaced refugees, the international community must demand that neighboring countries open their borders. All too often, the casualties of war are those that are unmentioned: the innocent men, women and children, caught in the middle, left with no way out.
The UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, said border security measures should not impair the ability of deserving Somali civilians to enter Kenya to seek safety and protection as refugees. The neighboring nations have a humanitarian responsibility to safeguard these refugees.
On October 30, 2007, 40 international NGOs released a joint statement warning of the looming humanitarian catastrophe in Somalia, while Ethiopian forces and militias loyal to the Transitional Federal Government callously prevent delivery of life-saving aid.
Ethiopian forces continue their shelling of Mogadishu neighborhoods. According to Elman Human Rights group, 7000 civilians – mostly women, children, and elderly – were killed between January and November of 2007.
Human Rights Watch’s August 2007 report on Somalia, titled “Shell-Shocked: Civilians Under Siege in Mogadishu,” documented “many of the most serious patterns of abuse by Ethiopian troops, such as indiscriminate attacks on civilians, summary executions and repeated targeting of hospitals,” wrote the organization’s Washington Advocacy Director for Human Rights Watch, Tom Malinowski, in an open letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
However, the international media by and large remain morally selective in what they show to the world.
Somali caricaturist, Amin Amir (AminArts.com) depicts this moral selectivity on his December 12, 2007 cartoon. The powerful imagery shows a representative of the international media zooming his camera on a severely malnourished child standing in the middle of a killing field littered with bodies while Ethiopian jets fly overhead firing missiles. The child declares: “I don’t need your coverage; it is these atrocities”pointing to the dead”that you need to be telling the world.”
The current Somali nightmare was exacerbated by the systematic assassination of Somali independent media groups. And the silence of the international community on this matter is deeply disturbing and sadly deafening. This year alone, eight Somali journalists were killed for having simply dared report the reality on the streets of Mogadishu. The TFG and Ethiopian forces have created an environment of terror and coercion.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, one-quarter of the refugees around Afgooye are younger than age of five. Sick children and pregnant women often are turned away at checkpoints, and trucks carrying food and other humanitarian aid are routinely charged $500 each for passing through.
“Things are now getting absolutely worse,” said Christian Balslev-Olesen, the UNICEF representative for Somalia. “There is a dirtiness to this war. Children are a real target.”
This article originally appeared in WorldPress.org.
Source: Black Agenda Report
posted 4 December 2007
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#1 – Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark #2 – Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree #3 – Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane #4 – Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper #5 – Stackin’ Paper 2 Genesis’ Payback by Joy King #6 – Thug Lovin’ (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark #7 – When I Get Where I’m Going by Cheryl Robinson #8 – Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby #9 – The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane
#10 – Covenant: A Thriller by Brandon Massey
#11 – Diary Of A Street Diva by Ashley and JaQuavis
#12 – Don’t Ever Tell by Brandon Massey
#13 – For colored girls who have considered suicide by Ntozake Shange
#14 – For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree
#15 – Homemade Loves by J. California Cooper
#16 – The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper
#17 – Player Haters by Carl Weber
#18 – Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare
#19 – Stackin’ Paper by Joy King
#20 – Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey
#21 – The Upper Room by Mary Monroe
#22 Thug Matrimony by Wahida Clark
#23 – Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark
#24 – Married Men by Carl Weber
#25 – I Dreamt I Was in Heaven – The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter
#1 – Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable #2 – Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans #3 – Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane #4 – Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper #5 – Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant #6 – Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey #7 – The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight #8 – The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing #9 – The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson
#10 – John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History by Ahati N. N. Toure
#11 – Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley
#12 –The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
#13 – The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell
#14 – The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore
#15 – Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can’t Commit by RM Johnson
#16 – Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins
#17 – Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell
#18 – A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
#19 – John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard
#20 – Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris
#21 – Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice
#22 – 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino #23 – Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul by Tom Lagana #24 – 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields
#25 – Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class by Lisa B. Thompson
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By Russell Simmons
Russell Simmons knows firsthand that wealth is rooted in much more than the stock market. True wealth has more to do with what’s in your heart than what’s in your wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons became one of America’s shrewdest entrepreneurs, achieving a level of success that most investors only dream about. No matter how much material gain he accumulated, he never stopped lending a hand to those less fortunate. In Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare blend of spiritual savvy and street-smart wisdom to offer a new definition of wealth-and share timeless principles for developing an unshakable sense of self that can weather any financial storm. As Simmons says, “Happy can make you money, but money can’t make you happy.”
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By Michele Alexander
Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama’s political success and Oprah Winfrey’s financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today… than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don’t know the truth about mass incarcerationbut her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.Publishers Weekly
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Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis
Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as “the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field ‘cut their teeth’.”
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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update 20 December 2011
Related files: U.S.-Ethiopian Occupation of Somalia