Sunday, June 5, 2011

Somalia: A Million Refugees Face Slow, UN Managed Starvation



KPFA Weekend News, June 4, 2011:

KPFA Weekend News Anchor Cameron Jones:  In Somalia, the UN has increased funding for African Union troops fighting to defend the interim government in the Somalian capitol of Mogadishu.  At the same time the UN High Commissioner for Refugees' office announced an over two-thirds cut in food aid to one million Somali refugees, due to a so-called "funding shortfall," which aid workers say leaves the refugees facing slow death by starvation.  KPFA's Ann Garrison has more.


KPFA/Ann Garrison:  Thomas Mountain describes himself as "the only independent reporter in the Horn of Africa."  In his latest dispatch, published on Counterpunch and AfrobeatRadio.net, he says that the UN has decided that they will provide 30% of the daily minimum food requirement to the million Somali refugees largely created by the so-called War on Terror. At the same time the UN is funding the increase of Ugandan troops in Somalia by the thousands, along with dozens of additional tanks, heavy artillery, and helicopter gun ships, to support the interim Somali government backed by the UN Security Council.

Speaking from Eritrea, Mountain described Somalia as a case of military aggression followed by humanitarian intervention and managed catastrophe:

Thomas Mountain:   The UN is perfectly willing to stand by and allow these people to slowly starve to death.  Somalia's the best example of the evils of humanitarian intervention, where they can intervene and then control hundreds of thousands of refugees created by the United Nations.  And the United Nations can sit back and oversee these people being starved to death.  And it's not only in Somalia.  It's also taking place in Ethiopia.


KPFA:  New York City-based Black Star News Editor Milton Allimadi continues to be a longstanding critic of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's agreement to Ugandan proxy troops in Somalia defending a government backed by the U.S. and the Security Council:


Milton Allimadi:  Uganda is basically acting as a police force on behalf of the United States, in Somalia. The United States would like to base U.S. troops if it could, but that's completely untenable, given the history and the experience of the Black Hawk disaster in Somalia.  The U.S. is not going to introduce U.S. personnel in Somalia, but, if it can find an African country to act as its proxy, then it will do that, and Uganda happens to be playing that role right now.

KPFA:  Thomas Mountain says that Somalia is of huge geostrategic importance, with 40% of the world's maritime traffic, and much of its oil, passing by its shores, but that most of the world is indifferent to the plight of Somalians consequent to intervention organized by the UN Security Council.

For Pacifica, KPFA, and AfrobeatRadio, I'm Ann Garrison.

(To hear the radio archive, go to http://www.anngarrison.com/node/201.)

(Here's Thomas Mountain's report, UN Cuts Food, Expands War in Somalia, on AfrobeatRadio.net.)


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