Today’s Reading: Don’t forget Djibouti, HRW report on Somalia
As the drought and famine crisis in East Africa worsens, we’re learning some frustrating details about why aid isn’t getting into the hands of those who need it most.
Human Rights Watch released a chilling report on abuses on civilians by al-Shabaab, the Somali Transitional Government (TFG), the African Union forces, as well as Kenya- and Ethiopia-backed Somali militias. These violations continue to fuel the humanitarian catastrophe in Somalia, and violators represent both internationally-recognized authorities and oppositional groups. While blame has been placed on al-Shabaab, the international community has largely turned a blind eye to the TFG, African Union, and others. We believe that all human rights violators in Somalia — regardless of affiliation and status — must be placed under scrutiny and held accountable for their actions. In the end, regardless of who the perpetrator is, the experience of abuse is the same and the identity of the violator does nothing to ease the trauma of their horrific actions. Read more about the abuses, restrictions to humanitarian aid, and recommendations.
Djibouti has received little attention in the press, yet it is also one of the East African countries badly hit by the drought. The Guardian reports that this small country is experiencing four consecutive years of drought resulting in loss of livestock and skyrocketing food prices.
Finally, what are some of the causes of drought and why are some areas hit harder than others? And as Al Jazeera put aptly, “is the reason weather or war?” Watch this episode of Inside Story for some answers.