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article imageThe real reason why U.S. aid assists drought-stricken Somalia

By Nancy Houser     Oct 6, 2011 in Politics
According to the United Nations, over 11,000 million drought-stricken people are in desperate need of aid. Located in two regions of southern Somalia, southern Bakool and Lower Shabelle, approximately 3.7 million people are in starvation crisis.
With the famine reaching catastrophic levels, Action Against Hunger reports that the United Nations has declared Somalia in emergency mode, a classification “defined by mortality rates greater than two people per 10,000 per day across a specific region,” combined with deadly malnutrition at a rate of 30% for children under five---children are dying at a rate of six every minute.
By August 5, over 29,000 children under five had already died of famine in Somalia, while over two million children are now in danger of starvation in the entire Horn of Africa.
The International Community of the Red Cross (ICRC) has begun its food distribution, with the first dispersal aimed at providing rice, oil, and beans to cover the needs of 72,000 starvation victims for one month. The areas covered include Somalia’s main areas, plus regions controlled by the Islamist militants, according to RTT News-Global Financial Newswires. Several more distributions will take place between now and December,
"While food distributions are needed to relieve immediate suffering, the ICRC also aims over the medium term to give the population the means to sustain their own livelihoods," the Geneva-based group said.
"It is therefore providing seed and fertilizer for 240,000 farmers ahead of the planting season. Maize, sorghum, cowpea and sesame should be ready to be harvested by the beginning of 2012. This ongoing operation is being conducted by the ICRC with the support of volunteers from the Somali Red Crescent Society," it added.
With Somalia vulnerable due to civil conflict and regional drought, Western aid has been prevented from reaching the worst areas. PBS has reported that international aid workers were threated and killed by the Islamic rebel group, al-Shabab. To make matters worse, until recently U.S. antiterrorism restrictions made it a legal crime for an American charity organization to provide support to anything related to al-Shabab. Upon the urging of major aid groups, this has been somewhat eased by the U. S. government.
According to Steve Beckow, the Islamist armed anti-government group, al-Shabab, has a history of attempting to overthrow Somalia’s weakening Transitional Government, forcefully imposing Islamic law.
Najmo  an 8 year old Somali schoolgirl in the Hodan District in Mogadishu  Somalia.
Najmo, an 8 year old Somali schoolgirl in the Hodan District in Mogadishu, Somalia.
Wikipedia
Up until now, the problem has been limited humanitarian access because of the al-Shabab and Somalia authorities. In January of 2010, the World Food Program (WFP) left Somalia with 14 worker casualties, while the Black Agenda blog reported that the WFP could also be considered an Angel of Death. The WFP humanitarian program is the U.N.’s largest aid agency, known to have an ugly history in this famine-stricken country.
In Black Agenda, Thomas C. Mountain writes that, "Back in 2006 just as Somali farmers brought their grain harvest to market, the WFP began the distribution of its entire year’s grain aid for Somalia. With thousands of tons of free grain available Somali farmers found it almost impossible to sell their harvest and faced disaster." He added, “You could say the WFP helped put the nail in the coffin of Somali agriculture.”
NOTE: The U.S. government considers assistance to Somalia a humanitarian service. But the State Department and U.S. military officials consider themselves to be in a good position to pursue Somalia's potential underground oil reserves, according to corporate and scientific documents. This makes U.S. aid that much more important for an area that is has oil interests in, while working to pacify a stricken nation, according to presidential Republican candidate Ron Paul.
In an article by Mark Fineman in the Daily Paul, before civil war had begun in Somalia, four American petroleum giants ---Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillipa---had made agreements with two-thirds of Somalia “ to explore and exploit tens of millions of acres of the Somalia countryside,” which would produce significant amounts of oil and natural gas by the U.S. corporate oil stake
On an official level, the U.S. Administration and State Department under the Bush Administration, with Bush a former Texas oilman, has stated that any aid mission to Somalia is strictly humanitarian. The U.S. government considers assistance to Somalia a humanitarian service. However, the United States will receive huge awards if Somalian peace is restored.
The State Department and U.S. military officials consider themselves to be in a good position to quietly pursue Somalia's potential underground oil reserves, according to corporate and scientific documents. This makes U.S. aid as having a dual purpose; working to pacify a stricken nation and reducing starvation while reaping riches in the process, reports presidential Republican candidate Ron Paul.
In an article by Mark Fineman in the Daily Paul, before civil war had begun in Somalia, four American petroleum giants ---Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillipa---had made agreements with two-thirds of Somalia “ to explore and exploit tens of millions of acres of the Somalia countryside,” which would produce significant amounts of oil and natural gas for the U.S. corporate oil stake…if peace was restored.
In 2009, a U.S. special operations raid had succeeded in killing Saleh Ali Saleh Nebhan, a Kenyan national who has been wanted for a 2002 truck bombing at a Mombasa tourist hotel. Meanwhile, an interview by Kuwait Energy shows massive interest in the big oil, gas potential in Somalia.
On July 1, 2011, Steve Beckow wrote an article, “US Extends Drone Strikes to Somalia,” where on June 23 a U.S. drone aircraft fired on two senior members of al-Shabab, “marking the first time a US unmanned plane has been used for such an attack inside the country.” Al-Shabab is believed to have links with the al-Qaeda franchise, which has made it much stronger with its hold on Somali territory and over half of Mogadishu, the capital of Somali.
“They have become somewhat emboldened of late, and, as a result, we have become more focused on inhibiting their activities,” the US official told the Post. “They were planning operations outside of Somalia.”
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