Sunday, April 5, 2009

Somalia needs U.S. intervetion

The current deplorable situation in Somalia calls for the urgent involvement of the United States, her friends, and allies. The cycle of violence in Somalia has aggravated so much that the entire Horn of Africa is in danger of experiencing profound proliferation of small arms trafficking, destruction of the ecosystems, piracy, and collective dumping of noxious wastes along the coastline and on land. Terrorism which is a global concern has found a foothold in the Horn of Africa unabated. The emergence of hard-line extremist groups in central and south Somalia has further put a cap on the quest for peace and stability. Somalia is undergoing tremendous humanitarian disaster of a wide scale and an environmental degradation beyond ecological imagination and comprehension.

The waters off the coasts of Somalia have been depleted of fish because of overfishing by foreign fishing trawlers dragging massive internationally prohibited fishing nets. The coasts of Somalia remain impassable and restricted to maritime trade due to threat from uncompromising pirates whose source of income is dependent upon the hijacking of sea-going vessels traversing the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. Reports of dead fish washing ashore is theorized to have been caused by the dumping of hazardous wastes by people working in cahoots with international crime syndicates.

Despite the Kenya Government refuting Somali refugees claims of extortion and deportation at the border, the rate of human suffering as reported by Human Rights Watch is startling. Refugees fleeing the civil war in Somalia have reported torture at the hands of Kenya's corrupt and undisciplined border security. The refusal by the Kenya Government to document Somali refugees in camps has hampered the efforts of humanitarian relief agencies leading to many undocumented refugees succumb to starvation, disease, and death.

The current global financial meltdown has had adverse effects on the entire Horn of Africa region. Prolonged drought has equally affected livestock and humans with the most vulnerable being women, children, and the elderly. Livestock, the mainstay of the economy has tragically diminished due to the wide-ranging environmental degradations caused in part by humans and natural phenomena. Charcoal burning in Somalia's southern provinces has culminated in the destruction of large swathes of agricultural lands most notably in the fertile Juba valley.

Thus, it is time the U.S., her friends, and allies stepped in to reverse these negative human miscalculations. The U.S. should play a leading role by ensuring Somalia gets a stable government before the entire region falls in to irreparable instability that could drag on for many decades to come. It is a moral obligation for nations to assist each other in times of peace and war.

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