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Blinded By War June 16, 2009

Posted by surfair in World Affairs.
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“If there’s a United States of America, why can’t there be a United States of Africa?”

Slowly the wrongs are being righted in Africa. The continent has been through plenty of social struggle, but thanks to the efforts of organizations such as the inspiring African Union, the continent’s infighting is being fought.

The African Union (AU) is an intergovernmental agency consisting of 53 African states; a successor to a plethora of confederations organized since the 1960’s focused on African unity. They’ve spread their resources across a variety of issues plaguing the region from AIDS to the humanitarian crisis in  Zimbabwe. Most recently they’ve been caught by the international headlines for their peacekeeping efforts in Mogadishu, Somalia. Unfortunately the story is a grave one. 11641252-11641255-large

More like suicidal. With only 4,300 troops stationed in the city, the AU defend a dismal future against the bombarding Islamist rebel forces. Their stand is a heroic one at best and with the latest wave of rebel onslaught, their efforts have once again  grabbed the media’s attention.  France 24 provided a great inside look at life in the city with cameras following military convoysALeqM5jRc0QwFHTVRdip_0oo6hG6TAtdsA

However, AU’s violent defensive efforts should not overshadow their day-to-day philanthropic actions. Helping out the city’s poor with food and basic public health has been a great benefit to the Mogodish-ian-er-um-i-think-um-people. All these military and aid operations in Mogadishu are under the fingers of a puppeteer;  the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

This faction of the AU is devoted to peaceful assistance in the Somali area and their recognition is long overdue. Don’t forget, that this is just one of several conflicts this confederacy remains involved with currently. So we tip our hats to you, African Union. Maybe some day there will be a United States of Africa, until then let us all strive for peace.



1. Afflatus - July 22, 2009

Bad news out of Somalia:

Al-Shabaab, the main radical Islamist group opposing the Transitional Federal Government, are making inroads into Kenya.


2. Afflatus - June 21, 2009

I am very interested in Somalia, I liked the post man, and of course I’ve got a few comments…

There is reason to be optimistic about the situation in Somalia. Huge (initial) strides have been made politically. Ethiopia has withdrawn its troops leaving the main terrorist group, al-Shabaab, devoid of a foreign occupier to use as a rallying point for its recruitment. A popularly elected president, Sheik Sharif Ahmed, now resides in Mogadishu and attempts to govern. He is a former school teacher and a moderate Muslim leader.

The AU Special Envoy to Somalia said this is Somalia’s “big chance” to rid itself of the terrorism and violence that have wracked the country since 1991. http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2009-02/2009-02-18-voa42.cfm?CFID=179958039&CFTOKEN=46026663&jsessionid=88303df3b4eb66f020404a57381f4257235d

Currently, the government is underfunded and understaffed. It does not have enough security personnel to eliminate the extremists who are the armed-opposition groups. This fleeting optimism based on the recent political progress could vanish quickly if more funds and troops are not sent to bolster the political progress that has recently occurred. The AU has acknowledged the necessity of at least 3,000 more troops, but neighboring countries have been averse to an intervention that would be both precarious and costly.

Like your post explains, war is currently being waged day-in and day-out in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. Nicholas Kristof, acclaimed journalist for the New York Times, has called Somalia “the world’s greatest humanitarian disaster.” http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/26/opinion/26kristof.html?scp=1&sq=the%20endorsement%20from%20hell&st=cse.

The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, estimates that 1.5 million people in central and southern Somalia are urgently in need of food aid.

The UN, AU, the United States, and other developed countries must at least send food and water to the innocent refugees of this crisis. They should also send security forces or troops to bolster the government’s efforts to eradicate the extremists and pacify the country.

In fact, today, the NYT ran a small article reporting on the Somalian Parliament Speaker’s plea for more aid from the international community. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/21/world/africa/21somalia.html?_r=1

In the midst of recession, a health care battle, and whatever else, it is not okay to forget about Somalia – a country that has suffered from either war or dictatorship since it gained independence from its colonial invaders, Italy and Britain.

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