By CBC Radio | The Current*,
To call the 2011 famine in Southern Somalia a humanitarian emergency, is an understatement. More than 258,000 (over a quarter of a million) people have died as a result of that crisis. At the time, the U.S. State Department banned world humanitarian organisations from sending food aid to all the areas that are under the control of al Shabaab — the Somali Islamist group.
In other words, direly needed food aid — even once it was in the country — was withheld for political and military reasons.
Journalist Alex Perry was there in Southern Somalia in 2011. He investigated the story behind the starvation… and it’s led him to some very troubling conclusions: The U.S. State Department commits war crimes in Somalia by restricting food aid on all regions of Southern Somalia that resulted to the death of a quarter of million people.
We did call the U.S. State Department hoping to get its response to these allegations. The reply it sent us is a Treasury Department document it released in August 2011, days after the U.S. government had relaxed its restrictions on organizations delivering food aid to Al-Shabaab areas.
As Alex Perry just pointed out, that lifting of the aid ban came during the height of the famine, when it was too late to stop it.
We’ve also reached out to the Somali government through its newly-opened embassy in the United States. We have not heard back.
– – – – – – –
ALSO READ : The UN and 250,000 Dead Somalis
– – – – – – –
In 2013, three US Congress members – two Republicans and one Democrat – introduced a bill that would prevent famines such as the one in Somalia from occurring again. It was called the Humanitarian Assistance Facilitation Act. It would have allowed for organizations such as Oxfam to bring humanitarian aid to people suffering in any area, including those held by terrorist groups. That bill did not pass.
His new book is “The Rift: A New Africa Breaks Free,” and he was in Guildford, England.
SHOCKING REVELATION – Audio
* Edited by TesfaNews