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Somalia

The Leonard Lopate Show

Underreported: Intervention in Somalia

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Recently Kenyan forces invaded Somalia in a bid to fight the militant group Al-Shaabab. The United States has also been heavily involved in the country in recent years— allegedly establishing CIA bases, carrying out drone strikes, and providing funding for militants. The Nation’s Jeremy Scahill looks at the political situation in Somalia and the history of recent interventions in the war-torn and famine wracked country.

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The Takeaway

UN Asks Member Nations to Make Piracy a Crime

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The United Nations Security Council is urging all member nations to make piracy a crime. There have been a record 352 pirate attacks in 2011 alone, up 22 percent from last year. Pirates from Somalia, a hotbed of piracy, have been responsible for 199 attacks, 58 percent more than in 2010. Jon Manel of the BBC reports on the story of the personal impact of pirate attacks. South Africans Bruno Pelizzari and Debbie Calitz were captured a year ago as their boat travelled between Madagascar and Mozambique. They are still being held, and their family members are attempting to pay their ransom.

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The Takeaway

US Seeks to Cut Foreign Aid As Horn of Africa Starves

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Four million people are starving in Somalia, as the Horn of Africa continues to be ravaged by a combination of low rainfall, political instability, and high food prices. Roughly 750,000 of them are expected to perish if they do not get help soon. All together, there are  13 million people suffering from hunger in the Horn of Africa. The UN says it needs an additional $700 million to get food to them. This news comes as lawmakers in the U.S. are discussing slashing foreign aid from the State Department's budget.

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The Takeaway

Musician K'Naan Returns to Somalia After Twenty Years

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Musician and poet K'Naan recently returned to his native Somalia, which is in the grip of a devastating famine and violent civil war. His last memories of the country were twenty years ago, when he fled with other members of his family for safety in Canada.

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The Takeaway

750,000 Could Perish in Somali Famine

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

East Africa's worst drought in 60 years is only getting worse. The United Nations declared famine earlier this week in a new part of southern Somalia, and warned that as many as 750,000 people could die as the drought goes on. Twelve million people across the region are in need of food aid. The BBC's Will Ross just returned from a trip to the Somali border and Dadaab Somali refugee camp in northern Kenya. He reports from Nairobi.

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The Takeaway

Gauging US Military Involvement in Somalia

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The crisis in Somalia continues, with drought and famine plaguing the country and millions of refugees fighting for survival. The U.S. has approved $565 million in humanitarian aid so far this year. But our involvement in Somalia is does not stop there. According to an article in The New York Times yesterday, the U.S. has quietly been stepping up clandestine operations inside Somalia, training Somali intelligence operatives, interrogating suspects, and sending $45 million in arms to African soldiers and private security companies, to fight against the Shabaab, an al-Qaida aligned militant group.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Famine and Piracy in Somalia

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Jay Bahadur, journalist and author of The Pirates of Somalia: Inside their Hidden World, discusses the famine, drought, and piracy crises in Somalia.

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The Takeaway

Amid Famine, Somali Government Regains Control of Capital

Monday, August 08, 2011

In Somalia, there are renewed hopes that victims of the country's famine may at last receive much needed aid. Over the weekend African peacekeepers forced Somalia's al-Shabab Islamist rebels out of the capital, Mogadishu. The rebels have blocked several international relief groups from bringing food to Somalia. Jeffrey Gettleman, The New York Times' East Africa bureau chief, reports on the latest from Nairobi.

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The Takeaway

From Positive Change to Extremist Force: The History of al-Shabab in Somalia

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

One of the biggest obstacles to providing aid to those affected by the drought and famine crisis in Somalia has been the militant group al-Shabab, which controls large parts of southern Somalia. The al-Qaida-linked group is refusing to allow many Western aid organizations into the country, and at the same time is blocking people who attempt to flee. As a result, the lives of 500,000 children are at risk as they suffer from malnutrition. Al-Shabab is viewed as a dangerous and extremist force in Somalia today, but that was not always the case.

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The Takeaway

Somalia Famine Made Worse by Militants Blocking Aid

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The five countries of the Horn of Africa are experiencing the worst declared drought in 60 years. What was a serious problem with the weather has become a humanitarian crisis in Somalia where over 60 percent of the country is controlled by militias who have been hampering the access of aid groups. 

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The Takeaway

Twenty Years Later, Somalia's Grave State Continues

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

John Hockenberry went to Somalia in 1992. Hunger, armed Islamists, and drought were taking a heavy toll on the country — just like they are now. In his latest video, Hockenberry talks about the experience, and how news of famine and difficult challenges to delivery of aid in recent weeks sounds far too familiar in a country still desperate for help, and plagued by those who undermine it. 

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The Takeaway

Delivering Aid to Famine Victims Proves Difficult in Somalia

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Horn of Africa's worst drought in more than 60 years continues to wreak havoc as millions of people are affected by the resulting famine. Somalia has been the worst hit so far but delivering aid to the region has proved difficult since large parts of southern Somalia are controlled by the Islamic militant group al-Shabaab. Kenya, Eritrea and Ethiopia are also struggling with the humanitarian crisis. 

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The Takeaway

Famine and Somalia: The Challenges of Providing Aid in a Failed State

Friday, July 22, 2011

Millions of Somalis are mired in a deep humanitarian crisis that is now driving thousands of refugees over the border to Kenya daily. Famine is devastating the country, and the process of seeking outside aid is complicated by by an ineffective government, interference by the al-Qaida linked group al-Shabaab, and internal strife. Regardless, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for international aid agencies to bring food and supplies.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Underreported, Part I: Drought in the Horn of Africa

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Horn of Africa is facing its worst drought in 60 years. Already, 10 million people are in urgent need of food in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya and yesterday the United Nations declared its first famine in 27 years for parts of Somalia. On today’s first Underreported, Nora Love, the International Rescue Committee’s deputy director of programs, discusses the situation across the region.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Underreported, Part II: Concerns about Terrorism Delay US Aid to Somalia

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More than 2.5 million Somalis are now in desperate need of food, but it wasn’t until late Wednesday that the State Department announced that it would send food aid to the country. The reason? Concerns that sending food aid would be aiding al-Shabab, which controls parts of southern Somalia and which the United States views as a terrorist organization. On today’s Underreported, Eliza Griswold, Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation and author of The Tenth Parallel, describes why the State Department was concerned that al-Shabab would use the food as a weapon and the challenges of providing food aid to areas where aid workers were banned until quite recently.

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The Takeaway

Famine Declared in Southern Somalia but Terrorists May Block Aid

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The United Nations has declared parts of southern Somalia to be in a state of famine, as the country struggles to cope with a drought that has affected more than 10 million people in the Horn of Africa. But international aid efforts may be complicated because of the Islamic terrorist organization Al-Shabaab, which controls sections of southern Somalia and has in the past restricted access to the region.

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The Takeaway

Somali Americans Face Setbacks in Sending Aide to Drought Victims

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The drought in the Horn of Africa has sent tens of thousands of Somalians to refugee camps in search of necessary resources. In Minneapolis, a large community of Somali-Americans are doing their best to send aid overseas. But their efforts are fraught with difficulty because of the dangerous climate in Somalia, where Islamist militants aligned with al-Qaida have control.

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The Takeaway

Without Rain, Africa Faces Its Worst Drought in 60 Years

Friday, July 08, 2011

Twelve million people need food aid after rains failed for the second consecutive year across the Horn of Africa region, which encompasses Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Eritrea. Somalia has already been battling famine for two decades. The World Food Program says that more than 110,000 people are in camps in Southeastern Ethiopia, with more than 1,600 are arriving every day, showing signs of severe malnutrition.

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The Takeaway

Somali-Americans Struggle, Living in Two Worlds

Thursday, December 02, 2010

The arrest of 19-year-old Mohamed Osman Mohamud, in connection with a failed plot to detonate a car bomb in Portland, Oregon, has brought attention to the nation’s growing Somali community. Even before Mohamud's arrest, young Somalis have often become the focus of negative media attention — often linked to gang violence, stories of radicalization and drug or sex trafficking.

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The Takeaway

Fighting Continues in Mogadishu

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Six more people are dead in the third straight day of fighting in Somalia's capital Mogadishu. At least 80 people have been killed since Monday. The fighting follows an attack by al-Shabab militants on a hotel in Mogadishu yesterday which killed several Somali lawmakers and other guests.

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