The drought in the Horn of Africa that began in 2009 is the worst in 60 years. But humanitarian aid from the UN, the USA and other countries has prevented mass starvation in the nations of that region, except one. In Somalia that drought soon turned into a famine of unprecedented proportions. To date almost 30,000 children under the age of 5 have died of starvation, according to U.S. estimates. The UN fears that at least 640,000 Somali children are acutely malnourished: a statistic that suggests the death toll of small children could rise to as many as 800,000! More than one million Somalis have fled to Ethiopia and Kenya, where makeshift refugee camps house hundreds of thousands.
One might expect that all Somali leaders and political parties would join forces to help their people survive this enormous tragedy; but one would be wrong. The Somali Muslim terrorists known as al-Shabaab have worked for the past two years to prevent any foreign aid from reaching their Muslim Somali co-religionists, even as tens of thousands of Somali Muslim children die of starvation and hundreds of thousands of starving Muslim families flee al-Shabaab’s reach to find food and water in nearby Kenya and Ethiopia.
Harakat ash-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (the “Organization of the Youth Jihad Fighters”), or al-Shabaab (“the lads” or “the youths” in Arabic) for short, is a group of Islamist terrorist jihadis fighting to overthrow the Muslim government of Somalia in order to replace it with a government committed to a more extreme form of Islam and to Shari’a law. The group now controls large swathes of southern Somalia. Its leaders claim that they are waging war against the “enemies of Islam” which includes the present Somali government.
Al-Shabaab is an offshoot of Hizbul Islam (“The Islamic Party”), formed to fight the Somali government of President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed. In December, 2010 Hizbul Islam merged with al-Shabaab to better implement jihad against President Ahmed and his government. Al-Shabaab has been designated a terrorist organization by several western governments. Al-Shabaab leaders formerly denied any connection with el-Qaeda, but early in 2010 they acknowledged that they worked with el-Qaeda forces in Pakistan and Yemen for training and deployment.
The U.N. and the USA blame al-Shabaab for the famine, because its terrorist forces, under el-Qaeda influence, have created the single greatest obstacle to humanitarian assistance in Somalia. Thanks to al-Shabaab, the rate of malnutrition in southern Somalia is the highest in the world, approaching half the population, according to CNN.
In addition to denying aid workers access to the regions where the drought and famine rage, al-Shabaab terrorists force local Somali Muslim humanitarian organizations to pay “taxes” (aka bribes) in order to be able to funnel food and other supplies to the devastated areas. They demand bribes from U.N. and from aid agency officials to allow them to work in areas under al-Shabaab control. In some cases, al-Shabaab terrorists have burned food stocks and medicine, and have kidnapped or killed charity workers, when bribes were not paid. These “taxes” can be as high as $10,000 for access to the areas al-Shabaab controls. Then there are the “registration fees” of another $10,000, and payments of $6,000 every six months, as well as 20 percent of the value of all food and other supplies and 10 percent on all vehicles, as a form of “import duties.” Their terrorism pays well; but their extorted wealth and their Islamic jihad agenda come at the expense of the lives of hundreds of thousands, and perhaps millions, of their own people.
A gut-wrenching and tragic example of this kind of Islamofascist tyranny is reported in a recent Newsweek magazine interview with a local Somali doctor. Dr. Hawa Abdi is an obstetrician and gynecologist running a clinic near Mogadishu since 1983. Today her medical compound holds 90,000 people, mostly women and children, all homeless refugees fleeing al-Shabaab and the famine.
Al-Shabaab’s predecessor, the terrorist group Hizbul Islam, invaded her hospital and camp in 2010 in order to shut her down and take over her property and the hospital, because she is a woman and “…women are not allowed to shoulder any responsibility and authority.” She refused even though they threatened to shoot her. They relented and she kept her medical compound and back-yard refugee camp running.
This year however, al-Shabaab leaders, now emboldened by their merger with Hizbul Islam, attacked her hospital and home and compound (refuge to 90,000 homeless starving Somali Muslims!) with artillery and automatic weapons, in retaliation for her having been candid in a BBC radio interview about the damage that al-Shabaab has done in Somalia. They targetted the maternity and surgical wards and the pediatric malnutrition center. Hundreds died and thousands more fled, despite their need for medical care, only to die in the Somali desert.
This vengeful cruelty becomes utterly unimaginable when one learns that some of these al-Shebaab attackers have their own wives and mothers living as refugees in Dr. Abdi’s compound.
Why does al-Shabaab wreck this horrific inhuman brutality against their own Muslim Somali people?
As al-Shabaab spokespersons explain it, alien non-Muslim groups cannot be permitted to enter Somalia because they might host spies, or worse, promote an un-Islamic way of life among the Somali Muslims. According to some al-Shabaab representatives, the U.N.’s declaration of famine in parts of Somalia is politically motivated and “pure propaganda;” and attacks on humanitarian workers and the restrictions against the UN and other groups bringing food to starving Somalis are merely self-defense against foreign non-Muslim influences that might corrupt the pure Islamic way of life for Somali Muslims.
Al-Shabaab leaders insist that there is no famine. The claims of famine are a hoax, they say, perpetrated by Christians who have an anti-Muslim strategy to transport Somali Muslims abroad, especially into Christian countries like Ethiopia and Kenya, “…so that their faith can be destroyed and they could be staff and soldiers for the Christians.” Meanwhile, 30,000 children have died, hundreds of thousands more are malnourished, half-a-million Somali adults are starving, and 1.5 million are homeless; but Somali Islam is kept pure and unsullied by kafir influences.
This is conspiracy theory gone ballistic, psychotic mass murder of these terrorists’ own people in order to advance their Muslim jihadist agenda. When the lives of hundreds of thousands of their own Muslim kin mean nothing compared to improving the chances of an al-Shabaab jihad victory in Somalia, we must acknowledge that we are dealing with psychopathic mass murder: Jihad uber Alles.
The good news is that Somali government forces have driven al-Shabaab from Somalia’s capitol city, Mogadishu, and have opened the port and roads for UN and USAID supplies and aid workers, at least in the capitol city. Moreover, al-Shabaab may have been weakened both by the government forces’ liberation of Mogadishu and by the blowback of discontent from millions of starving or near-starving Somalis who correctly see al-Shabaab as the cause of their plight.
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