UPDATES

UN Resumes Aid to Somalia as Terrorists Vanish

Aug 9, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

UN Resumes Aid to Somalia as Terrorists Vanish
Photo: Reuters

It is not often that “ignore the problem and hope it goes away” is a particularly effective strategy in international affairs. Amazingly, however, the international community seems to have successfully employed this tactic in Somalia to drive the terrorist group al-Shabab from the capital Moghadishu. Al-Shabab had held a large chunk of the city and had been fighting a small African Union force for control of the remainder; but after spending years in a bitter stalemate, they seem to have determined to just pack-up and leave. As reported by Reuters:

MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Thousands of Somali refugees, fleeing famine and years of violence, streamed into Mogadishu on Monday searching for food after Islamist rebels withdrew from the capital.

The al Qaeda-affiliated al Shabaab insurgents began pulling their fighters out of Mogadishu over the weekend, raising hopes that humanitarian groups would be able to step up aid deliveries after years of blockages by the militant group.

Locals told Reuters long lines of refugees were now heading to the battle-scarred city to escape the region’s worst drought in decades, and existing supplies were already running low.

… Al Shabaab withdrew four years into their battle to overthrow Somalia’s Western-backed government, an insurgency that has driven the chaotic country deeper into anarchy.

This is an encouraging development for many Somalis, given that – as this blog has been reporting – Al Shabab has been violently chasing away all foreign aid efforts. As reported by Al Jazeera, this development has allowed the UN to resume aid missions to the Somali capital.

The United Nations’ refugee agency has flown aid into the war-torn capital of Somalia for the first time in five years, as the country battles with a devastating famine.

The flight left from Dubai on Monday morning with 31 metric tons of emergency supplies and arrived in Mogadishu that afternoon, according to Andy Needham from the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

He said there would be another two aid flights to Mogadishu – one on Thursday and another next week.

“The reason why we are doing this emergency airlift today is that because of the unprecedented situation, the massive levels of displacement of people by drought and famine into Mogadishu,” Needham said from the tarmac of the airport in Mogadishu.

The incredible departure of al-Shabab from Moghadishu can be counted as a lucky win for an otherwise ineffectual international effort in Somalia – as well as for the city’s starving citizens. This will allow the famine relief recently pledged by the Australian Government to be far more effective and –  if the situation does not alter again –  will probably go a long way toward alleviating the suffering of the millions of starving Somalis.

Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Tags:

RELATED ARTICLES


Palestinian Red Crescent workers from Al-Najjar Hospital in the city of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, on January 10, 2024 (Image: Shutterstock)

Hamas’ impossible casualty figures

Mar 28, 2024 | Update
455daec3 C2a8 8752 C215 B7bd062c6bbc

After the Israel-Hamas ceasefire for hostages deal

Nov 29, 2023 | Update
Screenshot of Hamas bodycam footage as terrorists approach an Israeli vehicle during the terror organisation's October 7, 2023 attack in southern Israel, released by the IDF and GPO (Screenshot)

Horror on Video / International Law and the Hamas War

Oct 31, 2023 | Update
Sderot, Israel. 7th Oct, 2023. Bodies of dead Israelis lie on the ground following the attacks of Hamas (Image: Ilia Yefimovich/dpa/Alamy Live News)

Israel’s Sept. 11, only worse

Oct 11, 2023 | Update
Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu (r) gets his long-awaited face-to-face meeting with US President Joe Biden in New York (Photo: Avi Ohayon, Israeli Government Press Office)

Netanyahu meets Biden, other world leaders, in New York

Sep 27, 2023 | Update
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who gave an address on Aug. 28 threatening the US and laying out the Iranian-led axis's new "unity of the arenas" doctrine. (Photo: Shutterstock, mohammad kassir)

US-Iran prisoner swap deal set to go through

Sep 12, 2023 | Update

SIGN UP FOR AIJAC EMAILS

RECENT POSTS

Israeli military spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari displays to the media one of the Iranian ballistic missiles Israel intercepted on April 14, in Julis army base, southern Israel, April 16, 2024 (Image: AAP/Tsafrir Abayov)

Editorial: A new coalition against Iran

Dramatic scene in the skies over Israel in the early morning of April 14 (Image: X/Twitter)

Iran opens fire

“Despite Iran’s militant posturing, they are ultimately playing a weak hand”: General McKenzie (Image: X/Twitter)

Iran’s attack was a show of weakness

(Credit: Shutterstock)

Emboldened Iran is still seeking nuclear capacity

Ma60tyfA

Move to recognise Palestine comes at the worst possible time

Israeli military spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari displays to the media one of the Iranian ballistic missiles Israel intercepted on April 14, in Julis army base, southern Israel, April 16, 2024 (Image: AAP/Tsafrir Abayov)

Editorial: A new coalition against Iran

Dramatic scene in the skies over Israel in the early morning of April 14 (Image: X/Twitter)

Iran opens fire

“Despite Iran’s militant posturing, they are ultimately playing a weak hand”: General McKenzie (Image: X/Twitter)

Iran’s attack was a show of weakness

(Credit: Shutterstock)

Emboldened Iran is still seeking nuclear capacity

Ma60tyfA

Move to recognise Palestine comes at the worst possible time

SORT BY TOPICS