The Horn of Africa is reportedly experiencing its worst drought for decades. Earlier this month, Antonio Guterres, the head of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), visited a refugee camp in Kenya stating, “I have no doubt that in today’s world, Somalia corresponds to the worst humanitarian disaster I have ever seen in a refugee camp people coming in such desperate conditions.”
Islamic groups in Somalia have acknowledged the drought but have disputed western claims of its severity.
Somalia past and present
The Horn of Africa region has suffered from a tumultuous history. In 1884, Europe agreed on the invasion, occupation, colonisation and annexation of Africa. Britain, France and Italy all laid claims to various parts of the area now known as Somalia. For 40 years, Britain controlled northern Somalia because of its access to the Red Sea, and the Italians ruled southern Somalia whilst the French controlled neighbouring Djibouti.
Both British and Italian territories gained “independence” in 1960 and merged to form modern-day Somalia. Somalia’s sitting president was assassinated in a military coup in 1969; just 9 years after the Europeans left.
Muhammad Siad Barre became Somalia’s new president in 1969 and founded Barre’s Supreme Revolutionary Council as the sole political party in Somalia.
In 1991, Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted from power, and a power struggle ensued between clan warlords. America used this instability as an excuse to deploy approximately 30,000 troops in Somalia. The mission was a failure and it resulted in a humiliating withdrawal for the US.
Today Somalia has seen almost two decades of chaos and conflict. It had started to enjoy some stability in the second half of 2006 when the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) took control of Mogadishu and other parts of the south after defeating clan warlords. After years of lawlessness, the UIC worked to bring some law and order based on implementing aspects of the Shariah of Allah (swt). This was a step too far for America who ordered its proxy, Ethiopia, to brutally invade the country to remove the Supreme Islamic Courts Council (SICC), thus leading to over 1 million refugees who have now been displaced from the ensuing fighting.
Its politics, not economics
Whilst a famine caused by drought is a natural occurrence foreign interference has compounded the problems of the Horn of Africa. Although the West has been keen to intervene around the world spending trillions of dollars to wage war while killing thousands of civilian in the process, they have shown wilful neglect in the face of humanitarian disaster that can easily be eliminated at a fraction of the cost. It’s not the first time the world is seeing images of emaciated babies in Africa!
The US’s proxy war using Ethiopia against the Union of Islamic Courts UIC in fact worked to destabilise the region further laying the foundation for the current crisis.
The response of the Muslim governments has not fared any better: Qatar has brought $430m of artworks from US alone in past six years; extended an unlimited line of credit to US banks during the global financial crisis; all the while it has turned its back on the Ummah of Somalia in their time of need. As children perish due to malnutrition, the Muslim rulers have been too busy buying US banks.
A famine in the East Africa is an issue for all Muslims and the solution to such problems lies with the Government. Reunification of Muslim lands under the Islamic Khilafah Government ruled by the Shariah will end foreign interference once and for all and provide the resources to solve the problem of peoples basic needs which after all is the main reason why Governments exists. It is a failure of thinking that we have accepted the west’s call for charity to solve the problem of starvation when in fact it is the role of Government to address.