From Volume 38, Issue 24 of EIR Online, Published June 17, 2011
Africa News Digest

Horn of Africa Food Crisis Harbinger of Widespread Disaster

June 8 (EIRNS)—The Famine Early Warning Systems Network, part of USAID, yesterday singled out households in pastoral and marginal cropping areas of Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya for particular concern, and said that large-scale emergency assistance was urgently needed "to save lives and treat acute malnutrition" in the region.

The report blamed the crisis on two years of "significantly below average" rainfall, thus ignoring the root cause of the problem: the lack of infrastructural development in the region, where people eke out a subsistence level existence. The statement said that "This is the most severe food security emergency in the world today," and that more than 7 million people needed humanitarian assistance. The crops have failed and the food prices are very high. As a result, "poor households are unable to access the basic food supplies needed for survival."

This worsening food crisis in the Horn of Africa, characterized by USAID as the "world's worst food security crisis," is a harbinger of the food shortages and exorbitantly high food prices that will continue to devastate the former colonial sector throughout Africa, at an accelerating rate. This sector has been set up to be victims of this developing crisis, by the globalization policies of the British financial empire, which leave countries unprepared for the current collapse of the imperial monetary system.

In Kenya, the government has declared the results of the drought and the food crisis (shortages and high prices) a national disaster.

In another indication of how serious the crisis is, it is being reported that farmers in the area are selling their scrawny livestock—their biggest asset—at low prices, out of desperation.

NATO Continues Air Strikes in Libya; Russia, China Seek Political Solution

June 9 (EIRNS)—Over the June 7-8 period, the NATO military operation seeking to overthrow Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi, carried out the largest number of strikes since the campaign began 80 days ago. During this onslaught, with 40 or more attacks carried out against the city, NATO defense ministers met in Brussels to discuss their campaign, while Russia and China sought to work out a political solution.

On the day of the meeting, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO had conducted 10,000 air raids since March 31. At the meeting, pressure was put on those members of NATO who were not participating in the campaign, to join it. British Defence Secretary Dr. Liam Fox said that he "made the point that too many [allies] are doing too little." The British and French are taking the leading role in the attacks, with the Obama administration playing a strong role in logistical support such as fuel and midair refueling.

The NATO ministers said there would be no let-up in their war against the Libyan government "for as long as necessary," and that they would commit the "necessary means" to accomplish their goal which they avow is democracy. This raises the ultimate possibility of ground troops.

The June 7 escalation was carried out while a special envoy of Russian President Medvedev was visiting Libya. At the same time, Libyan Foreign Minister Abdul-Ati al-Obeidi was in Beijing for three days of talks. While both Russia and China have initiated contacts with the NATO-backed rebels, both want a political solution for Libya that will preserve a unified state, instead of the regime-change policy of the British financial empire, being implemented by the British, French, and U.S. governments.

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