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July 21st, 2011
08:01 PM ET

Somalia in Crisis

By Jane Ferguson and Moni Basu, CNN

Mogadishu, Somalia (CNN) - War forced tens of thousands of Somalis to flee their capital, Mogadishu. Famine is bringing them back.

Hungry and sick Somalis are trekking from their homes in famine-struck southern areas in search of food, water and medicine. More than 50,000, by a July 18 United Nations count, have arrived in Mogadishu, a city destroyed by two decades of conflict.

The United Nations refugee agency called it an "unprecedented influx" into a city that was notorious for exodus.

The people are arriving in a city where the sound of gunfire became as common as the start of a car engine; where tales of dismemberment and executions and other heinous deeds emanate from neighborhoods shut off from any form of governance.

What has caused the East Africa crisis?

It is exceedingly difficult to deliver aid in Mogadishu. Yet, people who have nothing left to lose hope to get lucky at feeding camps set up by Islamic charities and the United Nations' food agency.

World Food Programme Executive Director Josette Sheeran acknowledged the dire need to get food supplies into southern Somalia, where the al Qaeda-linked militant group Al-Shabaab recently lifted a ban on aid agencies.

The WFP will ratchet up its efforts and begin airlifting food within days to try and reach 2.2 million people in the south, Sheeran said.

In Mogadishu, the vast feeding camps are teeming with people, mostly women and children.

Jane Ferguson is just back from Mogadishu, where she got a first-hand look at the dismal conditions these desperate people are facing.

But hunger is certainly not the only problem Somalis are facing.  Ongoing fighting in and around the capital of Mogadishu has touched many families, making every day a fight just to survive.

In September 2010, Jane spent time reporting from Somalia.  She looked at the difficulties of staying safe in the city.

Jane also introduced us to the men who make up the front line in the fight against terrorism on the Horn of Africa, and explains why some of they continue to fight, despite the seemingly insurmountable challenges.  See that report .

Also in September, Jane visited a makeshift hospital in Mogadishu struggling amid the fighting.

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Filed under: Somalia • Uncategorized
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Simon Abadjian

    Responsibility is not a game ! But maybe a little competition will draw in talent.

    Has anyone floated the idea of corporate, or personal sponsorship of town by large corporations, or high net worth individuals.

    The program of assistance can be left to the company/person concerned. This will allow companies to control their projects and plats to their competitive/PR aspirations.

    A single organization can help all parties negotiate political acces.

    Simon Abadjian

    July 22, 2011 at 5:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Issam

      Ravi,The qteous would have got me to understand.I think your point about if one goes looking for it in the real world they'll not find it so romantic' is probably true. I've been on the streets at night when something goes down, it lacks the framing that organized sort of basement sports events provide. Secondly, a gun trumps fists and feet, so there is always a question if someone has one sort of advantage.Or political demos with the cops all around ready for a little sport. Takes the idea of duking it out into another place. That place is where you lose go to jail and deal with jail life. All of which seems to me gives the fantasy of basement fighting a bit of delusionary aspect.To speak to being in fight, I've been but there is always a question in my mind what will I do. I've mostly lost the fear of losing. I'll walk into a bunch of teenagers who are being provocative to give them a little frisson of threat. Or if a guy is beating a woman or trying to really intimidate a women or children then I'll intervene, step between them. I never know when I do it if I can stay there or not. But it never feels like I'm macho. It feels if I can use the moral framing thingy, the right thing to do at the time' sort of thing. But scares the bejabbers out of someone with me.Doyle

      February 26, 2012 at 6:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. Serah

    It is unfortunate when I watch the CNN reporting on the situation in Somlia as a UN and Islamic charities effort when in fact it is Kenya that has contributed the largest share. These camps are not based in the UN, they are in Kenya and supported by Kenya in more ways than just the intermittent arrival of the charities when things are at their worst. Listening to Mackenzie and Furguson one misses the generosity of the Kenyans that have given so much and continue to give. Its so sad to listen to your reporters and the slant. Disappointed Serah

    July 22, 2011 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
  3. Tina

    How to donate to the Somalia people in need?

    July 24, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. paulette sims

    Where do I send monies to help the somalia people

    August 11, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. ionut

    want to help the poor souls in Somalia guys ... do not forget that 1991-1993 has been an attempt to help this country ... and what they did? killed us soldiers, they bodies dragged through the streets and take shame ... do not forget this ...

    September 4, 2011 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Lutz

      The crreunt Dem/CNN talking point appears to be that the GOP should be asked a variety of questions. However, the point is that news organizations should disclose material affiliations. CNN has failed to do that in at least the last two debates.As for the candidates boycotting the debates, that's a bad idea. They should just let things happen: after enough embarassment the MSM might avoid being so blatant.As for the "conspiracy" question, I'm going to guess that was from another plant. However, those "conspiracies" are actually gleams in the eyes of some very powerful people and there are steps in place to construct something like the NAFTASuperhighway. I'd suggest much more research, starting with all the articles .

      February 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
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    December 2, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |