More than 14 million people in East Africa, six million of whom are in Somalia, are in need of emergency assistance as the region they’re in faces a severe famine due to the death of most of the livestock amid an ongoing drought. Because of the drought, the water supplies are also very low, and millions of people are suffering from both hunger and thirst.
This situation is superficially the result of the climate patterns, which are becoming more and more aggravated due to climate change, causing very heavy damage in vulnerable parts of the Global South. The most recent La Niña season, which ended around two months ago and lasted over the winter of 2016-17, saw a lack of much needed rain in East Africa, resulting in countless animals dropping dead from thirst and their owners having to move to shelters and camps. It was during the La Niña season in 2011 that a quarter million Somali, Kenyan and Ethiopian people died in a terrible famine, an event that was also attributable to the lies of “humanitarian” organizations like Oxfam and the efforts of the U.S. government to block the entrance of food aid into the region in an effort to starve out al-Shabaab. The switch from La Niña to El Niño has not improved the situation yet, as the number of malnourished children is rising.
While climate patterns are the direct cause of the current disaster, Somalia being in its present position, one of extreme vulnerability to such famines, is the result of maldevelopment of the country through exploitation by Soviet social-imperialism and U.S. imperialism. The country has been thrown into numerous civil wars and is currently divided among various forces. The U.S. has conducted many drone strikes and bombings, and forces from the USAFRICOM as well as the U.S.-trained AMISOM missions have presence in the country. This has resulted in Somalia being widely considered a “failed state” and one of the poorest countries in the world. In circumstances such as these, any ecological or weather-related problems, even moderate ones, are bound to seriously affect the local population, such as the Bhola cyclone which killed hundreds of thousands of people in Bangladesh in 1970, or Hurricane Katrina which drowned much of New Orleans in 2005 and killed thousands.
It is possible that the current situation will evolve into a disaster of that scale. The United States enforcing sanctions against the country and planning to cut economic aid by one-third are also important to consider. Embargoes imposed by the United States against countries of the Global South are a deadly weapon that brings as much harm as bombardments, since they hinder trade and prevent these countries from being able to obtain the food and supplies they need. Sanctions on the DPRK and Cuba in particular have caused much suffering in those countries.
The death of one police officer in France should not distract anyone from the precarious situation in Somalia. Famines caused by imperialist superexploitation should always be remembered when judging imperialism as well as the much-decried famines in socialist countries. If the Black Book of Imperialism were a book, it would have many thousands of pages with new pages being added every day.