Today: June 19, 2024

Human Rights Violations and Vulnerable Populations in the Horn of Africa

June 6, 2024

Dr. Suleiman Walhad
June 6th, 2024

The Horn of Africa States region, encompassing a vast territory and abundant resources, has the potential to achieve food self-sufficiency. With a land area of approximately 3.8 million square kilometers and an exclusive economic zone of 1 million square kilometers in the marine environment, the region possesses ample space for agricultural activities. Furthermore, the region is home to a youthful population of 216 million individuals, with over 70% of them under the age of thirty. This demographic advantage can be leveraged to enhance agricultural productivity and ensure sustainable food production. By focusing on the cultivation of native grains and other grain seeds, in addition to the utilization of the region’s extensive fishing resources, the Horn of Africa States region can secure its food requirements, just as it has done for countless centuries.

It is not the case, however, and thousands of the region’s population are at risk or on the move, and out of the region simply because the governing infrastructures are obstacles to peaceful life in the region and the five countries from Sudan to Somalia are all involved in wars with rebellious forces be they ethnic or religious. It is a sorry of a region, indeed.

While there are strenuous climatic situations in the region, it does not warrant an extreme hunger and/or a mass exodus as has been happening in the region for many years now to the extent that the populations of the region even risk their lives crossing deserts and seas to move to other destinations.

Unfortunately, many of those destinations are not as green as they appear to be either or as friends and family members who made it make them to be. Many are abused not only in the final destinations but also along the way as they adventure in the true wilderness they travel through, including the immigration processes they must go through.

Many Horn Africans simply return and find peace at home, whether they stayed away for four or five years or even longer periods and it is what those who are still back there and have not yet travelled should take notice. There is nothing better than home.

The Horn of Africa States region is not poor but the leadership of the region both ruling, and opposition make it to be. Either they do not know, or they may be working to the bidding of foreigners and others, who control them. It is unfortunate that the past leaders of the region did not have this kind of character where they sell their souls to the devils and destroy their peoples and countries just for a small amount of money to have a building made of glass in Nairobi or some other East African country. They have no clue that the people of East Africa are laughing at them at heart.

“Let them bring their money to us and employ our youth,” they say. The assets they collect in those foreign countries are the assets of those countries and cannot be removed. They can only sell them, and they will surely be sold at lower than cost in most cases when the going gets tough and this is not far.

The current dips and downs in the relationships is but an indicator of things to come when some other foreign president speaks on behalf of some Horn African countries with other more powerful nations. It is, indeed, a disaster on the way. But are there ears to hear and listen and eyes to see?

There are those who observe that the Horn of Africa States region have some of the highest fertility rates in the globe. There are many things going on in the region whose objectives are not clear. The anti-malaria armies of male mosquitoes released into the wilderness in some communities of the Horn of Africa States region, the sterilization programs through the vaccination processes are but some of the issues which the governments of the region should pay careful attention and scrutinize before exposure to the populations.

The continuing displacement of people from their normal abodes into camps scattered in the region with the purpose of collecting them in these camps and making them dependent on food aid and grants should not be allowed by the governments of the region if they have any interest in the wellbeing of their populations. All assistance should be channeled through the governments, which should redistribute in the destination regions equitably and not pocket them as some officialdom, definitely do currently.

The unnecessary migration is another issue which the populations of the region should themselves be fighting by persuading their youth to stay home. They should make public presentations to what happened to the thousands who appear to have perished in the deserts or in the camps of traffickers or in the seas and that life is always better at home.

It is time, perhaps, that governance was made redundant with people shunning governance and  avoiding being caught misappropriating national assets whether they are for the people or for the offices of the governments. Corruption and criminality is why governance has become a problem in the region and populations have become wild and uncontrollable. In the Horn of the Africa States region, there is this askance, “What would one expect from a family whose father figure has gone mad?”

Poverty in the region exists but it is mostly created by misgovernance and inability of people to tend to their normal chores of farming and animal husbandry, fishing and artisanal works. The region was not industrialist and was never as wealthy as other countries, but it was, indeed, able to feed itself for thousands of years. How come it is not able to feed itself these past forty years? And how come there are those so many NGOs which are distributing hard cash to people who never used money before? They have already caused the disruption of many families in the region, who are kept away from tending to their farms and animals, while waiting for uno pocco di dolari.

When we started the higher education in the region some three decades ago, many were questioning us as to the merit of starting universities and colleges in a country that had collapsed. But we insisted and the current population in many of those parts of the region are as educated as anyone else could be and they can manage themselves better should they put their minds to a project. But they are constantly disturbed by this call for greener pastures in countries that are looking for cheap labor and this affects the region.

It is where the governments of the region are required to lay down proper plans for retaining the people trained in their countries and reward them well for the work, they do to enable them to live properly in their countries. It can be done.

No doubt the region suffers from dramatic climate changes, droughts and flooding, diseases, sometimes new ones, and accompanying food insecurities. There is every year this ominous humanitarian disasters and 2024 is no different. The first page of any message on the Horn of Africa States carries a catastrophe brewing in the region. It has been the case the year before and the year before that, and the years before that, and they do not get tired of calling.

Unfortunately, the opportunity to educate the local communities on disaster management, agricultural practices, and alternative means of income generation was not seized. Consequently, the region continues to grapple with the same afflictions. These challenges encompass malnutrition, a multitude of diseases, forced relocations, and the establishment of cramped camps that gradually render the surrounding areas barren due to overcrowding, erratic climate shocks, and the detrimental consequences of El Nino. Consequently, the populations residing in the Horn of Africa States region remain perpetually exposed to various risks.











1 Comment

  1. One statement by the brother that hit my attention most is this:
    “Let them bring their money to us and employ our youth,”

    For many of us and various legitimate reasons it may be prohibitively difficult to return. But we can always make a useful return by making our assets available to those still inside the country to open businesses that create jobs for the desperately unemployed. Many of us have already done that by giving financial and know-how assistance in opening businesses and factories to relatives and others we know very well to have the entrepreneurial skills. Opening factories can be a tall order for most of us financially but we still can play a part in that role by lobbying companies to open factories there and also by putting together our resources among friends and open small factories of our own. Some of us have done that or at least tried to do that already for decades now.

    I am a big believer of industrialization and the spread of factories throughout the country because I had seen first hand what that did to other countries going back to the 1970’s. Industrialization have the means and power to create sizable middle class in a society. It ushers a new way of thinking for the citizens. It shapes up a new outlook makeup in the citizens psyche. They don’t need someone else to give them answers to what, why and how questions they may have. This is the middle class our commies have been bedeviling since 1960’s even before it began taking deep roots in that region. Middle class is a tough cookie for connivers. It knows how to single out a lonely cross eyed bee among a swarm of millions.

    The other windfall from major industrialization is its role in liberating the women currently in bondage. It has the wherewithal to create a vast middle class of women which will play a big role in bringing the runaway population to a screeching halt. I had seen it myself in other countries in Asia. Factories will bring vast numbers of women out of their homes into humming factories giving them ‘Now I got it!’ moment. That will give them the power to be part of decisive roles in the affairs at home. Until industrialization starts playing the major role in shaping up the society in every country in the Horn of Africa, the population will continue to explode beyond control creating a haplessly unemployed majority of young population that will avail itself to bigots and connivers to their destructive schemes. That is what we are witnessing now.

    Another conversation inducing piece by our very dear Horn of African. Keep writing brother!

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