Statement by the Honourable Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, Minister of Foreign Affairs on the Occasion Of the Commemoration of the 83rd Birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Admiralty House, Cape Point, 21st April 2009
Apr 23, 2009, 10:54 AM
It is great and even timely that the African Union calls on the continent’s leaders to a summit meeting to pledge help for the victims of Somalia’s drought.
No doubt, the appalling situation in Somalia, key among them the perennial instability, lack of security and the countless loss of human lives as the drought and famine intensifies, needs urgent action to save millions of lives.
Reports revealed that 12 million are at risk of starvation, as the drought and famine intensifies across the Horn of Africa.
As we always say in these pages, Africans often tend to wait until the Eleventh Hour or even after an event before they started to respond.
The calling of the summit is undoubtedly a welcome move by the African Union.
Somalia has experienced almost two decades of severe instability, lack of security and countless human sacrifices. The blood of many women, children and the most vulnerable of the society has been repeatedly spilled in that country.
Like many other African countries, Somalia is not immune to the devastating effects of such unfortunate happenings.
Many African countries, for instance, are still suffering from conflicts, whether manifest or simmering. So, if the heads of state of the African Union countries have failed to pay more attention to the situation in some of these countries, it is only natural that things like this one would sooner or later lead to a catastrophe.
And who suffers? It is mostly the women and children.
It is for these reasons, and a host of others, that African leaders should heed the call by the AU, and take the summit seriously.
Our leaders should take urgent measures to save the lives of Somalis, especially women and children. They must act now, by taking the lead to rescue the people in Somalia, and other countries in the continent.
The current situation, therefore, offers heads of state of the African Union a unique opportunity to prove to the entire world that they have what it takes, to save not only Somalia, but other countries in a similar situation from imminent danger.
Rather than waiting, the search for a solution to the current situation facing Somalis must begin now in earnest.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”