The many issues bedeviling the planet never seem to cease.
And I’m not even looking at climate change with the hottest-ever summer in the UK and elsewhere, the wettest season in Australia, the frightening hurricanes in the US or drought in the Sahel. I’m looking at a few hotspots such as Iran, Ethiopia or Somalia.
The EU’s Foreign Ministers met in Luxemburg after Iran had erupted, with death-defying street protests causing alarm.
New sanctions were decided intended to strike individuals and organisations responsible for the ruthless suppression of protests by security forces. The cause of what has been called a near-uprisings, was triggered by the enforced women’s head-covering and the subsequent death in custody of a 22-year old. The police have denied all accusations. However, deaths as the protests continued, has caused the head of state to talk about certain changes to be announced.
The US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany are negotiating with Iran to restore the 2015 nuclear deal to stop Iran constructing a nuclear bomb. Following the US unilateral drop-out in 2019, the talks went on hold. Recently the US said there was no chance of shortly reviving the agreement.
From Ethiopia came the news that famine was threatening the North, that is Tigray, due to the ongoing fighting. Negotiation for a ceasefire was to have begun at the start of the month, but has been postponed. With a million individuals now on the point of starvation, the chairmen of the African Union Moussa Faki Mahamat and the UN General Secretary António Gueterre have called for a ceasefire. While Tigray troops have responded that a cease-fire was welcome, the Ethiopian government had not yet replied. On Monday, October 24, the peace talks between the parties are expected to resume in South Africa. The Tigray rebel authorities have announced the arrival of their team, adding that a- ceasefire, humanitarian access and withdrawal of Eritrean forces were at issue.
The basic cause of this bloody conflict is the question, as to who would be in charge of Tigray: Addis Ababa or Tigray’s liberation movement TPLF.
Somalia is similarly afflicted, where the UN warned that 6.7 million, some 4% of the population will require food aid during the next months.
Thus a border town named Dolow in south-western Somalia has been helping many individuals over years. Funded by some Western governments, community workers have assisted people for years, supplying health care and more, not only in the town but also within the rural areas, where fighting continues. The militant islamists group al-Shabab controls numerous villages.
Following the fifth drought season, failed rainy season, the border town of Dolow is overwhelmed by new arrivals. Tens of thousand families are in search of help, after the death of their last cattle on their infertile dry land and have gathered in informal camps. The helpers are devastated, as their resources are insufficient to support every refugee in need. They declare that they are unable to help everyone. Hundreds of thousands are at risk. People were already dying.
Come to think of it, the last two are afflicted by both the effect of wars and by climate change! Whereby the wars don’t exactly bring in the much needed aid! In Ethiopia for instance aid is stopped by the ongoing conflict from reaching those in need.
The suffering inflicted on so many across the globe is happening, despite the urgency and public appeals. How can one sit down to three square meals, without a thought of millions, who are dying because they’re doing without any?
The World Food Programme in one of its appeals for donations, declared: Today, 690 million people around the world will go to bed on an empty stomach. Surely those of us, who are well fed, should learn how to share?!