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U.S., Western Governments Can Help Prevent 'Mass Starvation' In Somalia

With the State Department’s reassurance to aid groups on Tuesday that they “will not face prosecution if they are forced to pay bribes to al-Shabab or if militants divert some food supplies,” organizations still have “the problem of gaining access to famine victims and ensuring the safety of their personnel, a number of whom have been murdered by the militants,” a Washington Post editorial says. “But the crisis may be causing al-Shabab’s cohesion to break down; some commanders have been cutting deals with aid organizations to receive food supplies,” the editorial states.

“The only durable answer to Somalia’s famine is the establishment of a government that can control the entire country and that respects basic human rights. Sadly, there is little prospect of that. But the United States and other Western governments must do what they can to prevent mass starvation,” the editorial concludes (8/2).