Horn of Africa: ‘Predictable Crisis’, Unprepared Media, Curtailment of Information Flow

Patrick Mugo Mugo
September 01, 2011


In times of disasters like drought and famine, a majority of the people holds that the flow of humanitarian aid is more important than the flow of information. But in reality, the flow of information from the victims, in the direction of those seeking to intervene is the most important issue, if those intervening, truly want to help the victims. Patrick Mugo Mugo examines the impact of intervention, putting an emphasis on the flow of relief aid has had on the victims and their ability to be self-reliant once again.


We are at it again. The media and humanitarian agencies will tell you. Africa needs humanitarian help, precisely the Horn of Africa to fend-off the ravages of drought and famine that is threatening the lives of 10-12 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and of them all, Somalia, the hardest hit. Yes we are in 2011, but if you monitor the media coverage and listen to intervening humanitarian agencies right across the Horn of Africa, it’s like listening to remix music.

This sort of ‘remix music’ has triggered Prof. Makau Mutua[1], of State University of New York to seek some answers; Which one of us isn’t utterly ashamed — to their core — by media images of starving Somalis and Kenyans? How — in this day and age — can people die of hunger? How? Death from starvation is the most degrading failure of any country. That’s why we must demand accountability and say — never again! Not my words, but Makau Mutua’s.

This story is not knew, and if you think it’s new, then words like ‘never again’ or the many question going around as to why a permanent solution hasn’t been found wouldn’t be with us at this moment in time. If anything, the recurring nature of drought or famine across the Horn of Africa has brought forth one assumption in the minds of many. In view of Dr Anne Roberts, Associate Professor at University for Peace, a distorted perception of what is ailing the Horn of Africa and why a permanent solution to drought and famines hasn’t been found like others places in the world. In Britain, India and China there used to be drought and famine, but the twin evils are history.

Missing in this case is what Keen (2008, pp. 162-163) calls a rounded understanding of the complexity of conflict (or disasters in this case) that would go along way to informing intervention strategies that will not harm, but same time minimizing the possibilities of fuelling over-simplification definition of the enemy (or causes) and underlying issues. Others like Aly Khan Satchu[2], a financial analyst, argue that ill-conceived interventions to all sorts of profiteering to racketeering that have become the hallmark of many interventions have either put-off many, with good intentions to help apart from creating fatigue among others. End result being – a lopsided media coverage of the crisis to curtailed information flow, creating problems of their own; limited understanding of the underlying factors that have conspired at making the Horn of Africa present predicament a ‘common occurrence’.

Drought and Famine: The ‘Necessaries Evils’

When it comes to drought or famine across the Horn of Africa, the pattern of reaction by media and humanitarian agencies has over time revealed a certain degree of convergence of interest. War, disasters and drought do attract the attention of the media and humanitarian agencies than any other issue. De Waal (1997) argues that journalist and NGOs have a kind of mutual dependence that prioritizes last-minute assistance at the expense of political solutions.

In other words, the convergence of interest of the media on one side, and humanitarian agencies on the other, all working for ‘good intentions’ when it comes to the story of the 4D’s and Africa. Simply put; if not Destruction, it’s about Diseases, if neither of the two, then it about Drought, our present predicament. If you have been keenly listening to the two institutions, media and humanitarian agencies now deeply entangled with the crisis at hand, they have arrived at a conclusion that if nothing is done within the shortest time possible, then the end result is one – Death. Assumptions arrived at based on knowledge from previous reactions and responses to similar crisis in the recent past. Quite a chilling conclusion that has shaken many to level of taking action or to demanding action, and on one can be blamed. Unless you want to argue against UNICEF findings; that the interplay of the ‘4Ds, is claiming a child every 6 minutes in the hardest hit areas of Somalia, and more so US government[3] reports that 29,000 Somalia children have been claimed by the 4D’s in the last 90-days, and counting.

In media context, the 4D’s are opportunities that generates interest due to their abilities to attract more audiences, that often translates to increased rating and market share which we all know tends to informs the decisions of the advertisers – end results being financial gains. Those who say there not profit motivated, cannot argue otherwise when it comes to need for a larger share of the audience market. According to Dr. Victoria Fontan, Head of Peace and Conflict Studies and a journalist who has covered several disasters, media is a business that aims to sell and make profit and thus every story must have returns, yet disasters are difficult field for media to prepare for or understand. When it comes to hidden ‘narratives’ Jonathan Benthall (1993) observes that media coverage of disaster, the story might itself be ready even before even journalist start writing or filming; on certain fables or templates that all stories have to conform to for the sake of the target audience. While not condemning the media and its engagements with disasters, Keen notes that when it comes to coverage of disasters, television can be a problem due to its tendency to provide ‘snapshots’ of the situation rather than sense of the underlying processes due to its attention with emphasis on updates rather than understanding (2008).

On the other side, when it comes to humanitarian agencies, war, disasters and drought crisis are their survival bloodline. It’s through them that they thrive and it’s during moment of crisis that humanitarian agencies relevance is at all time high. In view of Dr. Victoria Fontan, this is where the relations between humanitarian agencies and western nations gets blurred, as it through them that western nations reinforces its superiority and moral force on other nations that look up to the relief agencies for help. Fontan further notes that it’s through same avenues and opportunities that relief agencies showcase themselves and in the process make money as did the American Red Cross during the Katrina disaster in America and Catholic Relief Agencies did in Kenya during the 1990’s drought in Kenya. Fast forward to 2011, in this time of cash-strapped global world, there no single humanitarian agencies that would not seek ways of addressing its balance sheet for present and future operations, as another disaster might take a long time to come along.

This is what one can call a ‘necessary evil’ that joins the media and humanitarian agencies for a common cause; all feeding from the same crisis with the victims acting as ‘movie stars’. There those who argue this symbiotic relationship is vital when it comes to saving lives and no one can dispute that. The critics of this symbiotic relationship will tell you that this convergence of interest has complicated the search for a long lasting solution to some of the endemic crisis of our time.

Media and Stereotyping of the Somali People amidst a Simmering Crisis

Of the simmering crisis across the Horn of Africa at present time, the most complex is the plight of the Somali people. Two decades of protracted conflict, prevailing drought and famine, not forgetting being forgotten by the international community, have given birth to famine. The UN’s humanitarian agencies[4] say famine has now spread to five regions within Somalia, an additional four regions as the international humanitarian responses gathers pace. According to the United Nations, 3.7 million Somali’s survival hangs in the balance with those found with the al-Shabaab controlled regions being at higher risk. 750,000 others are now refuges and counting with more than half a million on them in Kenya, with rest either in Ethiopia or as ‘internally displaced’ in Somaliland.

When it comes to Somalia famine crisis its worth to listen to Keen (2008, p. 149) when he argues that among those who are victims of conflict, flow of information is sometimes seen as more important that the more commonly discussed flows of grain. At the moment, all debates about how to fend-off Somalia crisis are about the flow of humanitarian relief into Somalia, with little attention being directed at the flow of information from the victims, about how best to respond to the crisis. In view of Allen and Seaton, the arbitary and superficial qulaities by the international media coverage of disasters does in most cases raise the issue of what kind of voice affected population can hope to have (1999).

Misfortunes of Somalia are countless, as there is also a recurring ‘myth’ if you pay attention to Keen when he talks about the heroic journalist. Journalist who like turning themselves into the story by portraying parts of the world as irredeemably dangerous for anyone to dare go there or for audiences to demand more from such a heroic journalist than what the journalist has reported. Phillip Knightly (1989) says ‘I was there’ coverage is kind of reporting where the journalist or a media desires to be seen to be at heart of the action than in understanding it causes. No wonder, most of those journalists who have been to Somalia, (precisely Mogadishu as few have ever ventured beyond that) are any different than fellow journalists who have not been at epicenter of Somalia’s ‘calamity’ and ‘despair’.

By breaking down available facts about Somalia, one does understand that the famine ravaging the Lower Shabelle region of southern region of Somalia, now under Al-Shabaab control, is at the epicenter of what one can call Somalia’s food basket. Prior to Lower Shabelle present predicament, it used to be a net food export to Europe and Arabic world. But over the last three years, all that power of the population, now victims of famine, has been disseminated due to, protracted conflict, al-Shabaab tactics that have scared away farmers, professionals, and business people. Even the transitional Somalia government that could have protected Lower Shabelle people is endemically corrupt apart from its inability to extend its authority beyond capital Mogadishu.

It’s not that Somali’s are dependent by nature, to the contrary, there among the most enterprises and innovative people in the world when it comes to surviving. If you doubt that, then what explains their ability to survive a 20-yrs protracted conflict, being forgotten to being neglected by the rest of the world even by humanitarian agencies? According to Keen (2008, p. 150), international governments and multilateral institutions may add their own layer of distortion and muffling. Keen adds; the idea that rebels grievances are not worth listening to is not a very helpful starting point. Keen does not stop there; he reminds one that if we are to believe the ‘war on terror’ is a bad thing. We may be psychologically predisposed to dismiss or explain away any ‘good news’: Like Libya decision to scrap plans for weapons of mass destruction (2008, p. 150).

Its worth noting that all the various parties to the Somalia conflict have a claim that is worth listening or paying attention to, despite the contrasting and sometimes ‘barbaric’ acts, that some groups have taken in expressing their grievances. It’s from making sense out of such and employing reasonable creativity that a permanent and all-inclusive solution to Somali’s present predicament will be arrived at. There cannot be many ways, and if there are, interventions that excluded some like the one by African Union forces will only compound the Somalia equation. Keen opines that images by nature may help in raising awareness of a crisis, but at same time may tend to confirm every stereotype about a people of their predicament. A process he notes can be as depressing as it is disempowering (2008, p. 150).

When it comes to breakaway region of Somaliland, less is known about hers ‘success story’, thanks to curtailed flow information. If anything, the based media and humanitarian agencies have deliberately refused to talk about Somaliland and facts that it’s hosting a substantial number of ‘internally displaced’ Somali’s famine victims. The region, which is a breakaway territory from the war ravaged Somalia, is a ‘beckon’ of hope and stability for rest of Somalia, due to its functioning centralised authority coupled with a homegrown democratic systems that has witnessed a change of government through the power of the ballot box rather than the power of the gun. Only Al-Jazeera has again and again given Somaliland ‘positive’ developments and the justice she deserve. But as we all know, Aljazeera ability to influence western discourses when it comes to Somaliland is highly curtailed, its only after it got it right during the Egyptian recent revolution that some western governments acknowledged that Aljazeera has for a time being to something good.

But when you listen to Dr. Victoria Fontan, Head of Department of Peace and Conflict Studies (University for Peace) about her interaction with the Somaliland political leadership (November, 2009), one does gain credible insights. During her engagement with the Speaker of the Somaliland, the Speaker was emphatic and did not miss his words; “that the day United Nation will set foot on Somaliland, that will be the day the prevailing peace and stability in Somaliland will be lost”. In their perceptions, the Somaliland people holds that the UN and her agencies are more of a problem that a solution. This begs the question – why has the ‘doctor’ come to symbolise source of pain and aguish to an ‘ex-patient’?

Why? Your guess is as good as mine. But if we borrow ideas from Keen when it comes to shaping debate, he says human beings have a strong tendency to make new information conform to existing views – by dismissing this information as inaccurate, by explaining it away, or by otherwise accommodating it within an existing belief system (2008, p. 150). In other words, an assumption based on available information from the media and humanitarian agencies that Somali’s will not in the near distance future be under or respect centralised authority, neither be receptive to any international intervention, even that of humanitarian agencies. Anyone who has ever attempted to reason differently or contradict above assumptions, is always reminded that when United States with her military might, intervened in Somalia in 1992-1994 through Operation Restore Hope; – it had to pull out due to local population hostilities and ‘savagery acts’ on US Marines. Rarely does this debate factor in the United States misunderstanding of local dynamics and reasons that had compelled Somali’s to resist then President Siad Barre’s autocratic centralised authority and what it brought to their well-being.

William Bowles of Global Research[5] argues that the realities behind the ‘natural disaster’ in Somalia are different than the Western media portrayal of events and advices one to go back in time, prior to 1991 when IMF transformed Somalia into a ‘failed state’. In effort to understand Bowels, then one has also to listen to Michel Chossudovsky[6] who says according to documents obtained by the Times, nearly two-thirds of Somalia was allocated to the American oil giants Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips in the final years before Somalia’s pro-U-S President Siad Barre was overthrown and the nation plunged into chaos since 1991. In view of the two, far beneath the surface of the tragic drama of Somalia famine, four major U.S oil companies are quietly sitting on a prospective fortune in exclusive concessions to explore for oil.

Going back to the media interactions with the Somalia famine, Bowles says between 5 July – 3 August, the BBC had ran 30 stories on the famine, “but without exception not a single story recounts the history of Somalia or the role the West in creating the conditions that have led to the unfolding disaster”. Bowles, in effort not to be dismissed like many others have been in time, he reminds all, that prior to 1970’s, Somalia’s pastoral economy accounted for 50% of the population livelihood with its commercial output contributing 80% of export earning until 1983, and that despite recurrent droughts, Somalia remain virtually self-sufficient in food until 1970s.

The missing link when it comes to media reports and humanitarian agencies now controlling the discourses when it comes to Somalia according to Bowels is simple. “The IMF-World Bank intervention in the early 1980s had a disastrous effect. The economic reforms undermined the fragile exchange relationship between the “nomadic economy” and the “sedentary economy” – i.e. between pastoralists and small farmers characterized by money transactions as well as traditional barter. A very tight austerity program was imposed on the government largely to release the funds required to service Somalia’s debt with the Paris Club. In fact, a large share of the external debt was held by the Washington-based financial institutions.” — (ibid). Bowels conclusion are clear, that far from a ‘natural disaster’ events in Somalia can be traced directly to Western intervention, an intervention carried out in at least one hundred indebted economies the world over in the name of ‘structural adjustment.

In view of Keen (2008, p. 155), even when policy makers fail to achieve stated goals, he says its quite possible that they were achieving other, unstated goals, just as a disaster does not necessarily imply a local policy failure (that is, it might be a policy success). Thus the apparent failure of an external intervention, according to Keen does not necessarily mean that all those contributing to the intervention have failed in their most important goals. Even entrenching the notion of superiority can also be a success, even when an intervention is failing. Dr. Victorian Fontan of University for Peace argues that both the media and humanitarian agencies have to large degree created a perception that African crisis can only be solved or mitigated through international intervention, due to the entrenched belief of superiority when it comes to Africa and Western world . She says, should that fail or not be forthcoming, then such a crisis will fester on, thereby the perception that Africa must always look West at time of a crisis or disasters. According to Keen (2008, p. 164), and not reading from Victoria script, argues that the story of the west as a savior has often been highlighted to the exclusion of other crucial processes.

If it’s difficult for one to track some of these countries that Bowels is talking about, and then take the current map of drought or famine stricken nations across Horn of Africa and your list will be done. All the media stations that are now engaged with the Somalia famine debate, Western, Arabic or African, none has gone back in history in an effort to inform this ongoing debate. If anything, their stories are about how Washington-based financial institutions have stepped forward to help Somali’s at their hour of need yet there all culpable like the Al-Shabaab and the corrupt transitional Somalia government.

Media and Humanitarian Agencies and Ethiopia’s Drought and Famine

In the case of Ethiopia, one can argue that the Western nations have turned blind eye to the atrocities that continue to be committed by the Ethiopian government against its people which include siphoning all public avenues of expression and right to choose the Government they want. When it comes to Ethiopia, economic management is weak and major political groups are systematically excluded from political processes (Worcester, 2008). In view of Keen (2008, p.149) when people are unable to articualte their grivances, there vulnerable to exploitation withiout redress due to inability to seeek redress from their goverments. While Advocating for a free press, Keen argues that the silencing effect of violence is often compounded by international system (including the international humanitarian systems), which can add a further layer of muffling and censorship to the voices of the victims of disasters.

Other extreme tendencies of the Addis Ababa government include discrimination when it comes to distribution of relief aid. In a joint undercover investigation BBC Newsnight[7] and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism they uncovered that the Ethiopian government was using billions of dollars of development aid as a tool for political oppression. In the story, the team came across whole communities in southern region of Ethiopia starving after being allegedly being denied food, seed and fertilizer for failing to support Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Aid in question is this story is the long-term development aid and is not part of the emergency aid provided in response to the current drought that is threatening 4.56 million Ethiopians. BBC did hit at Britain, the third largest donor to Ethiopia for turning a blind eye to the atrocities by Addis Ababa government. Despite the broadcasting of the story, no single western government commented on the matter. Why? Information emerging at the time of the worst disaster may represent the collision of set of fictions like deliberate falsehood and confusion put by abusive local governments with another sets of distortions propagated by international media (Keen, 2008, pp. 149-150).

Even the BBC service that had the story did not bother to hold the British government to account for its continued support of the Ethiopia regime neither the humanitarian agencies like the WFP, Save the Children Fund and others that continue to work closely with Ethiopian government closely without raising a finger about its human rights record. In his book Anatomy of Disaster Relief, Randolph Kent notes that accepting substantial resources from government donors may compromise an NGO’s independence. Moreover, Robinson (1991) suggest that with the rise in government funding of British NGOs in the 1980’s, NGOs became more muted in their criticism of the British government’s aid arm, not forgetting that Britain’s Charity laws impose restrictions on political activity by NGOs.

Lest cross the boarder to Somalia. WFP says it withdrew from al-Shabab-controlled areas in 2010 because of attacks its staff and the imposition of unacceptable operating conditions, including the imposition of informal taxes. The same WFP is the only organization with muscle to tame the famine in Somalia, if we are all to agree that there is no other option. But BBC reports[8] (BBC World News-Africa Harding, July, 2011) will tell you that because WFP is heavily dependent on US funding – and tied up to beltway politics then WFP ability to maneuver is highly constrained. BBC says WFP great weakness is its leadership operating tactics of megaphone diplomacy that cannot win anyone any friends anywhere leave alone Somalia.

In this case, one can accuse the media of being involved in positive or good propaganda. Good propaganda tend tends to involve slogans that nobody is going to oppose and that will not encourage people to think (Chomsky, 2002). In other words, media’s talking about the negative aspect of a regime or a grouping when it’s absolutely necessary so as not to be accused of bias, but at same time not giving such reporting the prominence or follow-up it deserves so as not to antagonize the regime or groups being focused on.

In reality, media are not homogenous as is sometimes suggested by the use of the term. Thus the media cannot themselves make decisions and, while they are persistently manipulated, there is no big, underlying meta-conspiracy. The media, like war, have to be de-mythologized if we are to understand them. As in reality, media do not exist outside the political and social world they describe, although sometimes they seem remote from ht they report (Allen & Seaton, 1999).

In my previous article on this same issue (Mugo, August, 2011), I argued that the mere mention of Ethiopia being ravaged by drought or famine has over time since the guilty conscious that media implanted in us way back in 1984 does sends a chilling message into our analytical mind[9], with sentiments like: ‘not again’, ‘not again’ Ethiopia being evoked. Words that media, mostly the western based tends to evoke when it comes Ethiopia. Media has over the last three decades interacted with Ethiopia’s food insecurity with a lot of refrain if not caution when it comes to holding Ethiopian government and relief agencies into account since the worst food crisis in African history, the great famine of the 1988-1992, which killed one third of the Ethiopia’s population and also afflicted suffering in Somalia, Sudan and Tanzania (Shikwati, 2005).

Keen (2008) argues that slogan like ‘Never again’ seductive and apparently unobjectionable that wider society tends not to argue with, yet it would be reasonable for people to ask what other similar cases have happened since then. Keen says that when we proclaim ‘never again’, the blindness and complacency that come along is mixed with our fine sentiments and good intentions. In other words, our abilities to depend on our analytical mind is not only curtailed, but also redirected at focusing at present crisis but not the underlying factors. In short, one is highly susceptible at taking things or information on face value.

The Question Marginalisation and Dispossession in Kenya

In Kenya today there close to 3 million people in need of relief food, while the government has categorically stated that it does not need external help to fend-off the drought ravaging large parts of the country. It’s with the same mouth that the Kenyan government has admitted some challenges when it comes to delivering the food it has in the stores to where it’s needed most. Don’t mind that Kenya has one of the best organized militaries in the region and if had been mobilized in time, then Kenya would not be where she is today. The military and other disciplined forces could have been mobilized in time to fend-off an ‘internal enemy’ that is common knowledge was gathering pace to strike. But Kenyan military, like other African militaries, in terms of foundation and thinking is meant for external aggression, not for fending off ‘internal enemies’ like drought and other disasters, yet drought has now become a common visitors in Kenya, as the military lay in wait for the imaginary external enemy.

On of the most interesting thing that the present drought crisis has brought to the surface in Kenya is public awakening against international intervention, and instead gone for home grown intervention. Through this process, dubbed ‘Kenyans for Kenya’ the local media was very critical at raising the public emotions first, then whipping the same public towards raising funds so as meet the transport cost for food to the areas of needs from government warehouse. Yes, it was a noble idea, but it does not erase the fact that, Kenyan government had failed in its cardinal duty which the same media was stopping short off challenging the government about.

Even with that there those Kenyans who have found it wise to ask questions that would not be music in the ears of those in Power. Prof Makau Mutua queries; why are Kenyans starving at this point in time? Why don’t we (Kenyans) not, for example, capture rain water and use it for irrigation? It rains in northern Kenya — sometimes in terrible floods. Instead, Makau observes, all the waters washes out to the ocean through rivers – it washes out to the Indian Ocean. Prof Makau apportions to the blame to what he calls failure to imagine as such gallons water could have been used irrigation.

The Kenyan story of drought does not end there, the implications are already clear. By early August according to Kenya’s Livestock Development permanent secretary Kenneth Lusaka[10], prevailing drought had decimated livestock worth more than Ksh 64.2bln ( $710 million). Let’s flip the argument. The Kenya government says it needs Ksh 30 billion ($ 330 million) to fend-off the raging drought. In short, Kenya has already incurred loses way beyond than she investing in fending off drought. This begs the question – why should victims of drought in Kenya be called poor people and in need of help. If one is to add the figures, you would see that, from the onset Kenya economy is the minus of $1 billion, loses that could have been prevented. If the Kenyan media and local humanitarian agencies, in view of David Keen paid attention at the flow of information about the whole crisis more so from the victims themselves, they would have realized that the flow of the ‘grains’ or relief food is not as important as the flowing information (2008).

Conclusion: Taming the ‘Necessaries Evils’

In view of Foucault (1981) and Clay and Schaffer (1984), humanitarian aid and flows of information, when it comes to local or international NGOs are often seen as transmitting needs and information ‘upward’ from needy people and transmitting resources ‘downwards’ through what Keen says are conceptualised separate and comprementary channels. But in reality, says Keen, the channels have no firm barrier between them; in particular, thus the flow of resources ‘downwards’ tends to contaminate and disrupt the flow of information ‘upwards’. What would work better in this sought of circumstances is bringing intreventions and media coverage inline with the evolving needs of the victims.

In reality, this has not been the case and Keen does remind one that the success of an aid organisation (and individuals within it) may depend on presenting an image of success, perhaps bringing the portrayal of a crisis into line with the favoured response or massaging the way that the response is portrayed (Keen, 2008, pp. 156-157). In the coming days, if the media does not to learn that it’s necessarily to investigate; who has the ability to shape the information environment of the victims so as influence what courses of action people perceive as rational. Who is able to shape the interpretations that are put on the past? Who has the ability to manipulate the emotions of others? (Keen, 2008).

As we are at it again and everything is sounding like remix music. The familiar story I talked about at the beginning of the 4Ds and the Horn of Africa, then Keen’s (2008) views might after all be vindicated; it as if we usually observe the tip of the iceberg (with aid flowing into disaster ‘zone’), whilst beneath the surface are other, more substantial resources flows (including long-term aid and arms flowing to abusive governments and natural resources flowing out of a disaster zone. Nothing explains the ongoing media and humanitarian agencies interaction with Horn of Africa than this.

Yet we all know that drought or famine have been tamed elsewhere from Britain, India and China. That all the Arabic nations are found within a desert, yet victims of hunger are alien to such societies. Then, the media and humanitarian agencies owe us one answer: how can this keep happening to the Horn of Africa?

 


Bibliographies

Allen, T., & Seaton, J. (1999). The Media of Conflict: War Reporting and Representation of Ethnic Violence. New York : Biddles Ltd, Guuildford, King’s Lynn.

Benthall, J. (1993). Disasters, Relief and the Media. London: I.B Tauris Books.

Chomsky, N. (2002). Media Control: The Spetacular Achivements of Propoganda . New York: Seven Stories Press.

Clay, E., and Schaffer, B. (1984). Room for Manoeuvre: An Explanation of Public Policy in Agriculture and Rural Develoment . In E. Clay, & B. Schaffer, Introduction: Room for Manoeuvre: THe Premise of Public Policy. London: Heinemann Educational Books .

de-Waal, A. (1997). Famine Crimes: Politics and Disaster Relief Industry in Africa. Oxford: James Currey .

Foucault, M. (1981). ‘Questions of Methods: An Interview with Michel Foucault’,. In M. Foucault, Ideology and Consciousness, 8, (pp. 3-14). London: International Library Publishing Compan.

Keen, D. (2008). Complex Emergencies: Information. In D. Keen, Complex Emergencies (pp. 149 – 170). Cambridge CB2 1 UR, UK: Polity Press.

Knightly, P. (1989). The First Casualty: From the Crimea to the Falklands: The War Correspondent as hero, propagandist and Myth Maker. London: Pan books.

Mugo, M. P. (August, 2011). Horn of Africa Hunger Crisis: Why the Politics of Applying Bandages Hasn’t Stopped the Bleeding. Upeace Peace & Conflict Monitor , 2.

Robinson, M. (1991). An Uncertain Partnership: The Overseas Developmnet Administration and the Voluntary Sector in the 1980′s. In A. Bose, & P. Burnell, Britain’s Overseas Aid since 1979: Between Idealism and Self-Interest. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Shikwati, J. (2005). Why is African Systems Backfiring? African Executive.

Notes

[1] Mutua, M. (August, 2011). Why Hunger is Political rather than Climatic Problem. Sunday Nation , 1

[2] Inside Story-AL-Jazeera English, (2011, July 11). Africa’s Drought: Is weather or War to Blame? Doha, Qatar

[3] Nor & Straziuso (August, 2011). 29,000 Somali Children Under 5 Dead In Famine: U.S. Official. Huffingtonpost , 1

[4] CBC News, C. (August, 2011). Famine spreads in southern Somalia: East Africa drought leaves millions in need of assistance. CBC News .

[5] Bowles, W. (Augsut, 2011). Media Disinformation and the Causes of the Somali Famine. Gloabal Research , 3.

[6] Chossudovsky, M. (July, 2011). Somalia: The Real Causes of Famine. Global Research .

[7] BBC Newsnight, (August, 2011). Ethiopia ‘Unsing Aid as Weapon of Oppression. Newsnight-BBC .

[8] Harding, A. (July, 2011). ‘Top 10 Cuplrits’ of Horn of Africa Fasmine. BBC Wolrd News-Africa .

[9] Analytical Mind: Portion of the mind which perceives and retains experience data to compose and resolve problems and direct the organism along the dynamics (tenacity to life, vigor & persistence in survival). It thinks in differences and similarities. {Sources: Derived from Dianettics: The Modern Science of Mental Health by L. Ron Hubbard, (2002, p.62)}

[10] Sigei, J. (August, 2011). Drought Wipes out Herd worth Ksh 64 billion. Daily Nation , 1-2.


Patrick Mugo Mugo is a Multimedia Senior Researcher from Kenya and a master’s student in Media, Peace and Conflict Studies at UN-mandated University for Peace, Costa Rica. patrickmaragi@yahoo.com


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