Barry's Feed
Sep 6, 2011

Gaddafi’s African caravan experience may prove a lifeline

TUNIS (Reuters) – Ugandans from remote northern parts of the country still fondly remember the snaking convoy of limos and armored cars that would pass through their small villages, passengers hurling fistfuls of dollars out the windows.

Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi was the man leading those expeditions, which became a regular sight in the east African country soon after the showy leader encountered one of its traditional leaders — the strikingly beautiful Queen Mother of the Toro Kingdom.

Aug 26, 2011

AU urges inclusive Libya government, setback to rebels

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – The African Union called on Friday for the formation of an inclusive transitional government in Libya, saying it could not recognize the rebels as sole legitimate representatives of the nation while fighting continued.

The snub showed how much influence fallen Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had on the bloc — he was one of its main financiers and presented several African leaders with large sums of money.

Aug 25, 2011

AU famine meet raises $351 million but figure questioned

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – A much-delayed African Union summit held to raise money to tackle famine in Somalia and drought in the Horn of Africa held Thursday raised $351 million officials said, but activists questioned the figure.

Out of the $351 million announced by Jean Ping, chairman of the AU commission, $300 million came from the African Development Bank, to be spent over a four-year period, not to be used to bridge a $1.4 billion shortfall aid groups say they need for the emergency.

Jul 29, 2011
via Photographers' Blog

Me and the man with the iPad

Photo

I never know how to behave when I go to write about hungry people.

I usually bring just a notebook and a pen because it seems somehow more subtle than a recorder. I drain bottled water or hide it before I get out of the car or the plane. In Ethiopia a few years ago I was telling a funny story to some other journalists as our car pulled up near a church where we had been told people were arriving looking for food.

We got out and began walking towards the place, me still telling the tale, shouting my mouth off, struggling to get to the punch line through my laughter and everybody else’s.

Jul 28, 2011

Somalia rebels main block to aid: U.N. report

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Rebels in Somalia — where famine has been declared and 3.7 million people are going hungry — burned food and medicine, and killed charity workers, as part of a long-running campaign of extortion against aid groups, according to a U.N. report.

The evidence in the U.N. Monitoring group report on Somalia and Eritrea exposes a policy of intimidation against aid groups going back as far as 2008.

Jul 28, 2011

Exclusive – Somalia rebels main block to aid – U.N. report

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Rebels in Somalia — where famine has been declared and 3.7 million people are going hungry — burnt food and medicine, and killed charity workers, as part of a long-running campaign of extortion against aid groups, according to a U.N. report.

The evidence in the U.N. Monitoring group report on Somalia and Eritrea exposes a policy of intimidation against aid groups going back as far as 2008.

Jul 26, 2011

Horn of Africa aid caravan too late, again

EL ADOW, Kenya (Reuters) – A besuited U.N. official wearing well-buffed shoes crouches in the orange dust near a cluster of huts in northern Kenya, and, as his tie wafts in the breeze, raises an iPad and carefully films the rotting carcass of a cow.

Since drought gripped the Horn of Africa, and especially since famine was declared in parts of Somalia, the international aid industry has swept in and out of refugee camps and remote hamlets in branded planes and snaking lines of white 4X4s.

Jul 23, 2011

More than 2 million Somalis out of aid groups’ reach

EL ADOW, Kenya (Reuters) – Aid agencies are unable to reach more than two million Somalis facing starvation in the famine-struck Horn of Africa country where Islamist insurgents control much of the worst-hit areas, the U.N.’s food agency said on Saturday.

World Food Program (WFP) officials said the areas of southern Somalia controlled by the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab, which imposed a ban on food aid in 2010, were among the most dangerous to operate in worldwide.

Jul 22, 2011

Africans pour anger, sadness onto Twitter over famine

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Thousands of Africans are taking to Twitter to vent grief and anger over another famine in Somalia, raising money and comforting each other — a stark illustration of a continent embracing a digital future but lamenting timeworn failings.

When news began to break that what many referred to as “the F-word” was now official in parts of the war-wracked Horn of Africa country, the social networking site Twitter lit up.

Jul 18, 2011

U.N. begins food aid airlift to rebel-held Somalia

NAIROBI (Reuters) – The United Nations said on Monday it had started airlifting food aid to rebel-held parts of drought-hit Somalia and that Islamist insurgents had abided by a pledge to allow relief workers free access.

Some analysts in the Horn of Africa region say the insurgents are allowing aid in for fear of a public backlash if they do not. Others say the rebels want to receive bribes.

    • About Barry

      "Irish journalist who has lived in the Horn and east Africa since 2006 - first in Ethiopia, then in Uganda - covering politics, elections, society, culture and economics across the region. I have also worked for Reuters in Tunisia, Iraq and Libya and was part of the team that dominated coverage of Muammar Gaddafi's killing. Always welcome a good chat over on Twitter: @malonebarry"
      Hometown:
      Dublin
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