More than a million face famine in Africa

More than a million Ethiopian cattle herders face extreme food shortages after the failure of short rains that normally recharge water sources, a famine early warning group said today.

Drought also has triggered food shortages in neighbouring Kenya and Somalia, a country that has had no effective government since warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1994.

Pre-famine conditions have already emerged in Ethiopia’s eastern Somali region, including escalating malnutrition and reports of child deaths; tribal conflicts over scarce resources; early and widespread human and livestock migration; slaughtering of calves to save cows; and rising sorghum prices, the main staple, according to the US-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network.

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