The Travails of Madaya

          The pursuit to command power, is something that has since, ancient of times been inbedded within man. The thirst and greed of some will take them to absolutely any length in order to acquire it, even if it means trampling upon the souls of the very weak, they profess to protect. It occurred in WW1, also in WW2. Differences between clans and ideologies has ultimately led to those brutal and infamous wars. With various tactics and arts of war implemented; like a game of chess, pawns are sacrificed for the ostensible greater good. With disregard for life, war crimes are relentlessly being perpetrated. We see it in the case of Liberia, an insouciance government can commit such atrocities even against its very own people, it profess to protect.

          The case of Syria is a very sad one indeed, those who can afford the exorbitant price of leaving, sell their lives worth of properties and such, just to flee the ever consuming deathbed of a nation and start anew somewhere else. The conflict which originated from the ill-famed Arab spring, has entered into its 5th year. Towns are being kept under siege by the rebel forces, President Al-Assad’s Syrian forces and his ally, Lebanese militia Hezbollah. The siege has led to the repugnant use of starvation as a tactical weapon of war against innocent civilians, by both sides, clearly violating the core human rights obligations by virtue of denying the population, basic and essential survival services. The U.N. stated there are currently about 15 siege locations in Syria, with an estimated 450,000 people trapped within. Government held villages of Kafraya in Idib province and Foua are also under siege by the rebel forces. Under siege since 2013, with an estimated populace of 160,000 is Eastern Ghouta just 32 km from Madaya. Yarmouk in the south of Damascus has been under siege as well, with Amnesty International highlighting in 2014, that nearly 200 people had died from a lack of medical care and starvation.




Madaya’s plight was brought to world wide attention, when pictures surfaced of emaciated citizens (www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/horrifying-pictures-syrians-starving-madaya-7136930). Madaya’s been blockaded for 6 months by both the pro-government and the government forces. It’s been referred to as an “open air prison” with no way in or out. More than 24 people – including at least 6 under the age of 1 – have died of starvation since December 1, according to Doctors without Borders. Before the U.N. aid came in on Monday,  residents resorted to eating their own dogs, cats and other pets, just to survive; when that ran out, they boiled the leaves of trees and ate it for sustenance. What a shame and stain on humanity, that kids are forced to go through that, and their parents or guardians, have utterly no means of provision, when you consider that, they are being surrounded by their very own government forces. This lack, has resulted to basic supplies being sold at ridiculous prices, a 90 pence/kg of rice in Damascus is being sold as £82/kg and according to CNN a milk of $1.06/kg in Damascus is being sold at $300 in Madaya.

          Yacoub El Hillo, the U.N. resident and humanitarian coordinator in Syria said  “we saw people who are clearly malnourished, especially children, we saw people who are extremely thin skeletons, that are now barely moving,” “many more will die if the world does nor move faster”. Without milk, and mothers being too malnourished to produce milk, newborn and young babies are dying. The horrifying pictures of starvation to the world was harrowing, but some poked fun at it; imbecile Syrian regime supporters decided and had the nerves to post pictures of their own meals on twitter, mocking the starvation of Madaya’s citizens; such is man’s heart and its wicked ways (www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3391913/Regime-supporters-trolling-Syrians-starving-besieged-town-Madaya-tweeting-pictures-dinner.html).




          On Monday aid convoy entered the town of Madaya after a long international outcry, bearing desperate foods and other basic supplies, a basket of supplies, which is expected to last for a month, has been given to each families; so when that runs out, what next? Iyad Nasr a spokesman for the U.N’s OCHA (office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs) said “whatever we bring in, it’s not enough”.

          A ceasefire agreed on Sept 20 2015 in Madaya, Foua and Kafraya, was unsurprisingly violated by both parties. The citizens being pawns in a deadly game between two warring parties, are trapped within a circle of death, from starvation or missiles. Perpetrators must be rooted out by the U.N. to face the war crimes atrocities committed against humanity, like Charles Taylor, no stone must be left in turn; pointing to you Assad.

 

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