Somalia's secret dumps of toxic waste washed ashore by tsunami
From Jonathan Clayton in Johannesburg
Times Newspapers Ltd.
THE huge waves which battered northern Somalia after the tsunami in
believed to have stirred up tonnes of nuclear and toxic waste illegally
in the war-racked country during the early 1990s.
Apart from killing about 300 people and destroying thousands of homes,
broke up rusting barrels and other containers and hazardous waste
the long, remote shoreline, a spokesman for the United Nations
Programme (Unep) said.
"Initial reports indicate that the tsunami waves broke open containers
toxic waste and scattered the contents. We are talking about everything
medical waste to chemical waste products," Nick Nuttal, the Unep
"We know this material is on the land and is now being blown around and
carried to villages. What we do not know is the full extent of the
Mr Nuttall said that a UN assessment mission that recently returned
lawless African country, which has had no government since 1991,
several Somalis in the northern areas were ill with diseases consistent
radiation sickness. "We need more information. We need to find out what
going on there, but there is real cause for concern," he added. "We now
urgently send in a multi-agency expert mission, led by Unep, for a full
An initial UN report says that many people in the areas around the
towns of Hobbio and Benadir, on the Indian Ocean coast, are suffering
higher than normal cases of respiratory infections, mouth ulcers and
abdominal haemorrhages and unusual skin infections.
"The current situation along the Somali coastline poses a very serious
environmental hazard not only in Somalia but also in the eastern Africa
sub-region," the report says. Toxic waste was first dumped in Somalia
late 1980s, but accelerated sharply during the civil war which followed
overthrow of the late dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.
Local warlords, many of them former ministers in Siad Barre's last
received large payments from Swiss and Italian firms for access to their
Most of the waste was simply dumped on remote beaches in containers and
Somali sources close to the trade say that the dumped materials included
radioactive uranium, lead, cadmium, mercury and industrial, hospital,
and various other toxic wastes. In 1992, Unep said that European firms
involved in the trade, but because of the high level of insecurity in
country there were never any accurate assessments of the extent of the
In 1997 and 1998, the Italian newspaper Famiglia Cristiana, which
investigated the allegations with the Italian branch of Greenpeace,
series of articles detailing the extent of illegal dumping by a Swiss
Achair Partners, and an Italian waste broker, Progresso.
The European Green Party followed up the revelations by presenting to
and the European Parliament in Strasbourg copies of contracts signed by
companies and representatives of the then "President" - Ali Mahdi
Mohamed - to
accept 10 million tonnes of toxic waste in exchange for $80 million
Abdullahi Elmi Mohamed, a Somali academic studying in Sweden, told The
that this worked out at "approximately $8 per tonne, while in Europe
for disposal and treatment of toxic waste material could go up to
Mr Ali Mahdi, who then controlled north Mogadishu and who worked
the UN during its disastrous 1992-95 humanitarian mission to the
always refused to discuss the issue even though an Italian
subsequently confirmed many of the allegations.
Master Fard Muhammad and the 19th President:
A Stunning Historical Coincidence
Early in the year 1877, the government of the United States was
grappling with the hotly contested presidential election of November
1876, between Republican Rutherford B. Hayes and Democrat Samuel J.
Tilden. Votes were being contested around charges of voting fraud and
intimidation and the Congress was thrown into disruption as threats and
vitriol filled their chambers.
Democrats began a filibuster and threatened national disorder and even
civil war. After many days of near chaos, a group of politicians from
among both parties secretly gathered at the Wormley Hotel in Washington
to attempt to resolve the issue and save the union from potential
A deal was struck in that smoky hotel room which would affect the
history of Black people in America as no other event before or since.
The ?Compromise of 1877,? as historians call it, was the deal in which
white people?North and South?agreed that Blacks would be returned to
virtual slavery, devoid of civil rights, assigned to permanent
inferiority. If Republican Hayes were allowed to become the 19th
president, the agreement stated, he would remove the federal troops in
the South that were protecting the rights of Blacks against the violent
ex-Confederates and Ku Klux Klan. The vanquished Southern slave-owner
class would be free to return to power and enforce the old slave law
free of federal control.
This so-called ?Compromise of 1877? was the most significant event in
our history, it seems to me, in that it brought all whites together in
the solemn cause of American white supremacy. No other event?not the
Civil War, and not the Emancipation Proclamation?so specifically and
directly affected the future status of the Black race as a whole. Jim
Crow laws took immediate effect; lynchings, mass murders, and pogroms
escalated; Black property was stolen; and whites moved Blacks out of
employment in trades and industry.
But what is most significant is that that back-room deal in the Wormley
Hotel occurred on 26 February 1877?the birth date of our Lord and
Saviour Master Fard Muhammad.
Further, it was a Jew and meeting participant, Louisiana congressman
William M. Levy, who carried the message to the Congress and assured
the Southern racists that their interests had been secured. His entire
speech to Congress is firmly inlaid in the Congressional Record (March
1, 1877) and is considered by historians to be the most significant of
the speeches in the whole lengthy debate. In it, he assures the North
that ?the white people of Louisiana? will be fair and just to ?the
colored race,? and that the rumors of the egregious racist violence
were simply ?slander??the whitest of all white lies.
Also, as the filibuster ended some Southern politicians held out to the
end, as they did not trust the Hayes camp to follow through on their
promises. A Kentucky senator, in a strangely appropriate way, cast the
moment of their perceived defeat in a divine light: ?Mr. Speaker, the
end has come?.Today is Friday. Upon that day the Saviour of the world
suffered crucifixion between two thieves. On this Friday constitutional
government, justice, honesty, fair dealing, manhood, and decency suffer
crucifixion amid a number of thieves.?
Arguably, these two events, happening on the very same day?the ?final
straw,? so to speak, for the white man to ?do right by the ex-slave,?
and the birth of the Blackman?s Lord and Saviour?are the most
significant events in American history.
The Black Condition
The devastating facts below force us to question the leadership that
led us here. As Blacks, we are responsible for allowing ourselves to be
misled and deceived into this sad state of affairs. If you are not
engaged in some effort to reverse one or more of these statistics you
have sentenced yourself to total destruction.
POVERTY While constituting roughly 13% of the total population, Black
America represents nearly 30% of America's poor. That compares with
11%, or 16 million, whites, who live in poverty; and 27%, or 8 million,
Latinos. Black family income is just 60% of white income, and 43% of
all Black children live beneath the poverty line--a figure almost
identical to that which existed on the day Martin Luther King was
assassinated, and 4 times the average for western European countries.
Black children today are much more likely than whites to lack early
pre-natal care, and have single mothers or unemployed parents. White
Americans possess 12 times the average net worth of Blacks. Blacks are
twice as likely as whites to be among the working poor-those who are
employed at wages below the poverty level. 70% of elderly Blacks have
no financial assets.
DRUGS & CRIME For many Blacks, drug use (including alcohol) amounts to
self-medication for depression rooted in hopelessness caused by white
racism. This medical need is exploited by a corrupt society hell-bent
on criminalizing the Black race. Blacks, who comprise only 13% of the
population and account for about 13% of drug users, constitute 35% of
all arrests for drug possession, 55% of all convictions on those
charges, and 74% of all those sentenced to prison for possession.
Blacks are incarcerated at a rate that is more than 6 times that of
whites. In total, between 1980 and 1999, the incarceration rate for
Blacks more than tripled from 1156 per 100,000, to 3,620 per 100,000.
This is more than 4 times the rate of incarceration of Blacks in South
Africa during the apartheid era.
The number of college-aged Black males in prisons and jails in the
U.S., 583,000, is greater than the number of Black males enrolled in
higher education, 537,000. On any given day, about 1 in 3 Blacks
between the ages of 20 and 29 is in prison, on probation, or on parole.
In 1999 nearly 1.5 million children in the U.S. had at least 1 parent
in state or federal prison (up from less than 1 million in 1991).
The Black male homicide rate is 7 times the white male rate. Black
women are 18 times more likely to be raped than white women. The death
penalty has been imposed in 682 capital cases since 1995. The U.S.
attorney recommended the death penalty in 183 of them-of those cases
26% involved white defendants, 74% "minority." Blacks make up 40% of
the death row population.
Between 1989 and 1994, there was a 78% increase in the number of Black
women under correctional supervision, the highest for all demographic
groups within those years. Approximately 65% have children. The rate of
imprisonment for Black women is more than 8 times that of white women.
AIDS There is strong evidence that AIDS is a disease created by white
bio-chemists and deliberately released in Africa through vaccination
programs. Blacks account for 30% of people with AIDS in America. 54% of
children under age 13 with AIDS are Black. HIV/AIDS is the number 1
cause of death for Blacks aged 25 to 44.
In recent years, the estimated incidence of HIV/AIDS has declined for
every race except Blacks. In 1997, four times as many Latinos and eight
times as many Blacks as whites contracted AIDS. Whites with HIV are far
more likely to receive advanced drug therapy--a trend that slowed the
white death rate from AIDS by 28% from 1995 to 1996, but by only 10%
for Blacks. Blacks account for 57% of new infections of HIV and by the
year 2005, African Americans will account for 60% of AIDS cases.
HEALTH The state of Black health scores below every other race in the
U.S. Every year 250,000 Blacks--a number of people equal to the
population of Birmingham, Alabama--are killed by the 10 biggest killers
of Blacks of all ages: heart disease, cancer, stroke, AIDS, accidents,
homicide, diabetes, pneumonia and influenza, chronic pulmonary diseases
such as asthma and bronchitis, and infant mortality. 79,680 Black boys
and men were violently murdered between 1985 and 1993, mostly by other
Blacks. If Blacks had the same mortality rate as whites, about 64,000
people each year-more than all Americans who died in the Vietnam
War-would still be alive. Whites live 6 years longer than Blacks.
Black infant mortality is more than twice as high as that for whites
and higher than in many "Third World" countries. A Black baby is more
than twice as likely as a white baby to die before its first birthday,
yet babies of largely poor West African immigrants survive just as well
as whites. 1 in 7 Black babies is born with a low birth weight, which
makes them 40 times more likely to die.
Blacks have a 60% higher diabetes-related mortality than whites and
suffer 30% higher cardiovascular mortality, 25% higher cancer mortality
(including breast cancer). Blacks with prostate cancer are 2-3 times
more likely to die than whites. African-American men have the highest
rate of prostate cancer in the world. Blacks with lung cancer were 24%
more likely than whites to die within 5 years. The death rate of
middle-aged to elderly Black women from coronary heart disease is more
than 70 percent higher than that for white women.
Blacks and Latinos run a higher risk than whites of getting
Alzheimer's disease, though it is virtually unheard of in Africa.
Blacks have almost twice as many strokes as whites. Black males who
suffer a stroke have a 95% higher death rate than whites--75% higher
for Black women. 30% of Blacks are smokers, 23% of whites. Blacks are
more likely to be obese and to have hypertension. For African
Americans, high blood pressure is epidemic. It's the severe high blood
pressure that leads to greater rates of stroke, heart attack, and
kidney failure. Further, for African Americans, the darker the skin,
the higher the blood pressure. Africans generally have low blood
Blacks, in particular, receive outdated or far less aggressive
treatment, even when their condition and health insurance are identical
to those of whites. Doctors are less likely to perform high-tech,
diagnostic procedures on Blacks and less likely to go to extreme
measures to keep them alive if they go into cardiac arrest on the
table. Whites are two-thirds more likely to receive kidney transplants
than others. When hospitalized for pneumonia, whites are more likely to
receive intensive care than Blacks are. Twenty-five percent of Blacks
in the U.S. have no health insurance.
The rates of syphilis and gonorrhea are many times higher among Black
teens than white. 90% of Black women suffer complications in
pregnancy--a rate 3 times that of whites. Suicide now ranks among the
top 10 major killers of Blacks in their teens to mid-40s. Sixty percent
of all deaths of Black boys between 15 and 19 in 1990 were from guns.
In 1997, that rate had dropped more than 40%, but was still more than 4
times the rate for their white peers. The Justice Department estimates
that one out of every 21 Black men can expect to be murdered, a death
rate double that of U. S. soldiers in World War II. A young Black male
in America is more likely to die from gun fire than was any soldier in
HOUSING 55% of Blacks live in the cities, while 70% of whites live in
the suburbs or rural areas. Los Angeles and New York are ranked 2nd and
3rd behind Sao Paulo, Brazil, in their homeless population, and 80% of
America's homeless are Black. 60% of the total Black population in the
U.S. lives in communities with one or more uncontrolled toxic waste
43% of Blacks and 68% of whites own their homes. Blacks were 210% more
likely than whites of comparable credit to be rejected for mortgage. It
is estimated that the current generation of Blacks will lose about $82
billion in equity because of institutional discrimination; the next
generation of Black homeowners will lose $93 billion. Blacks are 2.8
times more likely to be injured in a house fire than either whites or
FAMILIES 62% of Black families (up from 23% in 1967) are now headed by
single women. 67% of Black children (up from 17% in 1967) are born out
of wedlock. The percentage of Black women who are married declined from
62% to 37% between 1950 and 1998. In the same period the percentage of
never-married Black women doubled, from 21% to 41%. The pregnancy rate
of young women 15-19 years old is twice that of whites. The rate of
abortions is 50 per 1,000 pregnancies for Blacks, 17 per 1,000 for
whites. Blacks account for 41% of all abortions. Blacks report higher
rates of domestic violence than whites.
EMPLOYMENT Black adult unemployment has remained twice as high as white
unemployment for more than 30 years; 3 times as high among young
people. Black women make 89% of what white women make; Black men make
67% of what white men make. 53% of Black men aged 25-34 are either
unemployed or earn too little to lift a family of 4 from poverty. 21%
of Black high-school graduates are unemployed, 10% of whites. 34.4% of
Black high-school drop-outs are unemployed-18% of whites.
Blacks hold only 10.1% of U.S. jobs and are dramatically
underrepresented in many professions. They are only 3.2% of lawyers, 3%
of doctors, and less than 1% of architects. Black males have both the
lowest average level of educational attainment and the highest
percentage-nearly 50%-of workers with more education than their jobs
require. White males with a high-school diploma are just as likely to
have a job, and tend to earn just as much as Black males with college
degrees. Light-skinned Blacks have a 50% better chance of getting a job
than dark-skinned Blacks. Blacks are rejected twice as often for small
business loans than whites of comparable credit.
EDUCATION 69% of Black children cannot read in the 4th grade, compared
with 29% among white children. Only 12% of Black high-school seniors
are "proficient" readers, while 54% have "below basic" reading skills.
It is estimated that 40-44% of Blacks are functionally illiterate.
Black children are almost 3 times more likely than white children to be
labeled mentally retarded. Blacks are 2.5 times more likely to be
placed in remedial or low-track classes. Even when Black students show
potential that is equal to or above that of whites, they are 40% less
likely to be placed in advanced or accelerated classes.
Two-thirds of "minorities" in public school fail to reach basic levels
of national tests. There continue to be marked disparities between
Black and white students in the national SAT scores. 32% of all
suspended students are Black. Black students are twice as likely as
whites to be suspended or expelled. The high-school dropout rate in
some inner-city communities approaches 50%. Only 26% of Blacks who do
finish high school go to college, while 37% of whites go.
College-educated Blacks are 4 times more likely than whites to
experience unemployment. Black women account for nearly all of the
gains made in Black enrollment in higher education since the mid-1980s.
At Black colleges women make up 60% of enrollment and 80% of the honor
rolls. Babies with poorly educated mothers are more likely to die in
the first year or have chronic health problems growing up.
[Source: _The American Directory of Certified Uncle Toms_ (Chicago: