World history has been punctuated by cycles of violence, regardless of time, region or race. Therefore, Malawi must be on the lookout. Tens of thousands of Somali children have died in the Horn of Africa famine, the worst humanitarian crisis in a generation. Despite warnings and images of starving children coming out of the region, and especially war-torn Somalia, the international community has been slow to help.

Somali War Kids

Somalis are suffering the most, beset by the instability caused by their 20 years of civil war and the refusal of al-Qaeda-linked militants to allow Western aid. The Islamists have been preventing starving Somalis from fleeing to neighbouring Ethiopia or Kenya to escape the famine.

Malawi is slowly sliding into that terrible ditch. This nation is only a step away from civil strife. This should not be the trend to admire. Once civil war sparks, no calls for pleading for global partners to step up aid urgently would be heard. And once this crisis collides with unexpected extreme drought, that would tip the whole country into famine.

As for the case of Rwanda, the country was ravaged by civil war, genocide, mass migrations, economic crisis, diseases, return of refugees and environmental destruction. Rwandan families were affected by and are still dealing with impacts such as death, disease, disability, poverty, loss of dignity and imprisonment. Cross-country studies on the economic consequences of internal political violence typically find short-run effects that are very large, and no evidence for full economic recovery.

The 2019 general elections were the most turbulent Malawi has ever seen. The country has been ravaged by civil unrest which might turn into mass migration, economic crisis, diseases and deforestation. Almost all Malawian families are affected wherever they might be and at multiple levels, by outcomes such as loss of property, poverty, loss of dignity and imprisonment.

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