The famine in East Africa is hitting education in Somalia. The famine in East Africa – compounded by the conflict, which is still raging in Somalia – is causing hundreds of thousands of people to be displaced – either to Mogadishu or to refugee camps in neighbouring Kenya. The United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) estimates that 1.8 million children in Somalia are not in school. As a UNICEF representative points out: “Schools can provide a place for children to come to learn as well as access health care and other vital services. Providing learning opportunities in safe environments is critical to a child’s survival and development and for the longer term stability and growth of the country.” A UN study indicates that 200,000 primary age children have been displaced – meaning that Somalia’s already low enrolment rate of 30% will sink still further. The drought which has hit this area of Africa has been compounded by the conflict – which is in large part due to the interference of other countries and in particular the US in Somalia’s affairs. According to an analysis by Afyare Abdi Efni on the website www.pambazukenews.com “Somalia is run by many masters, who have multiple and irreconcilable agendas. None of these have the support of the Somali people and none have been mandated by the UN to manage Somalia.” Indeed according to Afyare, the US – which is behind a massive militarisation of the region –as part of its so-called ‘war on terror’ - can’t even agree between itself on what kind of government Somalia should have. The US defence department sees the situation as a part of the ‘war on terror’ and takes one line and the State Department takes a different one. Meanwhile neighbouring Ethiopia is encouraged to intervene through violent proxy warlords. The net result is that Somalia has no functioning government and conflict continues to rage in the capital. Meanwhile and in the midst of the humanitarian crisis caused by the drought the US has announced the stepping up of drone attacks in the region and the establishment of a militariy marine task force. As the US and others pursue their own interests the people and in particular the children of Somalia continue to suffer and education becomes ever more unattainable for the vast majority.