AMERICAN IDOL star CLAY AIKEN has made a emotional plea on behalf of the people of Somalia – urging the world not to forget about the current crisis in the war-torn country.
The singer visited the country on Wednesday (25Jun08) as part of his duties as a UN goodwill ambassador, and hopes his visit will prompt the world’s media to increase awareness of Somalia’s humanitarian woes.
The country has suffered the effects of civil conflicts since the former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted from power in 1991 – leaving over one million people destitute and homeless.
And Aiken believes the U.S. has turned its back on the ravaged country – stating they got a “bad taste” about the situation in the 1990s.
He says, “There hasn’t been much discussion of Somalia since the early 1990s in the U.S. The American population kind of got a bad taste of Somalia in the early 90s and hasn’t really had much interest in the country since.”
But the visit has made Aiken more hopeful about the country’s future.
He adds, “In Somaliland (northern Somalia), you really do have a sense of people who really want to help themselves, who want to do better, who want to effect change for themselves, that is very hopeful,”