From The Final Call Newspaper

“Fear today. Famine tomorrow!

By Brian E. Muhammad, Staff Writer
- April 25, 2022

Famine, chaos looms as Russia-Ukraine war fallout spreads

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.”

—Matthew, 24: 6-7

The devastation of Russia’s war on Ukraine and the response of American and NATO-backed allies extends far from the battlefield in Eastern Europe. The reverberation of the conflict is felt in the distant lands of Africa, the Middle East and, in other projections, North America.

Several long months of fighting has meant death, bloodshed, destruction of cities, forced migration, and displacement of millions of people. But added to these costs of war is the threat of food insecurity and fears of famine in other parts of the world, especially in Africa and the Middle East, where millions are already facing food insecurity. Not to mention, increased hunger and need for food support in the United States.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres briefs reporters on the war in Ukraine. Photo: UN Photo/Mark Garten

Together Russia and Ukraine account for a quarter of the world’s exports of wheat and grain. Russia is the largest exporter of wheat in the world, producing around 33 million tons per year. Ukraine supplies 20 million tons of wheat to the world market.

“After weeks of conflict, however, many agricultural fields across Ukraine have been turned into battlefields,” said Tomson Phiri, global spokesman for the World Food Program (WFP).

Mr. Phiri said hikes in food and oil prices are driving up the WPF operational costs to $71 million a month, reducing its ability to serve those in need. He lamented this comes at a time when the world is experiencing a year of unprecedented hunger. “So how can Ukrainians keep farming and how can they get their food to the rest of the world?” Mr. Phiri asked.

There is a wider story of the Russia and Ukraine war: Hunger and suffering in poorer nations like Somalia, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Lebanon.

Part of the challenge of harvesting during an active war is the strain on the supply system, which means problems getting grain products to the global market.

Seeds for the world’s food cannot be planted or harvested from the rich black earth in Ukraine while land mines are planted for war and destruction. Nor can seeds be planted while farmers are pre-occupied fighting for their country.
Men walk along a street filled with destroyed Russian military vehicles near Chernihiv, Ukraine, April 17. Witnesses said multiple explosions believed to be caused by missiles struck the western Ukrainian city of Lviv as the country was bracing for an all-out Russian assault in the east. AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

This couldn’t have come at a worse time. In countries such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Syria and Yemen, food prices are reaching record highs. The number of people who are food insecure is soaring. Need for food had already surpassed available resources before the war, and now buying and transporting food has become a lot more expensive.

The African adage “when elephants fight, only the grass suffers” describes the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict on Africa and the Middle East. Russia and Ukraine are substantial breadbaskets for world nations. When the basket is disrupted, the consequence is desperation, hunger, and political problems as seen in Sudan, which has had mass uprisings against the military government over increased freedoms and the price of bread.

It’s hard to pinpoint the war’s exact toll because the conflict started amid other calamities, including a series of droughts in different parts of the world that had pushed food prices to record levels. The conflict also comes while nations and people are still reeling from the economic fallout of the two-year-old Covid-19 pandemic.

Before Russia invaded Ukraine, 44 million people in 38 countries were on the threshold of starvation, according to the United Nations. The UN estimates the war will increase this figure by eight to 13 million people or more, mostly in North Africa and the Middle East.

Egypt’s prime minister fixed bread prices, Bangladesh launched a nationwide food subsidy program, and consumers in Indonesia noticed a favorite instant noodle dish went out of stock, according to an NPR report on the Ukraine war’s impact. In Lebanon, families have begun selling belongings for money to buy food. Maya Terro, founder of FoodBlessed Lebanon, told NPR the country had experienced increased demand and some food prices in Lebanon had increased by 1,000 percent as 80 percent of its wheat comes from Ukraine.

Local residents fill their bottles with water they draw from a public fountain in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, on April 18. Citizens of Bucha are still without electricity, water and gas after more than 43 days since the Russian invasion began. AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

According to an April 8 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, a global “food price index” has spiked at 12.6 percent—marking its highest level since the UN implemented the index in 1990.

The price of vegetable oils increased by 23 percent in March, wheat prices by 20 percent and maize 19.1 percent. The report said this April’s increase indicates a rise in world prices of wheat and coarse grains largely driven by conflict-related export disruptions in Ukraine and, to a lesser extent, in Russia. The unexpected loss of exports from the Black Sea region exacerbated the already tight global availability of wheat.

The Black Sea region is the exit point of commodities to the world market; however, it is widely stalled due to the war. Preliminary UN estimates say Ukraine has lost 20 percent to 30 percent of its acreage and exports due to the war so far.

Along with the war there is also frustration aimed at how Ukraine as a White European nation in turmoil has become prioritized at the expense of non-White nations also in crisis.

“I don’t know if the world really gives equal attention to Black and White lives,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization.

Ukraine’s crisis deserves attention as “it impacts the whole world,” Mr. Ghebreyesus agreed. “But even a fraction of it isn’t being given to Tigray [in Ethiopia], Yemen, Afghanistan and Syria and the rest. A fraction,” he said.

“I need to be blunt and honest that the world is not treating the human race the same way. Some are more equal than others,” he said. “It is difficult to accept … but it’s happening,” the director-general said in remarks during a virtual press briefing on Covid-19, Ukraine, and other global issues.

Local civilians line up to get a hot meals distributed by Donetsk People Republic Emergency Situations Ministry in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces in Bezimenne village, eastern Ukraine, April 20. AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov

Many countries with ongoing strife and in critical danger of famine, like some Horn of Africa nations, are not getting much interest. The cost of a food basket has already risen, particularly in Ethiopia and Somalia, which depend heavily on wheat imports coming from countries in the Black Sea region. In addition, the domino effect of soaring fuel costs adds more pressure on people.

But experts say where support is available, calamity can be prevented.

“We know from past experience that acting early to avert a humanitarian catastrophe is vital, yet our ability to launch the response has been limited due to a lack of funding to date,” said Michael Dunford, regional director for Eastern Africa at the World Food Program.

With the advent of humanitarian crises in Eastern Europe, some donor sources are redirecting their support from already suffering areas to Ukraine.

Up to 20 million people could go hungry this year as delayed rains worsen extreme drought in the Horn of Africa region amid the shortfall in humanitarian aid, warned the WFP.

“Time is fast running out,” the UN agency said in April, with Somalia facing “the very real risk of famine” in the coming six months.

Meanwhile, an estimated 7.2 million Ethiopians are already not getting enough to eat, and half a million Kenyans are just a step away from catastrophic levels of hunger and malnutrition.

“We believe that the Ukraine crisis has indeed taken some of the luster from the needs of the Horn of Africa region,” said Dr. Chimimba David Phiri, the subregional coordinator at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. “It is important for the world that while they are considering the needs of Ukraine, that they also consider the needs for the Horn of Africa.”

The words “No Money for Murderers, Stop the Oil and Gas Trade” are projected by activists onto the Russian consulate in Frankfurt, Germany, April 4. AP Photo/Michael Probst

Dr. Phiri told journalists in Geneva that besides drought, the region has also been afflicted with conflict, insecurity and desert locusts.

While America and Western powers pour billions of dollars into funding war in Ukraine, their messy fallout of two decades of destruction in Afghanistan is that 95 percent of Afghans do not have enough to eat, and nine million Afghans face famine. UNICEF estimates that a million severely malnourished children are on the verge of death.

“Without immediate action, we face a starvation and malnutrition crisis in Afghanistan,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said April 21 while appealing for aid.

He warned the international community must find ways to spare the Afghan people from suffering because the U.S. decided to end support for Afghanistan as a way of punishing the Taliban government. These actions have frozen nearly $9 billion in Afghan assets overseas, primarily in America.

“The difficulty here is Ukraine grows enough food to feed 400 million people on planet Earth,” David Beasley, executive director of the United Nations World Food Program, told a podcast for Radio Davos, reported

“So when the farmers on the battlefields aren’t planting or aren’t harvesting, what impact do you think that’s going to have?” he asked.

“Forget the geopolitical ramifications for a moment. The waves of tectonic economic instability unleashed by the Ukraine conflict have shocked and caught the global commentariat of politicians, central bankers, economists and investment analysts off guard,” Bill Blain, strategist at Shard Capital, said in emailed comments on April 21, reported CNBC.

“Inflation from agribusinesses, energy and supply chains is spinning unchecked—and, like a nuclear reaction, they are triggering a host of follow up consequences. It feels a little bit Chernobyl—the reactor is going critical! Our cozy assumptions about how the interconnected globalized economy was supposed to work are being rocked to the core,” he added, according to

Hunger is also not limited to countries abroad; it’s rising inside of the United States. Feeding America, a national network of groups fighting hunger, warned “around 85 percent of the 200 food bank network, report seeing demand for food assistance increase or stay the same for February compared to the previous month, about a 20 percent increase from the previous survey.”

“With emergency declarations ending across the nation, those additional pandemic-related benefit allotments are expiring state by state, and another hunger crisis is looming,” said Feeding America. “While the pandemic appears to be receding for the time being, Feeding America expects that demand for food assistance will remain elevated and may grow as people’s expanded assistance goes away.”

A view of Evonik chemical plant, in Wesseling, near Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, April 6, 2022. Germany’s employers and trade unions have joined together in opposing an immediate European Union ban on natural gas imports from Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. They say a ban on Russian gas would lead to factory shutdowns and the loss of jobs in Germany, the bloc’s biggest economy. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

The group warned that as food assistance offered because of the Covid crisis ends, Americans will lose critical help. “For participants who qualify for the minimum SNAP benefits, their monthly allotments will plunge from $250 to a mere $20,” said Feeding America.

As the threat of famine and death hovers over the world’s poorest countries, White world rule is also plummeting on account of its iniquity and responsibility for the world’s condition.

In the scriptures warning is given that what the evil have done to others, so shall it be done unto evil doers. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam has warned America that her warmongering and attempts to dominate the nations of the earth will not be successful. He has repeated the warning of his Divine Teacher, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, that what is being witnessed in faraway lands will come to the shores of America.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict impacts the nations of the Earth, and the U.S. will be drawn into the conflict, Min. Farrakhan warned during his Saviours’ Day 2022 message, “The Swan Song,” delivered earlier this year. The Minister said the chastisement and judgment of Allah (God) has begun based on events unfolding around the world. His Teacher, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, taught that America is number one on Allah’s (God’s) list to destroy due to her wickedness against the Black man and woman and darker people of the planet.

All White power must end so that the kingdom of God must be established, and America must reap what she has sown on the world stage, said Min. Farrakhan during “The Swan Song.”

This wickedness includes evil plans yesterday and today including depopulation control and much more.

On several occasions, Minister Farrakhan has referred to National Security Study Memorandum (“NSSM”) 200 titled: “Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests” and “The Global 2000 Report to The President,” which detailed using food as a “weapon” to depopulate the Third World. The memo, which became U.S. policy, was written by Henry Kissinger, former secretary of state and national security advisor.

The memorandums proposed global depopulation of the darker peoples of the world. Mr. Kissinger argued “de-population should be the highest priority of U.S. foreign policy towards the Third World.”

The Minister has explained how this strategy was aimed at cutting the earth’s population. “This was taken like a ‘theater of war’! And all factions of government were introduced to this to develop plans, and activate plans internationally, to cull between two-three billion people from the face of the Earth!” Minister Farrakhan said in Part 36 of his “Time and What Must Be Done” lecture series in 2013.

“I’m sorry to tell you: They are planning death on a worldwide scale. They have used a series of methods to affect ‘Global De-Population,’ such as depleted uranium bombs, genetically modified foods, chemical additives in foods, poison in vaccines, famine, AIDS, chemtrails, and illegal wars,” Minister Farrakhan said.

However, as the scriptures also warn: these evil powers will taste the bitter fruit of their iniquity.

“This Plan for ‘culling the population” is not only in the “Third World,’ but it comes right back home to the United States of America,” said Minister Farrakhan.

(Final Call staff contributed to this report.)

From The Final Call Newspaper

‘EXECUTED!’: Police killing in Grand Rapids, Mich., sparks protests, outrage

By The Final Call
- April 19, 2022

‘I thought I came to a safe land’
Killing of Patrick Lyoya destroys family, outrages many who condemn police shooting as execution

by Naba’a Muhammad and William P. Muhammad

The Final Call @TheFinalCall

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—An immigrant family from Central Africa is in mourning after the killing of their unarmed son by police during a “routine” traffic stop on the city’s Southeast side.

Activists and advocates, however, blasted the death as another example of out-of-control policing. Many condemned the loss of Patrick Lyoya as an execution. He was shot in the back of the head and died during the traffic stop.

News of Patrick’s horrific death spread around the U.S. and the globe as weekend protestors took to streets here and other places around the country.

Patrick’s parents, Peter and Dorcas Lyoya, wept at a community forum.

“What is making me cry more is to see my son killed by a police officer for a small, small mistake,” the father said. “My life has come to an end,” declared the grieving parent. He spoke through an interpreter.

“When we run away from war, I thought that I came to a safe land,” Dorcas Lyoya said via an interpreter. “And now, I’m surprised and astonished to see that my son is shot here.”

Since the fatal shooting April 4 there have been demonstrations, questions of implicit bias, questions about police procedures and excessive police violence.

Why did a man have to die in what was a traffic stop? That’s the incredulous question that keeps coming back.

In the video, the White officer approaches Patrick asking questions about his vehicle and giving orders. Miscommunication seems to take place and at one point Patrick turns and runs away from the officer.

Throughout the encounter, Patrick tries to avoid the officer, never attacking him but the officer pursues him. Police officials say there is a struggle over a taser. Lyoya family lawyers say the officer escalates the situation, his life is never in danger and there is no justification for drawing his weapon.

Recorded by multiple cameras in the area, including a cell phone video taken by his car’s passenger, the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya, a 26-year-old father and immigrant to the United States as a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, reenergized protests against police violence.

The killing stunned family and friends in the Congolese immigrant community here.

Pastor Njandu Amisi, a spokesman and advocate for the West Michigan Congolese community, told The Final Call the killing of Patrick Lyoya has been especially traumatic. Many émigrés who fled the brutal fighting over the Congo’s highly sought-after mineral wealth came to America only to see their loved one killed during a traffic stop, he said.

“As one of the leaders in the Congolese community, we feel that we are not safe in Grand Rapids after the shooting,” Pastor Amisi added. “This gave us another view from the perspective of looking at life and the situation in America. We heard in Africa (about) the racism in America, but now, it has been concretized in the killing of our son.”

Though the family had not yet received official word from the Congolese embassy at Final Call press time, family interpreter and spokesman Israel Siku said Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde Kyenge, prime minister for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, had weighed-in on the killing as news spread through DRC media.

“So far, they have not called, but there is news that said the government and the prime minister condemned it,” Mr. Siku said. “Patrick was a loving brother, a loving son, a hard-working man and was a very respectful kid,” the family interpreter said.

“It was very difficult to watch,” proclaimed Atty. Benjamin Crump during a press conference at Renaissance Church of God in Christ describing what witnesses called an execution-style killing as Mr. Lyoya laid pinned, face down on the ground, and shot in the back of his head by a yet unnamed police officer. “What you see in that video is (the) unnecessary, unjustifiable, excessive use of fatal force,” said Mr. Crump who is representing the family.

State police are investigating the shooting and the officer involved is on paid leave.

Patrick’s death invokes thoughts of the White police officer who killed Daunte Wright, a Black teen in Minnesota, in 2021. The officer, who was eventually found guilty of two counts of manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison, shot and killed the young father during a traffic stop there. The officer said she mistook her service weapon for a taser. Her service weapon, however, was on the opposite side of her body. The Wright family is fighting to have her lenient sentence overturned.

Patrick Lyoya’s mother Dorcas Lyoya sheds tears during a news conference at the Renaissance Church of God in Christ Family Life Center in Grand Rapids, Mich. on Thursday, April 14, 2022. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump is representing the family of Patrick Lyoya, who was shot and killed by a GRPD officer on April 4. (Cory Morse/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

Leaders want action

Kent County Commissioner Robert S. Womack represents the 17th District and hosts a popular talk show, “Pulse of the City,” on 102.5 FM The Ride. He told The Final Call the Lyoya family doesn’t speak English and they feel sandbagged by bureaucratic indifference, if not outright racism from Grand Rapids city government.

“One of their biggest needs is for Africans of the Diaspora to understand our connection to them and support our family,” Commissioner Womack said of Patrick’s parents and of Grand Rapids Congolese community. “Leadership in Grand Rapids (must) make sure they’re not being taken advantage of by the government and the system because of the language barrier and inexperience of working through these governmental processes.”

Traffic stops, police shootings and Black deaths

It is difficult to understand how frequently police use their weapons since there is no comprehensive nationwide database, despite the FBI’s attempts to build one for years. Private organizations have instead compiled data.

News accounts, social media posts, and police reports track and verify police-involved shooting deaths as does Mapping Police Violence and the Gun Violence Archive.

The New York Times recently published an investigation on how routine traffic stops by police for minor violations often escalate into fatal encounters for motorists and passengers in the United States.

Police killed more than 400 people over the last five years during traffic stops, and Black drivers were overrepresented in the deaths. Only five officers were convicted for using deadly force in all those deaths. It is not uncommon for local police officers, state troopers, or sheriff’s deputies to respond aggressively when they encounter disrespect or disobedience such as a driver talking back, revving an engine, refusing to exit a vehicle, or exiting without permission.

According to police jargon, this is known as “contempt of cop.” In all too many instances, the sentence for this infraction is death as police morph into judge, jury, and executioner, not considering whether an encountered person even understands their commands.

Krystal Muhammad, national chair of the New Black Panther Party, said her organization has been flooded with complaints of police misconduct.

Activists rally for Patrick Lyoya in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Tuesday, April 12, 2022. Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom said Lyoya, 26, was shot after a struggle with an officer following a traffic stop on April 4. (Cory Morse/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

“We are constantly getting emails about people getting brutalized by the police, about people getting brutalized into jails. It is nonstop,” she told The Final Call.

“The problem is systemic. There is no way around it. The pace of abuse hasn’t slowed down in any way. It’s just not getting the airtime. Meanwhile, the media focuses on other distractions, such as Ukraine and Russia. People are losing their lives out here at the hands of the police who work for the state. It’s ethnic cleansing and genocide,” Ms. Muhammad said.

Olabanji Olatunde of the Grand Rapids Royal Black Panther Party said their communications within the African community and respect for the elders’ wishes best qualified them not only to call for demonstrations, but also to hold protests in a spirit of righteousness, dignity and respect for Patrick’s memory.

“We met the parents, we met the family and came together to dialogue about what was going on and what needed to be done,” Mr. Olatunde told The Final Call. “It’s been a hard time for them, especially that they are not a native here.”

Adding that local Panther Party officials expressed concerns over opportunists and the likelihood of provocateurs infiltrating the crowds, Mr. Olatunde stated that unruly conduct and violence only distracts from the goal of justice. It plays into the hands of those wanting to undermine a serious investigation and to downplay the nature of Patrick’s death, he added.

Peter Lyoya, right, father of Patrick Lyoya, closes his eyes as a tear runs down his face during the Justice for Patrick Lyoya march in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Saturday, April 9, 2022. The 26-year-old was killed during a traffic stop by a Grand Rapids police officer on Monday, April 4. (Daniel Shular/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

“The turn out in numbers was pretty good,” Mr. Olatunde said of the hundreds who participated in an April 16 protest march. “But with the so-called White allies, there were a lot of instigators and a lot of chatter going on. They have an agenda themselves,” he continued.

The politics of accountability

Patrick’s death may also help expose ill treatment towards African expatriates and refugees in America.

On the domestic front, civil rights leaders agreed escalations during a traffic stop should not lead to death.

“There is absolutely no reason this encounter should have turned deadly,” said National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial and Urban League of West Michigan President and CEO Eric Brown in a joint April 15 statement. They expressed alarm at an overreaction by a Grand Rapids Police Department officer and apparent inconsistencies in the initial description provided by the police about the incident that resulted in Patrick’s death.

A moment of silence is held as two activists act out how the family of 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya says he was killed in an unreleased video at the end of the Justice for Patrick Lyoya march in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Saturday, April 9, 2022. Lyoya was killed during a traffic stop by a Grand Rapids police officer on Monday, April 4. (Daniel Shular/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

“A problem with a vehicle tag is not a situation that posed any immediate danger to the officer or the community. Another tragic death of a young Black man at the hands of police comes down to an officer’s eagerness to escalate a non-violent encounter unnecessarily,” Mr. Morial said.

Mr. Brown agreed, adding that the released video is confirmation of a gross mishandling of an encounter of a Black man with police that quickly turned to an unnecessarily one-sided confrontation. These actions lead to unnecessary escalation of an already confusing situation instead of de-escalation, he said.

“It’s unclear what even prompted the stop, other than blatant racial profiling,” Mr. Brown added. “How did the tag scanner detect an improper tag from the front in the first place?” The state of Michigan only requires license plates to be displayed from the rear of a vehicle.

Mr. Morial and Mr. Brown said the video confirmed that what occurred after the officer’s initial communication resulted from a lack of respect for the cultural and language barriers Patrick faced. They shared the Lyoya family’s dismay over the delay in releasing their son’s body so they could mourn him in dignity. Family members told The Final Call at press time that a funeral was tentatively scheduled for April 22.

Several Michigan political figures released statements of concern and demanded transparency in the investigation as pain, anguish, shock and outrage continues to reverberate throughout the state’s immigrant communities.

Members of Michigan’s Black Legislative Caucus released statements after a City of Grand Rapids press conference about the deadly shooting.

“As a father, a son, and a brother, I am devastated for the Lyoya family,” said State Senator Marshall Bullock-D, 4th District and caucus chairman. “As a Black man, I am angry, scared, outraged and completely frustrated that we are, yet again, revisiting a tragedy that occurs too often in the Black community. The Michigan Legislative Black Caucus is calling for justice and demanding full accountability and transparency in this tragic murder,” he wrote.

“But the fact remains: Justice is not justice when another Black body lays face down, dead from an execution-style shooting. Justice cannot exist in a system where accountability and proper training for the police, who are supposed to protect and defend an entire community—and not just people who look like them—is an afterthought. I hope and pray the legal outcome of this incident brings some semblance of peace to the family. Until then, I am calling on the Grand Rapids Police Department to be accountable and transparent with the community they serve,” State Senator Bullock said.

State Senator Adam Hollier-D, 2nd District, also called what happened an “execution.” The video is indicative of the threat that Black people face from an uncontrolled, ill-trained, and systemically flawed policing system, he said.

“Every time I leave the house, anyone who loves me tells me to be safe, because they know death comes swiftly for young Black men, especially when interacting with the police,” he said. “It’s time to stop saying ‘another senseless death’ or calling a traffic stop ‘routine.’ It’s time to truly address the root cause and effect of over-policing Black people. The level of savagery that this human life was taken with would be incomprehensible if it were not so common in our society. It feels like every day, one more thing gets added to the list of things you must teach your sons about when interacting with the police and survival,” State Senator Hollier said.

“For all the focus on justice that has happened in our nation and our community in recent years, another young Black man is dead, and our community cries out for answers, and for justice. For all the voices raised to testify that Black Lives Matter, that justice must include us all, we are a long way from a just society,” added 75th District State Representative David LaGrand, D-Grand Rapids.

State Senator Jeff Irwin-D, 18th District from Ann Arbor, slammed the state legislature for its failure to take up efforts to pass measures that reform and increase police accountability. “While the family of Patrick Lyoya and the people of Grand Rapids grapple with the release of video documenting his killing, I want to remind you that the Michigan Legislature has done nothing to improve the laws that govern police,” he said.

New Detroit, a racial justice group, is also among those demanding a full and transparent investigation, including the identity of the officer and for the release of the medical examiner’s report. “We demand urgent action by all investigators and the release of any materials that will shed further light on the events leading up to and of the moment that ended Mr. Lyoya’s life,” the group said in a statement.

Family interpreter Israel Siku said the Lyoyas’ have only been in the United States since 2014 and desire the unity of the African immigrant community with Black Americans. They need all the support they can receive without violence, said Mr. Siku.

“The reason why a lioness is very strong is because they hunt together,” Patrick’s father told The Final Call through the interpreter. “A buffalo weighs 3,000 pounds and the lioness is only 125. But the reason why they bring that buffalo down is because they work together. The buffalo in this country is racism and injustice,” Mr. Lyoya said.

Sultan Z. Muhammad, student minister of the Nation of Islam Grand Rapids Study Group, agreed that Black unity is vital. He became aware of the shooting the morning it took place, a few blocks away from the study group headquarters.

“As Minister Louis Farrakhan told us, we are looking at the unraveling of a great nation, and ever since he said that in 2020, we’ve seen the acceleration of what the Honorable Elijah Muhammad called ‘The Fall of America,’ ” Student Minister Muhammad said. “The masthead on the old Muhammad Speaks newspaper had the image of a Black man in America reaching over the water and locking arms with his brother from Africa, showing how our unity is going to be key for our (collective) survival.”

(Michael Z. Muhammad and Final Call staff contributed to this report.)

From The Final Call Newspaper

By Shawntell Muhammad, Contributing Writer
- April 12, 2022

Russia Ukraine War Day In Photos

‘Allah (God) is Warning Us’

Parts of the U.S. are dealing with the aftermath of the latest rounds of severe weather. During the week of April 4, dozens of tornadoes were reported from Texas to the Southeast, including at least 38 in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina, according to the National Weather Service.

Separate systems moving East produced thunderstorms, rain and hail. About 22 million people from southeastern Louisiana to the South Carolina coast were under risk for severe storms.

According to the Storm Prediction Center, tornadoes, hail up to two inches and wind gusts up to 70 miles per hour were expected to hit portions of eastern and southeastern Georgia and western South Carolina, including the cities of Charleston and Columbia, South Carolina; and Savannah, Georgia.

Accuweather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham stated on, “Numerous disruptions to travel and shipping efforts are likely with the potential for power outages as a result of rain, thunderstorms, wind and snow from the unfolding and strengthening storm next week over the middle of the nation.”

In this photo provided by the Fraser Coast Regional Council, water floods streets and houses in Maryborough, Australia, Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. Heavy rain is bringing record flooding to some east coast areas while the flooding in Brisbane, a population of 2.6 million, and its surrounds is the worst since 2011 when the city was inundated by what was described as a once-in-a-century event. (Queensland Fire and Emergency Services via AP)

Shortly after the Nation of Islam commemorated its annual Saviours’ Day celebration, with a special Feb. 27 message from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, entitled, “The Swan Song,” the United States, as well as other countries, experienced unusual weather events.

Opening the Islamic Holy Month of Ramadan, the Minister addressed listeners via phone on the Ramadan Prayer Line on April 2 with these words, in part:

“Since Saviours’ Day or ‘The Swan Song,’ the natural strength of God’s power over nature is manifesting more and more. This is such a serious time for us as Believers, but it is a serious time for every human being that walk upon the earth that belongs to Allah.”

He continued, “Allah is warning us and telling us that we must do that which is necessary to cast off the burden of sin. Our iniquitous behavior all over the earth has caused the anger of God but also we are living in the time of the ending of a world of wickedness. This is the time of the Judgment of God. This is the time that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad has pointed out to us as the Days of Allah,” he said referencing his Teacher and Eternal Leader of the Nation of Islam.

In this photo provided by the Fraser Coast Regional Council, water floods streets and buildings in Maryborough, Australia, Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. Heavy rain is bringing record flooding to some east coast areas while the flooding in Brisbane, a population of 2.6 million, and its surrounds is the worst since 2011 when the city was inundated by what was described as a once-in-a-century event. (Queensland Fire and Emergency Services via AP)

Ocala, Florida, located in Marion County, was hit with an EF-1 tornado at a rate of 110 mph, on March 12. The tornado caused real estate damage, personal property loss and with the debris removal, left a total of $15.6 million in damages.

Birmingham, Alabama, experienced heavy rain and flash flooding. The area got up to five inches of rain, washing out roads, leaving motorists stranded.

The website reported, “Short term drought recently developed in a region stretching from North Carolina southward through parts of Florida. Dry conditions will bring an elevated risk of wildfires across the Southwest and southern Plains and north to the Central Plains, especially when high winds are present. Drought conditions in the Southwest are unlikely to improve until the late summer monsoon rainfall begins.”

In the month of March, many areas of the U.S. and globally experienced severe weather events. The state of California endured a spring heat wave, while still undergoing a severe drought which saw temperatures such as 89 degrees in Santa Rosa, breaking a 1926 record of 86 degrees. The city of Camarillo hit 90 degrees, breaking a 1926 and 2008 record of 88 degrees. Burbank tied an 86-degree record set in 2008, while downtown Sacramento tied the 1915 record of 82 degrees.

Michael Talamantez comforts his girlfriend Derry Schroer after Talamantez’ house on Stratford Drive in Round Rock, Texas was destroyed by a severe storm, reported as a tornado, while they were inside on Monday March 21, 2022. “I thought I was going to die,” he said. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

“We see that Allah (God) is active, Allah and His Christ are active bringing storms and tornadoes across the country, particularly in the South. The natural weather occurrences are increasing. Northwest Texas has been experiencing drought-like conditions with increased winds, which can cause fires to spread rapidly.

We’ve been on an outdoor burning ban in parts of Texas because of this,” stated Student Minister Dr. Haleem Muhammad, Southwest Regional Representative of the Nation of Islam.

Other parts of the world are also experiencing severe and unprecedented weather.

The metropolitan area of Petropolis, located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was struck with heavy rainfall on March 20, dropping 16 inches of rain in just 10 hours, with eight inches of that total falling within a four-hour time period. The torrential rainfall caused massive landslides. The city endured 100 landslides and major flooding, buildings were damaged and destroyed.

Australia has been hit with recurring flooding. Torrential downpours pummeled the country’s East Coast on April 7 with Sydney receiving nearly a month’s rain overnight, turning suburban roads into rivers and triggering evacuations as authorities warned of more to come, reported CNN.

Jarrod Schneider, who lives on Oxford Drive in Round Rock, Texas, helps his neighbors clean up after a tornado heavily damaged several homes on the street on Monday ,March 21, 2022. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

“Sydney has received 1,227 millimeters (48 inches) of rain so far this year, more than its average annual rainfall of 1,213 millimeters. Over the next 24 hours, many coastal towns could get up to 180 millimeters, the Bureau of Meteorology said,” reported

“The people cry about death and destruction playing havoc over America, but they never cry about the evil that they are committing, which is the cause of this destruction coming into her borders bringing floods, rain, ice, hail and earthquakes daily and nightly somewhere on the surface of the land of America,” wrote the Hon. Elijah Muhammad in his critically important book, “The Fall of America.”

Beginning March 29, nearly 30 tornadoes formed in the Florida Panhandle, wreaking havoc across seven states within the South and Midwest. The National Weather Service reported one tornado registering an EF-3 with winds at 145 mph, tore through Springdale, Arkansas, injuring seven people and caused heavy damage to an elementary school.

ABC News’ site,, reported, “Besides tornadoes, the severe weather front came with damaging winds that ripped roofs on homes, barns, and businesses and uprooted trees. In Louisiana, powerful winds and low visibility due to blowing debris was blamed for a three car pile up on a highway near Iota that caused several minor injuries.”

Homes are damaged after a tornado swept through, Wednesday, March 23, 2022, in Arabi, La. A tornado flipped cars, ripped off rooftops and deposited a house in the middle of a street in the New Orleans area, part of a storm front that caused damage in places as it blew from Texas to South Carolina. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Power outages from severe weather have doubled over the past two decades across the U.S., as a warming climate stirs more destructive storms that cripple broad segments of the nation’s aging electrical grid, according to an Associated Press analysis of government data.

The United States Department of Energy data shows, “Forty states are experiencing longer outages, and the problem is most acute in regions seeing more extreme weather. The blackouts can be harmful and even deadly for the elderly and disabled and other vulnerable communities.”

The Associated Press analysis found that the number of outages tied to severe weather were more than 100 annually on average over the past five years; and in California alone, power losses have affected tens of thousands of people who rely on electricity for medical needs.

The Hon. Elijah Muhammad and Min. Farrakhan have repeatedly warned that God’s Judgment has entered America for her historical and ongoing wickedness against the Darker people of the planet. God will use the forces of nature to humble America the Hon. Elijah Muhammad taught.

“The four (4) Great Judgments that Allah (God) promises to destroy America with are now coming upon her … hail, snow, drought, earthquake. Allah (God) has reserved His treasures of snow and ice to be used against the wicked country America in the day of battle and war. These are some of Allah’s (God’s) weapons, the storms that we see going on,” he warned in “The Fall of America.”

Shawntell Muhammad can be contacted at Final Call staff contributed to this report.

From The Final Call Newspaper

They Shall Seek Peace And Not Find It

By Brian E. Muhammad, Staff Writer
- April 5, 2022


More fuel on the fire of war halts road to peace

“Destruction hath come, And they have sought peace, and there is none”—Bible, Ezekiel 7:25

Bombs keep falling and fighting continues despite Russia’s promise to scale back attacks on Ukraine’s capital city and a nearby territory. Diplomatic peace and ceasefire talks brokered by Turkey rendered cautious optimism by some observers in the deadly Russia-Ukraine war that has killed thousands and displaced millions of people. But what does peace look like amid continued conflict, distrust and nations jockeying for strategic positions and power?

At presstime negotiators from each side resumed video talks even as Kyiv accused Moscow’s forces of carrying out atrocities in towns in the north, reported several news outlets. Mass graves were reported in the town of Bucha, near Kyiv. The latest developments may possibly “complicate” peace talks stated President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine.

Mr. Zelenskiy charged that the abuses are genocide. The European Union (EU) called for increased sanctions on Russia. The Kremlin dismissed the accusations about Bucha and argued the accusations by Ukraine “should be treated with skepticism.” Ukraine negotiators announced that enough inroads during peace talks with Russian officials were made to warrant a face-to-face between Zelenskiy and Putin. Ukraine chief negotiator David Arakhamia said on April 2 that a draft peace treaty proposed by Ukraine was “verbally accepted” by Russia except on the question of Crimea, a territory Russia annexed in 2014.

Russia Ukraine War Day In Photos

The meeting site if one takes place, was not clear by Final Call presstime but could possibly happen in Istanbul or Ankara, Turkey. Although the development was considered progress amid contentious talks, conflict has not halted.

Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of its neighbor that has leveled cities, world leaders and international bodies have been in search of peace and a solution but are finding neither.

“It’s very difficult at this point to achieve a peace in Ukraine because Russia has not achieved its objectives in the war,” said John Feffer, director of the Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute of Policy Studies.

He said it was clear from the battle strategy and statements from Mr. Putin that the objective was to seize as much Ukrainian territory as possible, replace the government with a pro-Russian regime and impose a status of neutrality.

According to The Guardian, Ukraine had offered to accept becoming neutral if it receives adequate security guarantees from Western nations and abandons its aspirations to join NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). “But those moves would require amending the constitution or a referendum, neither of which can be done in wartime, analysts say,” the publication reported.

Under international law, a country is neutral if it won’t interfere in situations of international armed conflict involving other belligerent parties. It cannot allow a belligerent party to use its territory as a base of military operations, take sides or supply military equipment, noted

From most accounts, Russia’s objective has fallen flat. “Basically, Russia has failed to do that, although the issue of neutrality is now on the negotiating table,” said Mr. Feffer. “From that point of view there has been some movement toward perhaps a compromised position,” he told The Final Call.

No peace on the horizon

Refugees wait in a queue, after fleeing the war from neighbouring Ukraine at the border crossing in Medyka, southeastern Poland, on Tuesday, March 29, 2022. The daily number of people fleeing Ukraine has fallen in recent days but border guards, aid agencies and refugees say Russia’s unpredictable war offers few signs whether it’s just a temporary lull or a permanent drop-off. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

America, EU, NATO, and the G-7 are talking peace and mitigating war, but as the scriptures say: “While they talk Peace, the sword reaches to the sword.”

Political commentator Kevin Alexander Gray told The Final Call, the pathway for peace is to face the fundamental problem of expansionism by multiple parties.

“The EU, NATO and the United States have to agree not to expand NATO; and Russia needs to agree not to expand into those borderline states, that really want to be connected to Europe,” said Mr. Gray.

Russia’s broken pledge paired with America’s and Western nations boosting armaments of war to Ukraine and increasing troop levels in bordering NATO countries is adding fuel to the fire of war.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan warned the world that America will be pulled into this war during his monumental address, “The Swan Song,” delivered February 27 at Nation of Islam headquarters in Chicago. The Minister shared his observation of the conflict from a divine and spiritual perspective rooted in scripture and as Allah’s (God’s) Servant in the world.

“Putin, Putin, Putin now you’re out there Mr. President. You are out there. Look at what’s happening: I don’t know who is winning because I am not aware of the facts. But they tell me the Ukrainians are fighting back. If the Ukrainians are fighting back; you are feeling it. Otherwise why would you call Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy a Nazi?” the Minister said during his message that was broadcast around the world.

“Others say: ‘No, no, no. He’s not a Nazi. He’s Jewish.’ Zelenskiy said he’s not giving up. You’re going to pay a price. You feel strong but look at how God will take the Ukrainian people and shame you. Big bad Russia. You should never have come at them like that. So now you’re feeling some heat inside your own house. But you’re not going to stop,” warned Min. Farrakhan.

His teacher also prophesized of what is on the horizon.

“We do not hope for peace as long as we add to the war that which serves as fuel to a fire,” wrote the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad in His book “Our Saviour has Arrived.” “The fire cannot go out as long as we keep it burning by adding more fuel. A dying, burning fire is increased when more fuel is thrown into it,” he wrote.

The conflict has brought the nations to the brink of World War III, also known as the dreaded war of Armageddon in the scriptures.

Russian forces bombed areas around Kyiv and another city after vowing to ease operations in those zones to promote trust between the two sides, Ukrainian authorities said March 30.

At least 1,100 civilians have been killed in a month of fighting in Ukraine, a senior UN humanitarian official told the Security Council, stressing that the conflict “shows no signs of abating.”

“Cities, like Mariupol, Kharkiv, Chernihiv and many others—bustling and full of life just one month ago—are encircled, bombarded and blockaded,” said Joyce Msuya, assistant secretary-general for Humanitarian Affairs.

She emphasized that at least 99 children are among the dead and injured, as hospitals, homes and schools were destroyed.

During peace talks Ukrainian officials outlined possible concessions on disputed territory occupied by Russia. On the condition of a ceasefire, a 15-year consultation process was considered around the status of Crimea. The diplomats discussed Ukraine assuming a neutral status in exchange for international security guarantees. The status means a country agrees not to enter international security alliances. For Ukraine, it would likely mean giving up its longstanding effort to join NATO and not allowing foreign military bases on Ukrainian soil. However, if achieved the arrangement wouldn’t guarantee a lasting peace because Ukraine’s military strength will still depend on armament from America and Western powers which are Russian adversaries.

With heightening fears of the Eastern European conflict continuing to spiral downward with serious impacts on around the world, there is a lot riding on finding any resemblance of what could be considered peace.

Ripple effects of war

As negotiations for peace struggle along, pressure on other parts of the world thickens. The war is showing ripples of trouble across the globe. While Russia was placed under economic sanctions to force Mr. Putin to submission through squeezing the economy, European nations are beginning to suffer.

Clapping back against the U.S.-Western sanctions, Mr. Putin signed a decree, ordering foreign buyers of gas to pay in local rubles instead of euros starting April 1. Energy ministers at the G-7 industrialized nations rejected the ultimatum and countries like Germany, Greece and the Netherlands moved to use other means for supply.

Russia provides Europe 40 percent of its gas needs and it exported around 155 billion cubic meters to Europe last year. Without it, Europe would have to buy more gas on the spot market where prices are already around 500 percent higher than last year.

With disruptions, Russia stands to lose a main source of income. Europe has much to lose as businesses and households are already in the throes of record high energy prices.

The speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament, Valentina Matviyenko, said Moscow was ready if Europe refused to buy Russian energy and could redirect supplies to Asian markets among others, TASS news agency reported.

At the ire of America and the EU, both China and India made commitments to buy Russian oil at steep discount prices.

Beyond oil prices, grain and agricultural implications could impact Africa. There is significant agricultural trade between African countries and Russia and Ukraine. As Europe is impacted, the Middle East is impacted and Africa although, not spared by the war, like India and China has taken an independent stance on the matter.

In a visit to the continent on March 31 Jessica Lapenn, U.S. ambassador to the African Union, sought a “a strong African response” to the Russian invasion and plans to help lessen the economic effects of the conflict on Senegal, she said.

“We look for a strong African response to Russian aggression and welcome the opportunity to partner with Senegal and other Africans on both the response to Russia’s aggression but also to address the implications of it globally,” she told journalists in Dakar, Senagal.

Senegal’s President Macky Sall currently holds the African Union’s rotating presidency.

In UN votes in March nearly half of all African countries abstained or did not vote in resolutions condemning Russia and calling for an immediate cessation of fighting.

In 2020, African countries imported agricultural products worth $4 billion from Russia. Wheat accounted for approximately 90 percent of these imports. Egypt was the largest importer, followed by Sudan, Nigeria, Tanzania, Algeria, Kenya, and South Africa.

Similarly, Ukraine exported agricultural products worth $2.9 billion to the continent in 2020. Wheat accounted for roughly 48 percent of this, maize 31 percent, and sunflower oil, barley, and soybeans accounted for the remainder.

The ongoing war could affect supply chains and raise the cost of imports.

Political analyst Abayomi Azikiwe said the position that African countries took abstaining from signing on to the U.S. anti-Russia position is based on past relations.

“The history of the former Soviet Union, in terms of their support for progressive liberation movements and revolutionary governments in Africa is sealed,” said Mr. Azikiwe. “There’s still that collective memory on the part of people on the continent and people throughout the world,” he added.

The conflict in Ukraine also revealed a pro-Russian sentiment in Africa. In Mali, the Central African Republic, and Ethiopia were demonstrations supporting Russia in the Ukrainian conflict. “It’s a lesson for the United States,” Mr. Azikiwe told The Final Call. He said African nations not readily falling under the influence of America is a point of worry in Washington.

In this handout photo released by Russian Emergency Ministry Press Service on Friday, April 1, 2022, firefighters work at the site of fire at an oil depot in Belgorod region, Russia. The governor of the Russian border region of Belgorod accused Ukraine of flying helicopter gunships into Russian territory and striking an oil depot Friday morning. The depot is run by Russian energy giant Roseneft about 21 miles from the border. The governor says it was set ablaze by the attack that left two people injured. If confirmed, it would be the first attack of its kind by Ukrainian forces inside Russia. (Russian Emergency Ministry Press Service via AP)

America is feeling the domino effect of the conflict. Factors ill effecting Americans is a projection of famine on the horizon while the country is still experiencing the economic strain of Covid-19.

Millions of Americans are being hit with increases in gas prices exacerbated even higher by the war. Americans on average use about 21 million barrels of oil daily, with about 40 percent of the consumption devoted to gasoline, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

President Joe Biden is ordering the release of one million barrels of oil per day from the nation’s petroleum reserve for six months, the White House announced March 31. The effort is a bid to control energy prices that soared as the U.S. and allies imposed steep sanctions on Russia.

The move by Mr. Biden shows that oil is a vulnerable spot for America at home and abroad. Higher prices have damaged Mr. Biden’s approval domestically.

Polls released late March by NBC News shows that 57 percent of respondents believe the U.S. is already at war with Russia, or that it will be within the next year. Of those, 41 percent believe the U.S. is on the brink of war with Russia and will be in direct military conflict with the country soon. Sixteen percent said the U.S. is already at war with Russia.

Either way, peace is not on the horizon. “There is no doubt in anyone’s mind today that the condition of the nations is such that needs a ruler who is not involved in the present world of corruption to bring about peace and good will among the people of the earth,” said the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. (Final Call staff contributed to this report.)