30 Jan '12, 8am

Somalia’s conflicts show no sign of resolution

Five years ago, stood in the concrete shell of a building in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, I made a deal. When the war ended, once it was safe for people – both Somalis and foreigners – to walk around Mogadishu without the need for armed guards, when what was once Africa’s most beautiful city was ready to return to its former glory, I would come back and open a seafood restaurant. I had known the man I shook hands with, Farah, for just a few days, but we had become firm friends. He had been my guide, my fixer, my conscience, leading me around his war-torn city meeting warlords and Islamists, sugar importers and hospital directors, school children and imams. Ethiopian troops had just swept into the city, driving out a loose coalition of Islamic clerics that had run Mogadishu for the previous six months. The country had been destroyed by a series of overlapping civil wars, i...

Full article: http://www.monocle.com/monocolumn/2012/01/26/somalias-con...

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