Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dark world-Most dangerous city

Mogadishu is regarded as the most lawless and dangerous city on Earth. It is not safe for leisure or tourism. If you are planning a visit for international aid work, etc, you will need expert advice and planning.

Mogadishu is the official capital of Somalia. However, the internationally-recognized Transitional Federal Government (TFN) only controls a few square blocks; the rest is in the hands of Islamist and/or clan or warlord-affiliated militias. In early 2006, the Union of Islamic courts removed a US-backed coalition of warlords from power and restored order to the volatile capital for some six months. On December 28, 2006, however, the Islamic regime fled the city to the south as Ethiopian-backed government troops re-took the capital without firing a shot in a surprising escalation of events.

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However, the Ethiopian occupiers were widely despised and began withdrawing in 2007. Since then, various militias have been vying for control and most are opposed to the legitimate government. The fighting has created tens of thousands of fleeing refugees, has forced many non-government organizations (NGOs) to cease operations (such as providing food, shelter and medicine) and has brought Somalia’s very existence as a country to breaking-point. The fact that even thousands of Somalis refuse to stay there should make the situation clear: the city is extremely dangerous.

The war film Black Hawk Down, in some ways, gives an understanding of the lawlessness and dangers that exist in Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia. However, the book Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden gives more detail and a very accurate description of what Mogadishu was like back in 1993.


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The Mogadishu airport was bombed in December 2006 by Ethiopia to keep the Islamic Fighters from receiving supplies.

Jubba Airways serves Mogadishu from Dubai, Jeddah, Nairobi, Djibouti, as well as domestically from Hargeisa and Galkayo.

It is possible to drive into the city by truck, but this is considered a risky activity, unless you employ a group of local militia which are readily available for hire. Roads link the city with many Somali locales and with Kenya and Ethiopia. Armed guards, hired security forces, and experienced guides are all mandatory for a safe entry, and even then the risk of your being injured, killed or captured is extremely high.

dark-worldMogadishu has had no effective government since 1991, which has left the transport network that was in place in disrepair. Roads are a muddy mess during rain, traffic lights do not work, and there are no enforced traffic laws or public transport. Roads may be blocked or closed with no notice by militiamen. Traffic drives on the right. Some reports say that to get through intersections near markets crowded with people, those wealthy enough to have vehicles fire machine guns into the air to clear a path. Safe travel through Mogadishu is only possible by convoy with heavily armed guides and guards, which actually can be hired quite easily. Even with guards, the likelihood of being injured, kidnapped, and/or killed is still very high, including potentially by said hirable guards.

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