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> The Most Dangerous City on Earth....
Famousgrl
post Jan 6th 2012, 10:14 PM
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*This is a multi-post section. Researching this city and situation has caused me to have thoughts on everything from our current politics to humanity/capitalism*


Mogadishu, Somalia

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The city is so dangerous, Wikipedia issued this travel warning:

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WARNING: Mogadishu is regarded as the most lawless and dangerous city on Earth and is currently experiencing a major food and refugee crisis. 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 (Somali: Muqdisho; Arabic: مقديشو‎ Maqadīshū) is the official capital of Somalia, a major battleground of the civil war which have ravaged the country since 1991.


Understand

A devastating civil war had ruined this once beautiful city for almost twenty years now, leaving little but ruins left. Since 1991 various Islamist and/or clan or warlord-affiliated militias have had control over different parts of the city. A few months of relief was given in 2006 when the Union of Islamic courts took full control. Somalia was however invaded by Ethiopian just six months later and re-instated the western-backed Transitional Federal Government. The hard-line Islamist group Al-Shabab gradually took control over Mogadishu until the government only controlled a few square blocks. A counter-offensive, supported by large amounts of African Union troops cleared the city of militants in August 2011. Bombings and shootings are still commonplace but open warfare have for now ceased. A major shortage of food and thousands of refugees puts enormous stress on the few governmental offices that are able to function.

The book Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden gives a detailed and a very accurate description of the lawlessness in Mogadishu during the early years of civil war.


Get in


By air

Although the Mogadishu airport was bombed in December 2006 by Ethiopia (to prevent militants from receiving supplies), passenger flights are operating. Jubba Airways [1] serves Mogadishu from Dubai, Jeddah, Nairobi, Djibouti, as well as domestically from Hargeisa and Galkayo. East African Safari Air Express [2] operates a weekly service to/from Nairobi, on Sundays. The return flight stops in Wajir for security processing before continuing on to Nairobi.


By road

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.


By boat

Small cargo ships regularly leave from the Old Harbour of Mombasa for Mogadishu and sometimes Kismayo. Speak with the security officers at the gate of this tiny port and they will negotiate a fare with the captain. The journey will take 2-5 days, depending on conditions. The sea is rough in July-August, requiring lengthier travel. Arriving by boat is risky, as there is the strong possibility of being attacked by pirates, though the port area is relatively secure.


Get around

Mogadishu 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.


See

Arba-Rucun Mosque (Mosque of the four pillars). Owing to the city's Islamic heritage, one of few things the city's various warlords can agree on, this 1269 mosque has been luckier than the neighbouring cathedral, and is one of very few buildings in the historic center which is not a ruin. It's said to have been built by a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed.

Learn

The Mogadishu University is a non-governmental university that is governed by the Board of Trustees and the University Council. Admission requirements for the University as listed on their website include:

Original secondary school certificate plus one copy. Birth certificate. Certificate of good conduct. 12 photos (6 x 4) cm. Completed application form. Payment of the registration fee. Passing written and oral entrance examinations.

Benadir University was started in 2002 with the intention to train doctors but has expanded into other fields.


Buy

The Bakaara Market (Suuqa Bakaaraha) is an open market and the largest in Somalia. Created in late 1972 during the reign of Siad Barre, its original purpose was to allow proprietors to sell daily essentials. The civil war subsequently created demand for arms and ammunition. Everything from pistols to anti-aircraft weapons are being sold. Falsified documents are also readily available. Forged Somali, Ethiopian and Kenyan passports can be processed within minutes. This illicit sub-market is known as Cabdalle Shideeye after one of its first proprietors.

Most markets and especially the Bakaara Market are a focus of ongoing arms control efforts for the disarmament of Somalia. Marketplaces should be considered hazardous not only because of their content and the presence of some unsavory characters, but also because they have caught fire several times in the last few years.


Eat

International cuisine can be found at Nasa Hablod Restaurant inside Hotel Nasa Hablod and at the Sahafi Hotel. These are probably the safest options for travelers.


Drink

Abdille Nuradin's Bar, (Infront of the STN Tele Comp). Opening Time 8AM/6PM. 1000 shln per drink. edit


Sleep

Hotel Nasa-Hablod (Local script), Km 4 square, Mogadishu (2 Km from International Airport), ☎ +25261858440 ([email protected], fax: +25262215943), [3]. Restaurant, meeting rooms, safe box, TV, internet access, a/c.

Hotel Shamo, Address. Large rooms, with air conditionned, wi-fi and electricity 24 h a day. The restaurant is extremely decent, and serve lobster when available at the fish market. The hotel is also relatively safe. From $100.

Sahafi Hotel, Address. One of the best hotels in Mogadishu. The Manager is very helpful, the staff is attentive, and the food is good. Although the compound is probably your safest bet (if there is such a thing) in Mogadishu, a BBC producer was shot in the back and killed in front of the hotel in 2005, and two French citizens abducted by gunmen in 2009.

Stay safe

The safest way through Mogadishu is escorted by Ethiopian and official Somalian troops, or African Union peacekeeping forces; however, uniformed soldiers are a target for the militias and may come under attack. Independent travel is suicidal. Unpredictable armed conflicts among rival militias are prevalent in and around Mogadishu and can flare up with little or no warning. Lines of control in Mogadishu are unclear and frequently shift, making movement within the city extremely hazardous. When being escorted by armed security, it is best to be in an armored car. Infantry are highly likely to get engaged in street battles, and an armored vehicle can provide far better protection against most threats. A bullet proof vest is a must-have in Mogadishu. Again, the easiest way of staying safe is to not go unless vitally necessary.

See also War zone safety.


More coming up in the next few posts...

This post has been edited by Famousgrl: Jan 6th 2012, 10:24 PM


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post Jan 6th 2012, 10:14 PM


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Famousgrl
post Jan 6th 2012, 10:41 PM
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Mind you, it used to be a beautiful city. What a lot of people fail to realize is that not all of Africa is a sh*thole, and that some of the sh*thole sections used to be beautiful and very well-run. Just putting that out there since racists like to talk a lot of sh*t about black nations.

This is what the city used to look like:

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It was known as the "White pearl of the Indian Ocean. It was a beautiful, gorgeous, place, and had many tourists.


Now:

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QUOTE
I first saw Somalia in the 1970s as the new Mission Environmental Officer as we opened up the diplomatic mission for USAID. We initially took over the old Sinclair Oil Company offices. Later, I also became the defacto Health Officer. Those of us who first arrived in Mogadishu saw a city that many commented was the most orderly and clean in all of Africa and these were old Africa hands. Donkeys pulling delivery carts wore diapers.

Traffic, although sparse, was orderly---nothing like the chaos of Nairobi. Cans and bottles from our trash were carefully salvaged and recycled---they were valuable containers. At 2:00 in the morning it was completely safe to walk the dark, narrow, and twisting streets and alley ways of the ancient city.

http://hellaheaven-ana.blogspot.com/2011/0...-destroyed.html

This post has been edited by Famousgrl: Jan 6th 2012, 10:49 PM


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Famousgrl
post Jan 6th 2012, 11:07 PM
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Alright, so researching this for hours has sparked many thoughts in me. It's amazing how one situation can encapsulate so many life/world lessons.

#1: This is a classic example that most Muslims aren't crazy/evil/etc. The people are rising up precisely because they resent the extremist Muslims trying to take over. That is one of the main causes of this decades long civil war!!!

Pretty much all of the people you see fighting against the extremists are Muslims too! They just don't subscribe to the extremist view, and they know it's a bastardization of what Islam is really supposed to be about.

This tells the story of what's going on there:




First of all, that reporter is brave as hell. After reading about all of the travel warnings, it's amazing that people still go. This reporter has been captured and is rumored to be raped and pregnant:

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QUOTE
Canadian freelance journalist Amanda Lindhout sits with a child in Mogadishu, Somalia, in this undated handout photo. Lindhout and three others were abducted Aug. 23, 2008.


Secondly, look at how many Somalis are willing to risk their lives to fight the extremists?

That girl toward the end of the video is soooo freakin' brave. And on a side note, facially she is gorgeous. It's just a reminder that some people don't need all of that "dolling up" to be beautiful. Look at how beautiful she is, and all you can see is her face! I think that some of her inner beauty must be shining through too.

More in next post.

This post has been edited by Famousgrl: Jan 6th 2012, 11:44 PM


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Famousgrl
post Jan 6th 2012, 11:29 PM
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QUOTE
Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, a 13-year old multiple rape victim stoned to death in Somalia.

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Last week Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow went to authorities in the city of Kismayo in Somalia to ask for help. She had been raped by three men. Instead of being helped, her hand and feet were bound, she was dragged out of a car to a hole in the middle of a Stadium, buried in the soil up to her neck and 50 men started throwing stones to her. Aisha was taken out of the hole and buried back twice to see if she was dead. The third inspection proved no life remained in her crushed body.

Amnesty said Duhulow struggled with her captors and had to be forcibly carried into the stadium.

"At one point during the stoning, Amnesty International has been told by numerous eyewitnesses that nurses were instructed to check whether Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was still alive when buried in the ground. They removed her from the ground, declared that she was, and she was replaced in the hole where she had been buried for the stoning to continue," the human rights group said. It continued: "Inside the stadium, militia members opened fire when some of the witnesses to the killing attempted to save her life, and shot dead a boy who was a bystander."


More:
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An innocent little girl, Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, aged only 13yrs was stoned to death in Somalia. She pleaded for her life, a witness explained. "Don't kill me, don't kill me," she cried, according to the man who wanted to remain anonymous. Numerous eye-witnesses say she was forced into a hole, buried up to her neck then pelted with stones by over than 50 men until she died in front of 1,000 jeering spectators. She had been accused of adultery in breach of Islamic law, but sources told Amnesty International that she had in fact been raped by three men, and had attempted to report this rape. Aisha was killed on Monday 27 October in a stadium in the southern port of Kismayu. None of men she accused of rape were arrested.


I've always contended that sh*t like this has absolutely nothing to do with religion, and has everything to do with repression and anger. Get those f*cks laid and happy, and they wouldn't be carrying on like this. They are so pent up!

This post has been edited by Famousgrl: Jan 6th 2012, 11:40 PM


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Famousgrl
post Jan 7th 2012, 12:14 AM
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#2. This is a reminder that sometimes we need to know when a "win" is a win. We & other nations were not satisfied when the fighting groups essentially made a deal in 2006. We wanted it to be run the way we wanted it to be run, but we just made the situation worse. It's like we didn't want to take something that was maybe 30% in our favor, 70% not, and so it ended up working out 100% not in our favor.

We aided in storming the city, and that just caused the extremists to pull out of the deal and totally try to take over. The stability that had finally come after 15 years of fighting was ruined!

We need to take heed and not repeat that scenario in Egypt. People bitch about the Muslim Brotherhood taking over, but we need to realize that they may be better than the alternative. Smart, thoughtful, politicians think things like this through.


#3. Reading about all of this really gives me a new-found respect for Hillary Clinton, just thinking about the fact that she has to deal with situations like this every, waking, moment of her day. You know, just sh*tty situations that you really have to know the ins and outs of, and situations where there are no real GOOD options.


#4. It also makes me understand more where Obama was coming from with the Libya situation. My, honest, initial, reaction was "don't get involved." But after reading all of this, I 10000% understand how hard it'd be not to get involved when you're President, and you're looking at people just fighting for survival, and knowing that we have the tools to help them.

These people don't have much, but they damn sure have bravery, and will, and it just sucks sitting on the sideline and not helping them.

At the same time, you run the risk of antagonizing things even more, so there's that problem. That's why it was so smart for us to approach Libya the way we did. Sure it took a little bit longer, but if we had put troops on the ground, it could have turned into an unnecessary, antagonizing, act, that would have emboldened extremists even more.


#5. While researching this city, I was looking at the info on the main extremist group, Al-Shabaab, who is causing all of this fighting there. Well, wouldn't you know it, every time I looked up one of their main personnel/leaders, it'd lead to an article about how we killed one of them in a recent drone attack. Just another reminder for me about how smart and effective Obama has been at waging the war against terror. When you just hear about it, it's one thing. But when you're looking up people and then finding out that every one of them has been killed...it really drives home the point of just how good Obama has been on terror. This is renewing my faith in him, and I wasn't even reading about this stuff for any political reason!


#6. All of this has re-enforced my belief that we need a thoughtful President who looks ten steps ahead, and really thinks about things from every angle. For this country's sake, I really hope that we expect that from our Republican candidate.


#7. Can we finally put to bed the bs about people having millions because they "earned it"? Capitalism can be good for many reasons, and I understand supply and demand and all of that, but please just stop acting like rich people do such hard work.

The UN COULD NOT EVEN SEND AID WORKERS to this city because it was so dangerous. So this man has been holding down the fort all on his own for years:

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Educated, multi-lingual...I'm sure he could have been working for some big corporation, and living an incredibly comfortable life. Instead he chose to go back to his place of birth, and work on this situation. Stuck in the middle of a war-torn, country. In danger every second of his life. His family can't even live there with him, because it's so dangerous there. If anything ever happens, he can't get aid there because HE IS the only aid.

These are our heros. People like this contribute more to society than any hedge fund manager EVER will. They work harder than any hedge fund manager EVER will. And by the way, if the fighting finally stops and the country starts rebuilding, who will we have to thank? People like this. Therefore I would argue that they actually are a bigger boon to an economy than hedge fund managers/ceos will ever be. A thriving economy there starts with people like this creating a stable situation there. And tell me that ain't hard work!

Here is an article on him, by the way:
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?News...Somali&Cr1=

All of this also applies to the young lady toward the end of that video I posted earlier.


Alright, that's the last of my thoughts, lol.

This post has been edited by Famousgrl: Jan 7th 2012, 12:36 AM


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Famousgrl
post Jan 7th 2012, 12:30 AM
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By the way, these two Americans joined the terrorist group there, Al-Shabaab:

White dude from Alabama:

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Spanish dude from Massachusetts:

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We got the white guy, btw original.gif :
QUOTE
A senior Kenyan police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity hinted that foreign air strikes in Somalia are part of measures taken to wipeout terrorist groups in the region.

Recent US air strikes in some parts of Somalia�s Jubba region is believed to have killed Ali Almriki, who is mandated in making deadly explosives for Al-shabaab and Al-Qaeda militants in Somalia.

http://sunatimes.com/view.php?id=1160

Get 'er done, Obama! Nice and easy, and without a war. Should have been done that way at the start of the last decade. Actually, it should have been done in the 90s. Probably would have avoided a lot, had we done so.


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Famousgrl
post Jan 25th 2012, 5:06 PM
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So last night as the President was getting dressed and getting ready to give his State of the Union speech, our kick-ass Navy Seal team carried out another mission.

In Somalia, not far from the city I'm talking about in this thread, an American woman and Danish man were taken hostage. The woman's condition was deteriorating quickly, as she has an infection. President Obama ordered the mission:
QUOTE
President Barack Obama authorized the mission by SEAL Team 6 two days earlier, deploying the same unit that killed Osama bin Laden last year. Minutes after the president gave his State of the Union address to Congress he was on the phone with the American's father to tell him his daughter was safe.

QUOTE
The hostage rescue was carried out by the same SEAL unit, SEAL Team 6, behind the operation in Pakistan last May that killed bin Laden, two U.S. officials said on condition of anonymity to discuss the operation.

One official said that the team parachuted into the area before moving on foot to the target. The raid happened near the Somali town of Adado.

They killed the nine hostage takers, and carried the two hostages out to safety and lifted them to the hospital.

I love that this President isn't playing around with these f*cks, and is like fine, I'll kill you if you f with us or our people. Remember when he had those Somalian pirates killed too?

Anyway, MSNBC showed a re-enactment of what these Navy Seals did, and it looked so cool. I'm gonna see if the video is available online.

Here's the President letting the woman's father know that she's safe now:

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The girl that they saved:

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The man that they saved:

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You can hear the President congratulating the Defense Secretary for this mission when he was walking through the crowd right before his State of the Union speech (go to the 28 second mark):



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Famousgrl
post Jan 25th 2012, 5:13 PM
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Ahhhhh, here's the super-cool re-enactment. I love it! haha.gif Go to the 1:10 mark:



These dudes are so bad-ass.

I remember that Jon Stewart "revealed" their identities, and it was Superman, Spiderman, Batman, etc. lmao. It was so fitting.


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Famousgrl
post Jan 25th 2012, 11:25 PM
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People bring up a good point. This was yet again risky for the President. Could you imagine the reaction if this had been botched and our seal members had been killed as the President was talking about national security/foreign policy?

It would have been horrible for him.


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bumnummies
post Jan 26th 2012, 9:08 AM
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Obama = Badass. Lets hope they can do some more work rescuing other hostages in Somalia.


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post Jan 26th 2012, 2:30 PM
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Great news though. To be honest other then what I felt was too slow of a reaction to Libya I have loved Obama's Foreign Policy!!


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playbiller
post Feb 5th 2012, 3:59 AM
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Somalia is such a sad case, I have been following the story for decades, partially through the work of UNICEF. So sad that their aides are being targeted and killed there now, as it is the only hope of so many people.


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