Saturday, September 18, 2010

Somalia - celebrating tweny years of madness

I am currently reading Aidan Hartley's 'The Zanzibar Chest' - a very gritty memoir of his upbringing in East Africa, retracing his father's steps through Yemen and his days as one of the bang bang club - the war correspondents sent in to capture live accounts of wars in deepest Africa that the world has never really cared about.

Hartley was at the frontline of the civil war that erupted in Mogadishu in 1991, and one of the first journalists to coin the phrase 'Warlords.' He saw how gunmen literally created a famine and then continuously ambushed food aid deliveries until many NGO's eventually gave up trying to get aid in on account of the high risk.

I woke up this morning and checked the news. Somalia occupies the first three stories on CNN's Africa page. It's been twenty years and yet the stories of brutal killing, weapon stashes and explosions killing civilians are unchanged!

What is the point of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force or the African Union for that matter if they have failed in quelling one of Africa's longest running wars?

My suggestion, if you're a blogger hiding out in a Somali bunker is to send a tipoff to the media that you have just discovered oil. Maybe that will help dispatch the cavalry.