Sunday, 6 November 2011

"Mogadishu goes to the beach"

I have just received this press release from the African Union peacekeepers (AMISOM) in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. The photos came with the press release.

*Mogadishans Take to Beaches as City Reawakens*

"Hundreds of Mogadishu residents last week took to the beaches for the first time in three years in a dramatic display of a new found sense of security following the forcing out from the city of Al Qaeda-linked terrorists.
The revellers, who included former president Ali Mahdi Mohamed, converged on the scenic Lido beach on Friday where they enjoyed a game of football and took a dip in the waters.
Ever since the Somali National Army, with the support of the African Union Mission in Somalia, forced the extremists' retreat in August, the capital has been experiencing something of a resurgence. Roads are being repaired, homes rebuilt and markets reopened. Real estate prices along Via Moscow have doubled and there are people out in the streets late into the night, despite the ongoing threat of terrorist attack.
However, as the city reawakens, it is also experiencing problems common to other capitals around the world. Traffic jams along the busy streets are a perennial headache and crime rates are up, according to Mayor Mohammed Nur 'Tarzan'.
Last week, the city's business community presented a gift of thirty animals to AMISOM in appreciation of the Mission's effort in helping secure the capital."

The man 'playing football' is former president Ali Mahdi Mohamed.

Al Shabaab said its withdrawal from the main parts of Mogadishu was a 'tactical retreat', not a 'forced retreat' as described in the press release. It has continued to carry out devastating suicide and other attacks in the city.


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