Photo Essay: Mogadishu – A City Under Siege []

In Africa, World News on October 29, 2009 at 9:22 pm

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Nearly two years after Ethiopian forces led an armed intervention to oust Somalia’s Islamic Courts Union from power, the impoverished country has seen some of the deadliest violence in its history. Devastated by an Islamist insurgency, Somalia is facing a humanitarian catastrophe that rivals Darfur, with Mogadishu at the forefront. A staggering 600,000 Somalis have fled the capital city from February to November of 2007 alone. Nearly half of the city is deserted with over one million internally displaced persons, IDPs, taking refuge in one of the hundreds of over crowded camps in and around the city, predisposed to fatal diseases due to unsanitary conditions and malnutrition.

Since the downfall of President Siad Barre’s regime in 1991, differing tribal parties and warlords have been fighting for dominance in the country. Civilians fled, many to neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia. After several failed U.N. peace processes, the Transitional Federal Government,TFG, was established and is currently the internationally recognized government of Somalia, supported by Ethiopia, the U.S. and the U.N. Although having formed in 2004, it wasn’t until two years later, when the opposing Islamic Court Union was overthrown, that they gained dominance in the country.

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To see the rest of Franco Pagetti’s stunning portraits of war torn Somalia and other photographic essays visit


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