Somalia: A Chance At Normalcy
Federal Soldiers sip tea while children kick a football on a dusty street in the Somali capital of Mogadishu in October 2011: a scene of daily life unthinkable in August, when Islamist Shebab fighters were in control.
“We came back last month after the Shebab left, because it was not safe before,” Abdulah Abubakr said in October 2011. “The Shebab would beat us; they would even kill people without questioning, and then there was heavy fighting,” added the 70-year-old former truck driver in Mogadishu’s northeastern Tawfiq district, a former Shebab stronghold.
After four years of bitter battles, African Union–backed government troops forced the al-Qaida–linked Shebab to pull out of key positions in August 2011, leaving die-hard rebel pockets on the edges of the city. The pullout allowed some areas of the city to return to relatively normal life.
“People are still scared because they fear that the Shebab will return,” said Abdirahman Mohamed, a Soldier with Somalia’s transitional government, working alongside African Union forces. “But things are getting better, the fighting has calmed down here.” Agence France-Presse