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Escape from Somalia just start of harrowing journey

May 13, 2009 Leave a comment

By Guy Dinmore

Published: May 13 2009

Farah Mohammad “Sharake” Adan, a 29-year-old Somali journalist, and his wife Hinde both fled Islamists in Mogadishu, eventually finding asylum in Italy last year, writes Guy Dinmore . But only after a harrowing journey through Kenya, Uganda, Sudan and then Libya where Hinde was beaten in the desert and miscarried a child.

Mr Adan relates in Rome how they fled Somalia after two of his colleagues on their Panorama magazine were shot dead and he was caught in a car bomb attack after their funeral. Hinde’s first husband was shot dead in front of her.

“People drank their urine or sold it to others,” Mr Adan says, describing their desert crossing in Libya with traffickers who “traded us like goats”. Once in Tripoli they were jailed. Men were beaten and starved. Some got out by paying $1,200 (€880, £786) to their Libyan guards. Another $4,000 got a place on a boat run by Libyan traffickers to Italy.

They were lucky to reach Italy when it still had what the UN calls a thorough and humane asylum policy. Within three months they had asylum and modest state support.

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Kenya closes border to Islamist militia

January 4, 2007 Leave a comment

By Andrew England in Cairo, Andrew Bounds in Brussels and Guy Dinmore in Washington

Published: January 4 2007

Kenya closed its border with Somalia yesterday, as Somali and Ethiopian troops pursued Islamist fighters in the south of the country and European officials called for an international peacekeeping effort to prevent instability in Somalia from triggering a regional crisis.

Many of the Islamist militias routed by Ethiopian-led forces backing Somalia’s transitional government have fled towards the Kenyan border, where the Nairobi government has promised to prevent fighters from crossing and regrouping in Kenyan territory.

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Somalis welcome ‘defeat’ of warlords by Islamist militias

June 7, 2006 Leave a comment

By Andrew England in Nairobi and Guy Dinmore in Washington

Published: June 7 2006

After Islamic militias claimed to have seized control of Mogadishu from an alliance of warlords, allegedly supported by the US, initial reports from the chaotic Somali capital yesterday seemed to suggest that many Somalis would welcome their apparent victory.

For 15 years, competing, clan-based factions had run the war-ravaged city, dividing it into mini-fiefdoms, running exploitation rackets and ruling through fear and the power of the gun.

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