Somalia is 'most ignored tragedy'

Other News Materials 6 October 2008 07:52 (UTC +04:00)

The world should be shocked at the systematic destruction of Somalia's capital Mogadishu and its residents, says lobby group Human Rights Watch, reported BBC.

The organisation told the BBC the city had become a zone of free-fire between government and insurgent forces.

It said if such a situation was happening anywhere else in the world, like Georgia or Lebanon for example, it would be considered a travesty.

Instead Somalia was the most ignored tragedy in the world today, HRW said.

Mogadishu is dying.

It is a city on the Indian Ocean coast that used to be one of Africa's trading hubs with the Middle East.

Now whole swathes of it are rubble or skeletons of buildings without doors or windows or roofs.

The most shocking, eerie aspect of it is that in many parts of the capital all the people have fled.

The fighting is between the US-backed government and Islamist and nationalist insurgents, who Washington accuses of having links with al-Qaeda.       

The Somali government has no capacity to count the number of people who have fled and there are no international aid workers left to do the job because they would be kidnapped for ransom or murdered.

But the fighting has been worse for the ordinary residents of Mogadishu than even the infamous period in the early 1990s that spawned the film Black Hawk Down, a portrayal of American troops killed in Somalia at that time.

Today is worse than Black Hawk Down for the people of Mogadishu, much worse.

I was in the city in the early 1990s. It was an extremely violent time.

Not a night passed without explosions lighting up the sky but even that did not empty the capital of Somalia like the daily fratricidal confrontations now taking place between the government and its armed opponents.