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Showing posts from September, 2013

Healing unseen wounds in Mogadishu

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Mogadishu, Somalia - “I was alone,” remembers 14-year-old Hoda*, recalling that evening in January 2013. “My father is a police officer, and he was working that night.” Hoda was in the bathroom preparing for bed, while two armed men quietly broke into her house. A man of 75 years and his son then hid under her bed. When Hoda returned to her room, the men emerged and began to rape her. Eventually her screams were heard by neighbours, who came to her aid, detaining the men, who are now in prison awaiting trial.
Such situations are common in Somalia. Ever since the outbreak of civil war in 1991, the country has been enveloped by sectarian and clan violence and foreign military intervention. In 2011, African Union forces supported by the United Nations ousted the militant Islamist group Al-Shabaab and have been tasked with maintaining public security and stability for the democratically elected government. While open fighting is no longer the norm, for the people who live here, daily lif…