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Revisited

Somalia: Mogadishu revisited

France 24

Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, reduced to ruins by two decades of civil war, has seen a return to an uneasy peace over the last couple of years. FRANCE 24 went to meet the Somalians who are trying to rebuild their city as well as their lives.

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Mention the words ‘failed state,’ and Somalia is perhaps the country which springs most readily to mind. The central government there collapsed more than 20 years ago, unleashing a period of chaos and conflict ruled by clan warlords, ethnic militias and, latterly, Islamic extremism.

But over the last couple of years, a semblance of normality has returned, at least to the capital, Mogadishu, and other urban centres. Al Shabaab – a militant group which operates as part of the al-Qaeda network – has been forced out of most major towns, thanks largely to a military intervention by the African Union and assistance from Western donors.

A new government is nearing its first birthday, raising tentative hopes that a restoration of state authority is within reach. Our reporters Duncan Woodside and Stéphanie Braquehais visited Mogadishu, where they spent time with female basketball players and the city mayor, to gain a sense of how people are adjusting to the challenges of a post-conflict environment.
 

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