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February 5, 2013 | By Emily Alpert
A woman who accused Somali security forces of raping her must spend a year behind bars for making a “false accusation” and insulting the government, a Mogadishu court ruled Tuesday. Court official Ahmed Aden Farah said medical evidence showed that the woman was not raped, the Associated Press reported. Her prison term was delayed to allow her to care for her baby. Journalist Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim, who had interviewed the convicted woman, will also spend a year behind bars on related charges, the court ruled.
January 25, 2013 | By Emily Alpert
Twitter suspended an account run by Somali extremists linked to Al Qaeda on Friday, two days after the militants threatened to execute Kenyan hostages and posted a video of one pleading for the Kenyan government to help free them. Shabab militants released the video titled “Kenyan POWS: The Final Message” on Twitter on Wednesday. In the short video, one of the hostages asks Kenyans to pressure their government to ensure the captives are freed, according to the SITE monitoring service, whose analysts track extremist statements.
August 27, 2012 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
MOGADISHU, Somalia - In the years to come, Ahmed Jama will be seen either as a visionary or a lunatic who squandered his money on a crazy dream. That crazy dream? To bring tourists to his hotel on the shores of one of the world's prettiest beaches - which just happens to be on the edge of a city known for more than 20 years as the world's most dangerous place. Mogadishu. In his dream, there won't be half a dozen guards with guns on the back of an SUV for most foreign visitors, like now. And the haunting memories of ruthless warlords, crippling famine and terrifying armed children will have faded.
August 20, 2012 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
MOGADISHU, Somalia - As Somalia approaches its umpteenth attempt to forge a government that will actually stick, there's a deadening familiarity here: bloodstained warlords reemerging, clan elders manipulating politics, roadblocks going up as militias try to reclaim turf. And yet a year of relative peace in Mogadishu, long the world capital of chaos, and the recent adoption of a new constitution have raised faint hopes that this latest stab at shedding the "failed state" label might actually work.
August 9, 2012 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
MOGADISHU, Somalia - They came to the stadium in late afternoon, a sprinkle of rain mixing with their sweat as they pounded around the rough sand track. This is Mogadishu and the stadium bears the scars of war, but the gray sky could have been golden. In every runner's heart, it was as if there were another presence in the stadium, running with them: Mo Farah, the first Mogadishu-born athlete to take Olympic gold, in the 10,000-meter final in London. Although Farah, 29, won for the British team, to everyone in this city, he's a Somali.
July 16, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Ships are staffing their decks with armed guards. Government navies are out in force scouring the waters. The increased watchfulness is starting to wash away the grip held by maritime pirates, especially Somali ones, over the high seas. Piracy dove 54% in the first half of the year, according to the International Maritime Bureau, a unit of the International Chamber of Commerce. From January to June, pirates around the world attacked ships 177 times, down from 266 assaults during the same period last year.
July 13, 2012 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - The Dadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya is the biggest in the world, a sprawl of nearly half a million people, some of whom have lived there for about two decades. Residents who fled famine and warfare in Somalia have now seen grandchildren born and raised in what was supposed to have been a temporary home. They have also seen predators and criminal groups flourish, and watched as recruiters lure bored and frustrated boys back to Somalia to serve in militias or pirate gangs.
January 7, 2012 | By David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times
A Navy destroyer rescued 13 Iranian fishermen held hostage by Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea only days after Tehran warned the United States to keep its ships out of the nearby Persian Gulf. Sailors from the guided-missile destroyer Kidd boarded the Iranian dhow Thursday and detained 15 Somalis after one of the fishermen was able to reveal in a radio communication that his vessel's crew was being held captive. Seeing a publicity windfall at a time of growing tension with Iran, Pentagon public affairs officers quickly swung into action, setting up a conference call for reporters with Navy commanders in the region.
November 18, 2011 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
In the month since Kenya invaded southern Somalia, one government official has urged negotiations with Al Qaeda-linked militants the army is attacking there. Another ruled out talks. A spokesman said the incursion was months in the planning. The army commander said the decision took just days. There is greater accord among officials that the country's first foreign war in its nearly 50-year history is likely to be a long slog, and among critics that Operation Linda Nchi, or Protect the Nation, is a risky venture of more value to the U.S. than to Kenya.
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