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With Militants Gone, Somalis Return To Mogadishu

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

After two decades of anarchy and civil war, some peace and quiet finally returns to Somalia’s capital city of Mogadishu.

Deka Cantar Adbikarin is a Somali citizen who lived most of her life in Canada.

She says that Somalia is now safe enough for people like her, who left the country because of the war.

[Deka Cantar Adbikarin, Returning Somali Expatriate]:
"There are a lot people coming back here now and it is probably the safest time to be in Somalia, and it's a very exciting time because of the election. There is a lot going, people are coming to rebuild again and to bring our country back together."

In 1991, warlords sent Somalia into anarchy.

Islamist militants later took over.

Last August, rebels linked to Al Qaeda were forced out of Mogadishu, and 12,000 African Union soldiers entered the city to enforce peace.

Today, beaches that were previously ridden with bullets and mortar shells are being enjoyed by hundreds of returning Somalis.

For the first time in many years, young people in Mogadishu can enjoy western style music, a pastime that was punishable by death not so long ago.

Mohamed Sahal took advantage of this newfound sense of liberty as he was listening to music in his car.

[Mohamed Sahal, Returning Somali Expatriate]:
"My name is Mohamed Sahal and I am very happy to be relaxing at Jazeera beach after 20 years of civil war in my country."              

Abdi Dhore is a member of Somalia’s parliament.

He said that Somalia welcomes its returning citizens.

[Abdi Dhore, Member Of Somali Parliament]:
"The Somali diaspora, they are coming back. They are resourceful as human resource, now they are working in the government, in the private sector and everywhere. I believe this country will come back very quickly and soon, because these people are dynamic, they are business people, they are around the world."

Although all seems peaceful for now, analysts say that the stability of the region is still in question.

Insurgents control large sections of central and southern Somalia.

Without the African Union presence in Mogadishu, they are likely to riot in the city again.

But at least for now, Mogadishu is once again a peaceful city for its residents.


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