#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: Violence in Mogadishu October 20, 2017

Last weekend, a truck bombing went off in the center of Somalia’s capital city of Mogadishu, killing hundreds of civilians. In a Guardian article, reporter Jason Burke called the scale of the attack made it ‘one of the most lethal terrorist acts anywhere in the world for many years.’

The ICRC and the Somalia Red Crescent Society both immediately responded, treating the wounded, supplying medical kits and body bags and supporting relief operations.

Despite the challenges, the SRCS’ first aid teams were able to help evacuate dozens of wounded in the early hours following the blast. “Our work would not be possible without the 38 active volunteers of the SRCS that have shown incredible courage in carrying out their duties with limited means,” said Mr. Yusef Hasan Mohamed, SRCS’ President. “As we mourn the loss of life, our efforts will focus on helping the living so that in time, people can gradually regain a sense of normalcy.” 

To read more about ICRC’s work in Somalia, go here.

In this week’s roundup, we take a look at the situation in Somalia, as portrayed by the media and other online outlets.**

Related: From the Storycorps Archives: Twenty Three Years after Black Hawk Down


Somalis Fear War Will Never End (Vice)

Christina Goldbaum depicts a grim scene: They found hands and legs, some blackened bodies, and one business card. Wearing white shirts printed with the phrase ‘We never get tired of our country,’ nearly 200 young Somalis gathered Tuesday at the site of this weekend’s historic terror attack to collect the remains of victims still buried among the rubble.

Where Is the Empathy for Somalia? (The New Yorker)

Alexis Okeowo reports after the attack in Mogadishu: And so it was with a familiar disappointment that Somalis, within the country and among the diaspora, along with other concerned observers, watched as details of the attack failed to headline broadcast news or resonate globally on social media. There was no impromptu hashtag of solidarity, no deluge of television coverage. It was as if the bombing were just another incident in the daily life of Somalis—a burst of violence that would fade into all the other bursts of violence. The lack of public empathy was startling but not surprising. 

Scenes from the Somalia You Don’t See on the News (Time)

Brent Stirton portrays a country in words and photos: I’ve been fortunate to work as a photojournalist in Somalia a few times over the last twenty years. It’s a fascinating and complex place. It suffers from a strange inertia in the Western mind, conjuring up clichés of the worst of Africa. Famine, civil war, Kalashnikovs, despots… We hear the word Mogadishu and immediately images from Black Hawk Down start playing in our minds. That hasn’t been good for the country, and it hasn’t really been fair to Somalis. Security is certainly an issue, and there are still significant threats — as this week’s deadly truck bombings proved. But those threats are lessening and the capital is changing.

How Somalia’s deadliest attack ever tore open the heart of a nation (Quartz)

Abdi Latif Dahir writes: Ibrahim Adow is a 24-year-old protocol officer working for Somalia’s president. And in the hours and days since the country’s deadliest attack took place, he, like many Somalis, have thought about nothing else. He hasn’t slept or eaten much, he says, and anger has been welling up inside him as the entire nation reels from the sheer scale of the explosion that killed more than 300 people and injured hundreds of others—with many more people still missing.


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