Don’t Go to Somalia

19.12.08

Categorie: Africa, Reporters |

Last year I went to Somalia. All the journalists I talked to before leaving said it was a bad idea, and I would die. I didn’t die.

That was then. This is now. Somalia has gotten so much worse in just the past year that now I’m the one telling other journalists not to go.

But don’t take it from me. Consider this useful aid prepared by Rob Crilly of The Times:

From time to time I am asked by big-name foreign correspondents whether it is safe to visit Somalia. Often it seems as if I am the 27th person they have called as they try to find the one person who says: “Ah, sure you’ll be fine.” Sometimes they do actually listen to my advice but I can’t help thinking that the current feeling among many outsiders is that the Nairobi press corps has lost its bottle. Rather than take a bit of a risk, they probably think, we’re content to sit on our arses and cover Somalia by phone.

So to save me having to dispense any more advice to rather impatient award-winning types, here is my cut-out-and-keep decision model for anyone thinking of a trip …

1) Have you been to Somalia before? If yes proceed to 2. If no proceed to 3

2) Were you kidnapped on that occasion? If yes proceed to 4. If no proceed to 5

3) Have you been to Iraq or Afghanistan? If yes proceed to 7. If no proceed to 6

4) Then you should know better. Don’t go

5) Then your luck is probably about to run out. Don’t go

6) Then what are you thinking of? Don’t go

7) Then you are probably under the impression that you can hide in the green zone and wait for an embed to go somewhere interesting. In Somalia there’s no green zone, and the only embeds are with Ethiopian or African Union soldiers who are being blown to smithereens on a daily basis. There’s no-one you can trust. And no-one who can guarantee your safety. Don’t go

(Photo: me)

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9 Responses to “Don’t Go to Somalia”

  1. Uncle Jimbo says:

    Hey what’s up chump?

    Seems like nobody reads your BS and that is progress.

    Since I didn’t get you killed by inviting you to play with the big boys, you just keep up your propaganda. Soros Rules.

    Cordially,

    Uncle J

  2. Blake says:

    I think you’d have been better off with a flow chart.

  3. Mark says:

    Great points, rather enjoyed reading it.

  4. Springbored says:

    It’s a sad day when the rightwinger milbloggers have to go a-spamming…

  5. paul says:

    @ Blake,

    You mean like XKCD?
    http://xkcd.com/518/

  6. [...] Related: Somali War First American Suicide Bomber Fact vs. Fantasy in Somalia Verified: kidnapping an inside job Somali journo released Inside job rumors persist Hope for kidnapped journos Who are Al Shabab? Abducted journos’ vulnerability Journos kidnapped! Problems retrieving journos Kidnapping: inside job? Ransom pending? Developments in kidnapping case Ignored victims New prez = hope for Somalia A.U. rescues Somali lawmakers Building a Somali coast guard? Somali government falls Peacekeepers attacked Islamists occupy Mogadishu police stations Fighting threatens Somalia food shipments Somali president out Don’t go to Somalia Americans join Somali insurgency Ethiopians change mind about withdrawal Kenyan fighters in Somalia Good news, bad news, in Islamists’ return Invading Somalia a bad idea Pirates and Islamists: enemies or allies? Somalis welcome Islamists’ return Port fall might help piracy problem Is secret sea lane working against pirates? Puntland raids pirates No easy solutions to piracy problem What I learned from a Somali warlord Secret sea lane for piracy protection Peacekeepers, insurgents swap mortar fire U.S. planes terrify Somalis Ethiopians withdraw? Peace talks break down Ship rescues Somalis Who are Al Shabab? No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  7. [...] Related: Islamists, New Somali President Sign Peace Deal Somali Was First American Suicide Bomber Fact vs. Fantasy in Somalia Verified: kidnapping an inside job Somali journo released Inside job rumors persist Hope for kidnapped journos Who are Al Shabab? Abducted journos’ vulnerability Journos kidnapped! Problems retrieving journos Kidnapping: inside job? Ransom pending? Developments in kidnapping case Ignored victims New prez = hope for Somalia A.U. rescues Somali lawmakers Building a Somali coast guard? Somali government falls Peacekeepers attacked Islamists occupy Mogadishu police stations Fighting threatens Somalia food shipments Somali president out Don’t go to Somalia Americans join Somali insurgency Ethiopians change mind about withdrawal Kenyan fighters in Somalia Good news, bad news, in Islamists’ return Invading Somalia a bad idea Pirates and Islamists: enemies or allies? Somalis welcome Islamists’ return Port fall might help piracy problem Is secret sea lane working against pirates? Puntland raids pirates No easy solutions to piracy problem What I learned from a Somali warlord Secret sea lane for piracy protection Peacekeepers, insurgents swap mortar fire U.S. planes terrify Somalis Ethiopians withdraw? Peace talks break down Ship rescues Somalis Who are Al Shabab? No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  8. [...] Related: Fact vs. Fantasy in Somalia Verified: kidnapping an inside job Somali journo released Inside job rumors persist Hope for kidnapped journos Who are Al Shabab? Abducted journos’ vulnerability Journos kidnapped! Problems retrieving journos Kidnapping: inside job? Ransom pending? Developments in kidnapping case Ignored victims New prez = hope for Somalia A.U. rescues Somali lawmakers Building a Somali coast guard? Somali government falls Peacekeepers attacked Islamists occupy Mogadishu police stations Fighting threatens Somalia food shipments Somali president out Don’t go to Somalia Americans join Somali insurgency Ethiopians change mind about withdrawal Kenyan fighters in Somalia Good news, bad news, in Islamists’ return Invading Somalia a bad idea Pirates and Islamists: enemies or allies? Somalis welcome Islamists’ return Port fall might help piracy problem Is secret sea lane working against pirates? Puntland raids pirates No easy solutions to piracy problem What I learned from a Somali warlord Secret sea lane for piracy protection Peacekeepers, insurgents swap mortar fire U.S. planes terrify Somalis Ethiopians withdraw? Peace talks break down Ship rescues Somalis Who are Al Shabab? No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  9. [...] few months later, Hanson left a comment on this blog: Hey what’s up chump? Seems like nobody reads your BS and that is progress. Since I didn’t get [...]

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