Journey to a Doomed City
Author: Helmar Buechel
Somalia has officially been named the „Most Failed State of the World” and its capital Mogadishu is classed as the metropolis of hatred. Almost 20 years of civil war have turned the once blooming “Pearl of the Indian Ocean” into a landscape of ruin and despair.
Hundreds of thousands of people have fled the city, tens of thousands are vegetating as refugees inside the abandoned ruins, and thousands of civilians have been murdered. Radical Islamic militia are constantly opposing the Western financed government with suicide attacks. Somalia’s so-called President only controls a few blocks in the city–and that only due to the support of Peace Troops from the African Union who fire towards the enemy with heavy artillery, but also with little respect for civilian lives.
Western troops abandoned the city in 1994; other Western aid organisations left years ago, and because the Islamists hunt down every local or foreign reporter, the destiny of Mogadishu has disappeared from public interest. Mogadishu has turned into a forgotten apocalypse.
SPIEGEL TV reporter Helmar Buechel has been to Mogadishu. Together with two cameramen he has documented the misery of its citizens and the barbarity of the Islamists. The team spoke to child soldiers, went to the Emergency Room of the frontier hospital and gained exclusive access to the “Villa Somalia”, the President’s Palace right on the frontline.
year of production: 2010