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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 08
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
08 Sep 2014

A Somali soldier stands in front of one of two minibuses that were hit by a suicide car bomb (VBIED) 20Km outside of Mogadishu on 9 September 2014.

12 civilians were killed and 27 wounded. Despite being weakened, Al Shabab were still able to carry out ambushes and attacks using improvised explosive devices (IEDs). These would often hit military targets, but would end up killing and maiming scores of civilians. Al Shabab displayed a blatant disregard for civilian casualties in their fight agains AMISOM/the government.

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
31 Aug 2014

2011-2014

These photos profile the efforts over the past years of the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) to route Al-Shabab from its strongholds in Somalia.
Beginning with a large offensive in 2011, aimed at ending Al-Shabab rule in Somalia, Mogadishu was quickly retaken. Since then, AMISOM forces were able to steadily push Al-Shabab militants out of the outlying areas under their control.
In the summer and fall of 2014, AMISOM launched Operation Indian Ocean, which was another offensive aimed at eradicating pockets of Al-Shabab fighters still stationed in the Somali countryside. 

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 07
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
31 Aug 2014

Soldiers from UPDF 62 battalion sit in a Casspir Armoured Personnel Carrier on the way to join in the attack on KurtunWaraay on 31 August 2014. Somalia is big and mobility is key to AMISOM's ability to reclaim Al Shabaab controlled territory. Offensives thus involved a variety of armored personnel carriers to allow for movement of troops.

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 11
Beled Amin
By Noe Falk Nielsen
29 Aug 2014

Ugandan AMISOM soldier guarding the outer perimeter at the forward operating base in Beled Amin during Operation Indian Ocean on 29 August 2014.

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 06
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
29 Aug 2014

As Al Shabaab lost their footholds around Mogadishu, and forces from other countries joined AMISOM, Somalia was carved up in sectors, each under control of an AMISOM contingent. Here a Ugandan Army colonel stands in front of his tank battalion in preparation for Operation Indian Ocean to reclaim the cities of Bulo Marer, Kurtunwaraay and eventually Barawe, in Lower Shabelle. 29 August 2014.

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Malta's 'Stranded' Immigrants
Malta
By Tobias Selnaes Markussen
21 Feb 2014

After risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean, thousands of African immigrants are trapped in Malta halfway between the African continent and the European dream. They are stuck in a frustrating limbo without opportunities to work or to travel further in search of security and a future.

Militant group Al-Shabaab told me that I could either work for them or die,” says journalist Ahmed Nuur Ibrahim, who arrived by boat from Libya 6 months ago.Like most of the immigrants he arrived by accident to the small island, while attempting to sail to mainland Europe. Now he hopes that he can one day be reunited with his wife and two children.

Mohammed, 51, has been in Malta for eight years without official papers, but he has managed to get a job working in construction and a small apartment on his own. He says, that he can’t return to his home country of Niger, where his entire family was killed. 

Many immigrants from West African countries experience, that the Maltese authorities does not recognize them as a refugees, as there are not enough problems in their home countries. Malta does not have the resources to return them, so they end up living as second-class citizens without papers or rights.

"Malta has not given me anything, and I can not move elsewhere. I feel trapped," says Mohammed, who dreams about being able to travel, so he can go to Norway and start a new life.

The pressure from the large number of immigrants is huge, and since Malta’s accession to the EU in 2004, the country has received approximately 17,000 immigrants, which is proportionally equivalent to 2,5 million people arriving at the coasts of Great Britain in the same period.

Malta is crying for help, but so far the European Union has not done much to help them solve a problem, that is only growing bigger and bigger. In 2013, 700 people died on their way to either Malta or Italy. The number of dead rose more than four times in 2014 to 3,224.

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Somali Women in Little Mogadishu, USA 1
Minneapolis, United States of America
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
07 Dec 2013

Somali women in Minneapolis, Somalia's largest diaspora in the Western world, hold the destiny of an entire community abroad, badly bruised by more than 20 years of civil war, in their hands. They realize that America offers them opportunities they would never dream of in their own country. And while they are taking advantage of what America has to offer, Somali women are also determined to preserve their African and Muslim identity while raising their children. Successful, hard-working, they are three times more likely than their male counterparts to study in Minnesota, the northern U.S. state that is home to the largest Somali diaspora in the western world. Yet this success is coupled with an unexpected challenge: how to find a Somali husband when you’re so qualified. The problem is so acute that some of these female refugees have no choice but to return to Africa to track down a man.

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 12
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
29 Jan 2013

The head of a suicide bomber, who blew himself up outside of State House, the seat of the government, in Mogadishu on 29 January 2013.

NOTE: GRAPHIC IMAGE

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Woman talking on phone
Eastleigh, Kenya
By Ulrik Pedersen
29 Nov 2012

Women talking on phones passing by a mosque in Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. Somalian part of Nairobi.

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Somali journalists in Kenya
Nairobi, Kenya
By Ruud Elmendorp
23 Nov 2012

25-years old Amina Ismail is one of the students on the Somali Journalist School in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. Amina came to Nairobi many years ago with her parents when they fled neighboring Somalia for the civil conflict that started in 1991. As a refugee Amina was raised in Kenya and lives in the Somali neighborhood Eastleigh in Nairobi.
The area nicknamed Little Mogadishu is thriving with high rise offices and apartments, shops, restaurants, hotels, markets, music stores, artists, and a stark contrast with Somalia’s capital Mogadishu that remains destroyed after so many years of war. For journalists there it is very dangerous. This year only 16 journalists were killed. The Somali Exiled Journalists Association in Nairobi who organizes the journalist training commemorates these journalists with ceremonies in its office in Eastleigh. For Amina the violence against journalists is one of the topics she studies during her classes. She also goes out in Eastleigh to practice reporting, and it is very interesting because of its liveliness, economic activity, association with Somali pirates and even the extremists of Al Shabaab. Everything an aspiring journalist would hope for. Still Amina wants to return to Somalia as a journalist.

Soundbite 1: In the name of Allah, the most merciful and the most gracious, let peace be with you.

Soundbite 2: Later as a journalist, I want to interview any person in politics. Whether he is president, vice president or weather he is a parliamentarian. I want to interview them.

Soundbite 3: I know that one day, I will die anyway. So I am not afraid to be next to the ones who are killed. I have my ambitions, and if I die, it means it was my time.

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 04
Arabiska
By Noe Falk Nielsen
24 May 2012

A Ugandan T55 tank sits on the ridge overlooking Afgoye, during Operation Free Shabelle on 24 May 2012. Having superior fire power and a willingness to accept casualties, the Ugandan People's Defense Forces, supported by the Burundian National Defense Forces slowly pushed Al Shabab out of the capital and subsequently the regional population centers.

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 05
Arabiska
By Noe Falk Nielsen
24 May 2012

By May 2012, the Somali National Army was showing signs of coherence and the 6th Brigade fought alongside the Ugandan Army as the African Union Mission to Somalia captured the strategic city of Afgoye. The offensive was the first proper move out of Mogadishu and into Al Shabab's heartland. 24 May 2012.

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 09
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
22 May 2012

Dead Al Shabaab fighter in the bush during Operation Free Shabelle to take the town of Afgoye on 23 May 2011.

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 01
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
26 Mar 2012

Here a Somali warlord-turned-general relaxes with his entourage at a divisional HQ in Mogadishu on 26 March 2012. The Somali National Army was still in its infancy when the anti-Al-Shabab offensive began. The Army was initially comprised of little more than four pro-government clan militias loosely working together.

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Somali migrant detained in Benghazi
Benghazi, Libya
By ahmed.butalak
26 Feb 2012

Benghazi, Libya | February 26, 2012

A somali migrant man detained in a prison in Benghazi complains about the scary conditions in the detention center. Most of the migrants were caught entering Libya without visas or authorization by Libyan authorities or arrested for illegally staying in the country and trying to reach European countries through the Libyan territory by sea.

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Somali woman in Benghazi prison
Benghazi, Libya
By ahmed.butalak
26 Feb 2012

Benghazi, Libya | February 26, 2012

A Somali woman living in scare conditions in a prison for migrants people in Benghazi. Most of the migrants living in the prison were caught entering Libya without visas or authorization by Libyan authorities or arrested for illegally staying in the country and trying to reach European countries through the Libyan territory by sea.

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 03
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
18 Nov 2011

The Somali Army soldiers were underfed, undertrained, under-equipped and often addicted to khat/mirra. Here a Somali soldier high on khat rests at a battalion HQ on the eastern frontline in Mogadishu on 18 November 2011.

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 02
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
17 Nov 2011

Two widows of killed Somali Army soldiers collect the salary of their dead husbands in Mogadishu, on 17 November 2011. The Somali army, under-equipped and undertrained, took part in the fighting, losing thousands of soldiers in the process.

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 02
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
05 Oct 2011

Ugandan soldiers play checkers with bottle caps in a semi-destroyed building at the eastern part of Mogadishu on 5 October 2011. The Ugandan People's Defense Forces took heavy casualties in the hard fighting as they forced Al Shabaab out of the Somali capital.

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 10
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
29 Jul 2011

An Al Shabaab sniper fires at a Ugandan soldier as he crosses an open area on the frontline during the battle of Bakara Market in Mogadishu on 29 July 2011. Notice the bullet hitting the ground right behind the running soldier.

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Somali Boy
Hargeisa, Somaliland
By MediaMikeDC
07 Mar 2011

A young boy on the streets of Hargeisa, Somaliland.