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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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Herbal High - UK bans Khat
Eastleigh, Nairobi
By Celeste Hibbert
04 Jul 2013

In the UK, 90,000 people in the UK from east African and Yemeni communities chew khat. But on July 3, the UK banned the stimulant. Most of the khat comes from Kenya for £50 per box and now with the new ban, many local communities are worried about their livelihood.

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Herbal High (14 of 18)
Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
09 Jun 2013

Somali families monopolise the export of khat to Europe in Kenya. They create links with Somalis in UK and send initial supplies based on trust.

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Herbal High (13 of 18)
Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
09 Jun 2013

Kenyan packer boxing khat in a warehouse in Kenya's Somali district, Eastleigh

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Herbal High (18 of 18)
Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
26 May 2013

Kenyan labourers pack bunches of khat into banana leaves so they can be shipped to the UK. Sacks of khat arrive to Eastleigh at 2pm on a daily basis. The shrub and is ordered and bundled with the customer's name written on their sack. Local vendors then collect their parcels and sell them to local chewers. Khat is a a leafy stimulant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In these areas, khat chewing has a long history as a social custom dating back thousands of years. Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. May, 2013.

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Herbal High (15 of 18)
Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
19 May 2013

20 boxes loaded with khat are ready to be sent to the UK

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Herbal High (17 of 18)
Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
19 May 2013

Kenyan labourers package khat for the UK. Somalis own the export business, but Kenyans are used as cheap labour.

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Herbal High (16 of 18)
Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
19 May 2013

A young Kenyan carries boxes of khat to a large truck headed for Nairobi's biggest airport. Four days a week, shipments of khat are sent to the UK for Somali diaspora communities. Khat is a a leafy stimulant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In these areas, khat chewing has a long history as a social custom dating back thousands of years. Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. May, 2013.

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Herbal High (4 of 18)
Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
12 May 2013

Known as "Little Mogadishu", Eastleigh is a Somali residential area in Nairobi. It is characterized by treacherous roads, sporadic grenade explosions and cheap goods.

For one bunch of the best quality khat is $40 which is often shared between two people. Although for a bag of just the leaves, it can be as cheap as $1 a bag.

Local khat vendors come to Eastleigh to sell the stimulant as Somalis are their biggest customers. “I live outside, not here. Khat is more of a Somali thing, but I have to chew to show people it is not a bad thing,” says a local Kenyan trader.

Khat is also distributed within Nairobi. It is farmed in Meru and arrives in Eastleigh at 2pm everyday. It is preordered and bundled with the customers name written on their sack. Local vendors then collect their parcels and sell to local chewers.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) in the UK reports that more than 2,500 tonnes, worth about £13.8m, was imported by the UK in 2011/12, bringing in £2.8m of tax revenues. Khat is still legal in the UK, even though it has been banned by the US and other European countries. Khat is shipped to the UK four days a week from Kenya.

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Herbal High (5 of 18)
Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
12 May 2013

Liban Olow chewed Khat everyday for 30 years. "I began to lose my memory. I sometimes forgot the names of my own children. When you chew, your priority is not providing food for your family. I used to chew and stay awake for 72 hours. if we ban Khat, then we would have a working nation, rather than a sleeping nation."

For one bunch of the best quality khat is $40 which is often shared between two people. Although for a bag of just the leaves, it can be as cheap as $1 a bag.

Local khat vendors come to Eastleigh to sell the stimulant as Somalis are their biggest customers. “I live outside, not here. Khat is more of a Somali thing, but I have to chew to show people it is not a bad thing,” says a local Kenyan trader.

Khat is also distributed within Nairobi. It is farmed in Meru and arrives in Eastleigh at 2pm everyday. It is preordered and bundled with the customers name written on their sack. Local vendors then collect their parcels and sell to local chewers.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) in the UK reports that more than 2,500 tonnes, worth about £13.8m, was imported by the UK in 2011/12, bringing in £2.8m of tax revenues. Khat is still legal in the UK, even though it has been banned by the US and other European countries. Khat is shipped to the UK four days a week from Kenya.

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Herbal High (3 of 18)
Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
12 May 2013

Kenyans work at a Khat export depot in Eastleigh. Khat is wrapped in banana leaves and sent around the world. International distribution of Khat is worth millions and run by individual Somali-Kenyan multimillionaires.

For one bunch of the best quality khat is $40 which is often shared between two people. Although for a bag of just the leaves, it can be as cheap as $1 a bag.

Local khat vendors come to Eastleigh to sell the stimulant as Somalis are their biggest customers. “I live outside, not here. Khat is more of a Somali thing, but I have to chew to show people it is not a bad thing,” says a local Kenyan trader.

Khat is also distributed within Nairobi. It is farmed in Meru and arrives in Eastleigh at 2pm everyday. It is preordered and bundled with the customers name written on their sack. Local vendors then collect their parcels and sell to local chewers.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) in the UK reports that more than 2,500 tonnes, worth about £13.8m, was imported by the UK in 2011/12, bringing in £2.8m of tax revenues. Khat is still legal in the UK, even though it has been banned by the US and other European countries. Khat is shipped to the UK four days a week from Kenya.

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Herbal High (1 of 18)
Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
12 May 2013

A Kenyan packer prepares Khat for export to the UK. At this depot, 2,500 boxes of Khat worth 110 tonnes are put on flights to the UK every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Khat is a a leafy stimulant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In these areas, khat chewing has a long history as a social custom dating back thousands of years. Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. May, 2013.

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Herbal High
Nairobi, Kenya
By U.S. Editor
12 May 2013

Khat, a stimulant similar to the coca leaf in South America, is heavily distributed within Nairobi, the largest city and capital of Kenya. It is cultivated in Meru and arrives in Eastleigh, a suburb of Naroibi, at 2 pm everyday. Khat is pre-ordered and bundled with the customer's name written on each sack, which local vendors then collect and sell to local chewers. Local khat vendors come to Eastleigh to sell the stimulant to Somalis who make up most of their customer base. Since it's an important cash crop for Kenyans and Ethiopians, Khat is a thriving business. It is now Ethiopia's second largest export behind coffee. Though khat has been banned by the US and other European countries, it remains legal in the UK and is shipped to the UK four days a week from Kenya.

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After the Spring in Yemen (14 of 28)
Al-mahweet, Yemen
By dustweare
26 Apr 2013

Man chewing qat by a window in his house in Al-Dawila. Al-Mahweet governorate.

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Herbal High (6 of 18)
Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
11 Mar 2013

For one bunch of the best quality khat is $40 which is often shared between two people. Although for a bag of just the leaves, it can be as cheap as $1 a bag. Local khat vendors come to Eastleigh to sell the stimulant as Somalis are their biggest customers. “I live outside, not here. Khat is more of a Somali thing, but I have to chew to show people it is not a bad thing,” says a local Kenyan trader.
Khat is also distributed within Nairobi. It is farmed in Meru and arrives in Eastleigh at 2pm everyday. It is preordered and bundled with the customers name written on their sack. Local vendors then collect their parcels and sell to local chewers. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) in the UK reports that more than 2,500 tonnes, worth about £13.8m, was imported by the UK in 2011/12, bringing in £2.8m of tax revenues. Khat is still legal in the UK, even though it has been banned by the US and other European countries. Khat is shipped to the UK four days a week from Kenya.

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Herbal High (7 of 18)
Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
11 Mar 2013

Sacks of khat arrive to Eastleigh at 2pm on a daily basis. The shrub and is ordered and bundled with the customer's name written on their sack. Local vendors then collect their parcels and sell them to local chewers. Khat is a a leafy stimulant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In these areas, khat chewing has a long history as a social custom dating back thousands of years. Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. March, 2013.

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Herbal High (9 of 18)
Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
11 Mar 2013

Sacks of khat arrive to Eastleigh at 2pm on a daily basis. The shrub and is ordered and bundled with the customer's name written on their sack. Local vendors then collect their parcels and sell them to local chewers. Khat is a a leafy stimulant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In these areas, khat chewing has a long history as a social custom dating back thousands of years. Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. March, 2013.

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Herbal High (8 of 18)
Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
11 Mar 2013

A group of men deliver preordered parcels of khat in Eastleigh daily. Khat is a a leafy stimulant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In these areas, khat chewing has a long history as a social custom dating back thousands of years. Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. March, 2013.

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Herbal High (10 of 18)
Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
10 Mar 2013

Khat is sold for relatively cheap prices. One bunch of the best quality khat which is often shared between two people costs $40. A bag of just the leaves can be as cheap as $1 a bag. Sacks of khat arrive to Eastleigh at 2pm on a daily basis. The shrub and is ordered and bundled with the customer's name written on their sack. Local vendors then collect their parcels and sell them to local chewers. Khat is a a leafy stimulant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In these areas, khat chewing has a long history as a social custom dating back thousands of years. Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. March, 2013.

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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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GROWING NUMBER OF YEMENI CHILDREN ADD...
Al Hudaydah, Yemen
By Editor's Picks
12 Dec 2012

In Yemen, Qat addictions have grown to epidemic proportions among children and young adults. The drug induces a similar high as that of caffeine, and can be highly addictive. The problem is such that many children stop going to school, instead choosing to stay home to chew the bitter plant with friends, or addicted family members. Officials are concerned about the growing problem, an fear that the plant is creating a generation of illiterate children.

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ADDICTED: YEMENI CHILDREN AND QAT - E...
Al Hudaydah, Yemen
By Editor's Picks
12 Dec 2012

Found on the Arabian Peninsula, the qat plant is commonly chewed for its stimulant effects and was determined by the World Health Organization to be a drug of abuse for causing moderate psychological dependency. Widely used in Yemen, children are increasingly starting to chew qat at a young age, threatening their education and the health and economic vitality of the country.

The plant is accused of "Destroying the future of Yemen," in particular when children begin chewing it at an early age. Children as young as 8 years old become addicted to the stimulant, often with the consent of parents or guardians. It's a common belief, advocated by fathers, that chewing qat is a sign of adulthood and wisdom, and thus it's practiced at weddings at funerals.

The economic crisis in Yemen has pushed children to work, and some choose to plant qat or sell it, often resulting in a discontinuation of their formal education.

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YEMENI CHILDREN ADDICTED TO QAT
Al Hudaydah, Yemen
By Mais Istanbuli
11 Dec 2012

Qat, a plant found in the Arabian Peninsula that acts as a stimulant when chewed, has begun to have an effect on economic, health, and environmental issues. The World Health Organization ruled it a "drug of abuse" because it can cause a mild to moderate psychological dependence.

The plant is accused of 'destroying the future of Yemen,' in particular when children begin chewing it at an early age. Children between 8 and 15-years-old can become addicted to the stimulant, often with the consent of their parents or guardians. It's a common belief, advocated by fathers, that chewing qat is a sign of adulthood and wisdom, and thus it's practiced at weddings at funerals.

Some fathers give their children qat as in incentive to stay home and finish homework instead of staying out in the streets, but youth also chew it in secret with their friends, both in public and in their private residences.

The economic crisis in Yemen has pushed children to work, and some choose to plant qat or sell it, often resulting in a discontinuation of their formal education.

"One reason behind children's addiction to qat is the tendency to leave school and enter the qat industry. This is due to the bad situations their families are going through, so the parents are not completely in control," says Dr. Adel Al-Sharjabi, a professor of sociology at Sana'a University. "Some parents even travel outside of Yemen, leaving their children to make their own decisions. Another reason is the lack of education and common knowledge among both parents and the youth," adds Al-Sharbaji.

Along with affecting society, the drug also affects health, causing hypertension and what some call "emotional disturbances."

Mohammad Al-Qadsi, a civil servant, said, "I chew qat, but I don't want my son to do so because of the harm it inflicts. If I allow him he will lose his childhood and his studies."

The money spent on Qat is about 60 million Yemeni riyals, which equals 6.5 percent of the total GDP, excluding oil. According to the Yemeni government's five-year development plan, 24 percent of all employed workers are involved in the qat industry.

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Yemeni Children Addicted to Qat (14 0...
Al Hudaydah, Yemen
By wail
10 Dec 2012

Thirteen year old boy, storing qat in the city of Al Hudaydah.

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Yemeni Children Addicted to Qat (15 0...
Al Hudaydah, Yemen
By wail
10 Dec 2012

Thirteen year old boy,storing qat in the city of Al Hudaydah.

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Yemeni Children Addicted to Qat (5 0f...
Al Hudaydah, Yemen
By wail
10 Dec 2012

Eleven year old boy storing Al Qat with his friends in the city of Al Hudaydah, Yemen.

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Yemeni Children Addicted to Qat (25 0...
Al Hudaydah, Yemen
By wail
10 Dec 2012

Ahmad Issa, Qat seller.
Whom his son left the school to work with him .

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Yemeni Children Addicted to Qat (10 0...
Al Hudaydah, Yemen
By wail
10 Dec 2012

Ten year old boy works in selling Al Qat, to help his family.
He emptied his mouth before taking the photo.

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Yemeni Children Addicted to Qat (7 0f...
Al Hudaydah, Yemen
By wail
10 Dec 2012

Eleven Year old Yemeni boy storing Al Qat with adults in a wedding, with a bottle of water next to him.

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Yemeni Children Addicted to Qat (8 0f...
Al Hudaydah, Yemen
By wail
10 Dec 2012

Eleven Year old Yemeni boy storing Qat with adults in a wedding, with a bottle of water next to him.

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Yemeni Children Addicted to Qat (9 0f...
Al Hudaydah, Yemen
By wail
10 Dec 2012

Eleven Year old Yemeni boy storing Qat with adults in a wedding, with a bottle of water next to him.

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Yemeni Children Addicted to Qat (20 0...
Bajil, Yemen
By wail
10 Dec 2012

Ten year old Yemeni boy, storing qat at the streets.
He doesn't go to school.
Al Qat sellers give him some everyday for free.
His name is Ali.

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Yemeni Children Addicted to Qat (21 0...
Bajil, Yemen
By wail
10 Dec 2012

Ten year old Yemeni boy, storing qat at the streets.
He doesn't go to school.
Al Qat sellers give him some everyday for free.
His name is Ali.