The cousin of one of the kidnapped journalists being held in Somalia has spoken of her frustration at trying to stand up snippets of information coming out of the country.
“To date, I have received so much conflicting information, it all depends what source I’m looking at as to which variety of the ‘truth’ I’m getting,” the Red Deer resident said in an e-mail to Sun Media.
What Angie Stewart, cousin of Amanda Lindhout, is learning is that Somalia is a mixed up, messy place, where no-one is to be trusted – particularly if they can spot a potential profit to be made from a white visitor. Somalia is not like anywhere else on the planet and spending time in Baghdad, Afghanistan or any other hotspots doesn’t help you much when you arrive in Mogadishu.
I made my visits to the city when the Union of Islamic Courts was in control, and then again shortly after the TFG and the Ethiopians took over the city. At those times there was a single organisation in charge, which could offer protection and information. Today, no-one runs the show and anyone who claims to be able to protect you or help you is only interested in your dollars.