By Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson is the British Foreign Secretary
It’s never a good sign when the recommended mode of transport through a national capital is by armoured convoy.
As I bumped along the streets of Mogadishu, passing one sun-bleached ruin after another, I had a sense of the destruction wrought by Somalia’s years of turmoil.
And yet the simple fact that I was able to go to Mogadishu at all – where, today, the Union Flag flies over the British embassy – is remarkable in itself.
Never mind British foreign secretaries, for years it was Somalia’s official government that couldn’t visit its own capital – or, indeed, its own country.
The Somali cabinet and president used to be stuck in Nairobi, holding endless meetings about a country they could not enter, let alone govern.
In their absence, Mogadishu was abandoned to the depredations of warlords and Islamists, who proceeded to pound its white Italianate boulevards to rubble.
Eventually, the terrorists of al-Shabaab – the East African wing of al-Qaeda – captured most of southern Somalia and imposed their pitiless version of Islamic rule. In the words of one Somali leader, the country became a “danger to itself, to its neighbours, to the region and to the entire world.”
- Written by Abdullahi
- Category: Opinion