Warlord Country

In a hostile land without government, the real problem is whether the rival clans can find a way to resolve their long-standing quarrels without reaching for rifles

The beleaguered residents of Mogadishu had brief cause for rejoicing last week. Under the gaze of TV cameras, Somalia's leading warlords, Ali Mahdi Mohammed and General Mohammed Farrah Aidid, jointly announced that the so- called green line dividing the capital into separate sectors under their respective control had been abolished. Thousands of men and women cheered as the two rivals promised that for the first time in more than a year, people were free to travel across the capital. "Today is a great day," declared Ali Mahdi, whose gangsters control the northern part of Mogadishu. "Starting from this minute, the green...

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