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Somali

Film Tracks Woman's Path from Desert Nomad to Supermodel Activist

The life of former supermodel Waris Dirie, who was born into a nomadic Somali clan in 1965, sounds like fiction. A goatherd by age six who cared for her family’s animals, Dirie ran away at 13 to avoid being sold into marriage. That was the start of a remarkable journey, dramatized in the feature film “Desert Flower," based on Dirie’s autobiography...

Ethiopia PM blames Muslim extremist group for church burnings

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has accused a little known Muslim extremist group of staging a wave of church burnings to provoke communal tensions in the Horn of Africa country. Meles expressed concern about regional instability, but dismissed the possibility of a North African-style popular uprising in Ethiopia.Meles says he is aware of...

UN: Not Enough Planes to Transport People Fleeing Libyan Crisis

The United Nations refugee agency reports evacuation flights from Tunisia and Egypt are not keeping pace with the number of new arrivals from Libya.  The UNHCR says about 2,500 people are arriving at the Tunisian border every day. The U.N. refugee agency reports 17,000 people are at the Tunisian transit camp waiting to go home.  The agency says...

14 Indicted In Somali Pirate Attack on American Yacht

The U.S. Justice Department says a federal grand jury has indicted 13 suspected pirates from Somalia and one from Yemen for a February yacht hijacking in which four Americans were killed.The indictment, filed Thursday in a U.S. District Court in Virginia, charges the 14 men with piracy, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and the use of firearms...

EU: Somali Pirates Release Ship Hijacked Nearly Year Ago

The European Union's anti-piracy force said Somali pirates have freed a cargo ship that had been captured nearly a year ago - but that the crew had to abandon the vessel a short time later because it was sinking. The EU force said authorities received a distress call Wednesday from the Rak Afrikana, a few hours after it was released from pirate...

U.N. Adviser: Somalia Violence Threatens Horn of Africa

An adviser to the United Nations on the conflict in Somalia warns the country’s ongoing crisis is encouraging terrorism activities in Kenya and other neighboring countries, which he says could destabilize the entire Horn of Africa region. Mustapha Ali, who is also the Secretary General of the African Council of Religious Leaders, says Kenyans are...

Somali Government Claims Control of Border Town

Somali officials say pro-government forces have retaken control of a border town from al-Shabab militants, after several hours of heavy fighting.The officials said Saturday that security forces and government-friendly militia have seized Belet Hawo on the Kenyan border.A military official told the Reuters news service that 20 militants were killed...

Somalia Fighting Forces Thousands of Refugees Into Kenya

Refugees are pouring across the Kenyan border as fighting between the Somali government and rebel group al-Shabab rages across the war torn country. The Somali government’s recent push to eliminate al-Qaida linked insurgents is spilling into Kenya, as fighting continues along the border. On February 24, the Transitional Federal Government launched...

More Than 140,000 People Flee Libya

The United Nations refugee agency says over the past 10 days, more than 140,000 people have fled to Egypt and Tunisia from Libya.  The UNHCR says tens of thousands of people are stuck at the borders and in urgent need of help.  The U.N. refugee agency says the situation at the Libya-Tunisia border is chaotic. It says 14,000 people crossed the...

EU: Somali Pirates Release Ship With 20 Crew

Somali pirates are reported to have freed a Japanese ship and its 20-member crew.The European Union's anti-piracy force said Monday that the MV Izumi was released on February 25. A brief statement said the vessel and its all-Filipino crew are believed to be headed for a safe port.The Izumi and its crew members were held captive for four and a half...

Somalia: Drought Brings Water Shortages, High Food Prices

Somalia has one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters, with hundreds of thousands of people displaced due to conflict.  Now, a prolonged drought is adding to the country’s many problems.  A top U.N. official says he wants the Somali people to know that aid agencies will do everything they can to help. U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for...

Somali Pirates May Face US Trial for Americans' Deaths

The U.S. military says 15 Somali pirates may be sent to the U.S. for trial for their role in the kidnapping and killing of four Americans.Defense Department spokesman Colonel David Lapan told VOA Wednesday that a U.S. trial is "one option" facing the suspects.The U.S. military says it captured the 15 pirates on the Indian Ocean Tuesday, during an...

Somalia: Not Enough Ships to Stop Pirate Attacks

-- With the killing this week of four Americans by Somali pirates, there is renewed debate over how to deal with the piracy problem. Among those studying the issue is Professor Peter Lehr of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, author of the book Violence at Sea: Piracy in the Age of Global Terrorism. Needle in a haystack Somali piracy has...

Clinton Deplores Killing of Americans by Somali Pirates

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Tuesday deplored the killing by Somali pirates of four Americans whose yacht was hijacked off the Somalia coast late last week. U.S. officials say the ultimate answer to the piracy problem lies in restoring security in Somalia. Obama administration officials are urging a tougher international response to Horn-of-...

Somalia Analysts Suggest Better Strategies to Fight Piracy

The killing of four Americans by suspected Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea is putting the spotlight on challenging international military and legal efforts to end widespread piracy off of Somalia.  Experts are suggesting a range of other approaches, including more economic engagement, strategic attacks and reducing ransom payments as possible...