Somalia taken hostage by continuing fighting says UN envoy

29 May 2009Somalia has been “taken hostage” by fighting, the top United Nations envoy to the Horn of Africa nation, whose capital has been the scene of clashes between Government forces and opposition militias, said today. Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, told a news conference in New York that he had visited the country this week, noting that “it is very sad to see how the city, the population and the country are taken hostage by those who have been fighting and destroying their country over the last 20 years.”Mr. Ould-Abdallah, who is based in Nairobi, said he had spoken with Government leaders about the latest developments there, including the breakout earlier this month of intense fighting between Government troops and the opposition Al-Shabaab and Hisb-ul-Islam groups. He said up to 75,000 persons, who had fled the country and returned earlier this year, had fled again because of the renewed fighting.“It is very sad to see a capital city I have known in the 80’s becoming a shanty town,” the Special Representative said. Mr. Ould-Abdallah told the reporters, “I appeal to you…to talk about the plight of Somalia – how many orphans, how many handicapped how many maimed, how many people are silenced.”“We cannot say we don’t know,” he said. “We should look we should not look the other way.” When asked about reports of Ethiopian troops returning to Somalia, the official said they had all withdrawn and that there were no Ethiopian troops in Somalia. “Unfortunately, Somalis are still fighting and killing Somalis,” he said. “Somalia is an unfortunate country taken hostage by…those who are still fighting.”Instead of evoking an alibi of the alleged presence of Ethiopian troops, he said they should “assume responsibility” for what is going on in their country.“One overriding problem in Somalia not often reported or talked about is still there. It is the problem of impunity,” Mr. Ould-Abdallah said. “People who have killed, displaced, maimed are still around in Somalia, or in Nairobi, or in their new country home,” he added. “Impunity to me is a very overriding issue to be addressed.”Regarding the issue of piracy off the Somali coast, he said the believes the international maritime presence is increasingly successful, forcing pirates further out to sea and increasing their operating expenses to the point that they are greater than ransoms. read more

10 pains of online shopping that everyone will understand

first_img5. There are extra security hoops to jump throughThose three words that instil terror in the souls of online shoppers, ‘Verified by Visa’.Why can we never remember our password? Why does it insist on locking us out of our account JUST as we get to the top of the queue on Ticketmaster?6. Double addressesWe already entered our address. Now we need a billing address and a delivery address and it’s all the same because we only ever buy stuff for ourselves and why can’t you just accept that?7. UncertaintyOh dear God why hasn’t it confirmed.8. The delivery methodsFirst there are the hidden charges, then there’s the whole wait for the tracking information to be updated… mental torture.9. You’re bound to them for LIFEOr at least until you unsubscribe from their incessant mailing lists. The dreaded ‘recommended for you’ emails from Amazon and promotional newsletters that will tell you how to ‘keep cosy for Christmas’. We didn’t ask for this harrowing fate, it was inflicted upon us.Basically, this is your inbox every day. You can check out, but you can never leave.10. The waitThere’s nothing worse than the ‘surprise’ arrival of drunk purchases. Well, except the wait when we actually really want something. The whole point of shopping is that we get gratification NOW.Oh convenience and technological advancements, why do you take so much from us? Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen visited Santa together and sat on his knee>Best family ever cover We Can’t Stop to create brilliant Christmas card> ONLINE SHOPPING IS a massive pain. Sure, you can avoid the queues, do it in your pyjamas and easily compare prices.But still, the horror. Anyone who has ever cruised the vast realms of eCommerce can identify with these annoyances. Smug online shoppers, be no more.1. Navigating is a terrorUnless you know EXACTLY what you’re after, it’s a wild web out there.So many categories. So many links.2. Estimating sizes and converting sizesGrand so there’s S, L, XL, but what of it?! So XS is a 6, is that an american 6 or a UK 6? Why does it say Europe 28? Ireland is in Europe. Why are there so many measurements?Click into the sizing charts if you dare. IS THAT MY WAIST?3. Your basket isn’t actually there in front of youYou’re mid browse and you’ve pretty much forgotten the dozens of things your basket is telling you you’ve committed to buying. Clicking on it takes you to the payment zone aka the fifth circle of hell where escaping is not an option. Source: Shutterstock4. Reviews wreck all buzzes that ever buzzedWhile they can be a help, they can also hinder. Your heart is set on something and some lad named Dennis from Kentucky said it’s crap. What to do now?Might just pick up that book I wanted to read instead…last_img read more