Me against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan, and Rwanda: A Journalist Reports from the Battlefields of Africa

By Scott Peterson | Go to book overview

THREE

A LAND FORGOTTEN BY GOD

Q: Isn't there a better way to control these gunmen?

A: Somebody did suggest one-carpet bomb Somalia with “ecstasy, ” because it curbs hunger and makes everyone love each other. It's not a bad idea...

-UN Envoy Mohamed Sahnoun

Still alive, seven-year-old Shukri Mohamed whimpered almost imperceptibly on the hard floor, an emaciated child wraith starving, the slow curl of inexorable death creeping across her body like a spreading cancer. In this barren room her toes were too tiny and too cold, attached to wrinkled feet, attached to rope-thin legs, attached to her own wispy fragile skeleton. She lay as vulnerable as a newborn, barely moving except for listless emotions, skin worn raw at the hip where her bony pelvis grated against the concrete. Speckles of blood stained a soiled threadbare sheet. Fatless skin gathered like thin chamois around Shukri's hollow ribcage, which heaved in its small way like God's tiny bellows, desperate to keep alive a spark, to prevent Shukri slipping away from her existence.

Mother was there, too, staring mournfully into the lost wide black eyes of her fourth and last child. This small room in the Mogadishu University compound was an unlikely spot for such suffering in August 1992. But this was not a retraction of life by the Divine Being; all this pain had been caused by the vicious predations of other Somalis. Its root was the war, depicted on the wall above mother and child as messy graffiti, as charcoal drawings of tanks and assault rifles in full fire, which drew exaggerated drops of blood from hapless stick figure people.

Shukri's jaw was shut hard against Mother's efforts to feed

-37-

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Me against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan, and Rwanda: A Journalist Reports from the Battlefields of Africa
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Somalia 1a
  • Sudan 1g
  • Rwanda 1k
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Maps xxiii
  • Part I - Somalia 1
  • One - Laws of War 3
  • Two - "City of the Insane" 19
  • Three - A Land Forgotten by God 37
  • Four - “club Skinny-Dancers Wanted” 51
  • Five - “camp of the Murderers” 71
  • Six - The Fugitive 93
  • Seven - Bloody Monday 117
  • Eight - Mission Impossible 137
  • Nine - Back to Zero 157
  • Part II - Sudan 171
  • Ten - Divided by God 173
  • Eleven - War of the Cross 197
  • Twelve - The False Messiah 217
  • Thirteen - Darwin Deceived 229
  • Part III - Rwanda 245
  • Fourteen - A Holocaust 247
  • Fifteen - “dreadful Note of Preparation” 267
  • Sixteen - Genocide Denied 289
  • Seventeen - In Perpetuum 303
  • Epilogue 323
  • Notes 329
  • Index 351
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