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

SIX

THE FUGITIVE

What's the use of killing Aidid? Everybody is Aidid. If he goes tomorrow you will have a million Aidids around.

-Ali Gulaid, US representative of General Aidid

Plastered to the outside wall of the United Nations compound, but almost nowhere else because Mogadishu had become so dangerous for UN spies, was the absurd symbol of a manhunt: a yellow poster with a crude drawing of the warlord General Mohamed Farah Aidid. In true Wild West style, it fit the tone of this lawless city. But not its substance; saddle-sore gunmen did pillage the town with scant respect for authority, but they never lingered at the saloon bar, quenching their thirst with shots of whiskey, long enough for a well-meaning sheriff's posse to catch up with them. Never mind the inconsistencies: this WANTED poster, a relic of America's cowboy past, was approved. Some 80,000 copies were dumped on Mogadishu from American helicopters, floating down like canary-yellow ticker tape. Designed to entice Somali “citizens” to turn in a hardened war criminal, it read WANTED, reward $25,000, to capture the warlord and “bring him to the UN, Gate 8.”

But Somalis had seen the movies and had watched John Wayne conquer the American West in the name of the law, for freedom and the sake of goodness, with a swashbuckling spirit backed up by a Winchester .30-.30 rifle. They had even seen the updated versions: Delta Force played at the local theater shortly after the American troops arrived. Later, Rambo was so popular that it made three showings. 1

So the WANTED poster was greeted with knowing laughter, and within hours a counter price was put on the head of “Animal” Howe: Aidid would pay $1 million for capture of the UN

-93-

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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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