Connect with us


Somali hotel raid: ‘How I survived my fourth siege’



Image copyright
Mohamed Moalimu

Former BBC reporter Mohamed Moalimu survived Sunday’s siege on a beachfront hotel in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu – the fourth time he has been caught up in an attack by Islamist al-Shabab militants over the last seven years.

Moalimu, who now heads the Federation of Somali Journalists, told the BBC’s Basillioh Mutahi about his ordeal and how his friend was amongst the 20 people to lose their lives at the Elite hotel during the raid:

I was trembling. My heart was beating like a drum and my body was shaking. A huge dark smoke had gone up and it was even difficult to see the entire area.

People were screaming. I could see the impact of the blast. Some people had been hit by the shattered glasses, and some were bleeding, others were shouting for help.

My friend, Abdirizak Abdi, wanted to run away immediately. I wanted to stop him because heavy shooting was going on but he ran away from me, towards the entrance.

Image copyright

Image caption

Moalimu and his friend had barely sat for 15 minutes in the hotel when the militants attacked

I waited up to the point where I could understand where the shooting was coming from, having been trained on what to do in a hostile environment.

I was very self-conscious and that actually helped me, because I checked what was going on. That is what saved me.

I knew where to rush to, and I ran in a zigzag way. I jumped up a wall and landed on the side where the hotel faces the beach.

‘Removed my T-shirt’

I could not run immediately after jumping. People running away from the scene were being shot at.

I knew if you have anything coloured, like a shirt, it could easily attract the attention of the attackers. I had on a green T-shirt so I removed it and started to run on the beach. I was barefoot, having abandoned my shoes.

The shooting was still going on but I am lucky I survived.

Image copyright

Image caption

Security forces quickly sealed off the hotel at Lido beach

Then I was trying to call my friend but the call was not going through.

I tried to look for him, alive or dead. I saw a lot of people after the blast lying on the ground. Some of them were screaming. It was a very tragic scene.

The ambulances had started to arrive despite the fact that shooting was still going on. Somebody told me that Abdirizak had been injured and taken to hospital.

Unfortunately, he had been hit by the bullets from the terrorists who were firing indiscriminately. He was hit in the leg and the chest.

‘I ran to the hospital’

At that time, movement was limited and soldiers had taken over and lot of shooting was taking place.

Abdizirak, who was working at the Ministry of Information, had just a few hours earlier collected me from my home and we had driven together to the hotel.

Abdirizak Abdi

Mohamed Moalimu

Imagine, somebody who was my colleague, a friend – we were only having a friendly chat and coffee that day – is now dead. He was dead in a few minutes”

Since cars were not allowed, I ran until I reached the hospital but unfortunately Abdirizak had been pronounced dead.

It was a terrible day – and the fourth time I have witnessed such a tragic incident in Mogadishu.

It is the only time I have not had any injuries.

In 2013 I was in front of the UN compound when al-Shabab attacked – a suicide bomb hit my car.

The other time was in 2016, near the hotel on Lido beach, where my face was badly injured.

I was lying in a pool of blood for more than two hours and it took many months being treated in hospitals here and in Nairobi and in London for my injuries to heal.

In February last year, the blast that hit Hotel Maka al-Mukarama was very destructive.

I got minor injuries from shrapnel all over my body, including on my hand. I escaped through a hole on the wall that had been created by the suicide car bomber.

You may also be interested in:

But imagine somebody who was my colleague, a friend – we were only having a friendly chat and coffee that day – is now dead.

He was dead in a few minutes. You can imagine how tragic it was. I was not able to sleep at all. I tried to but I could not. It has affected me badly.

Almost 20 people have been confirmed dead, in addition to the four attackers and a suicide bomber.

‘My family couldn’t believe I was alive’

That’s a big number – people here in Mogadishu who work during the day usually have tea at restaurants in the afternoon.

I’m very concerned that this attack happened. I had hoped that things would improve.

Image copyright

Image caption

Lido beach is a popular place for Somalis in the capital to relax

My wife and family always advise me not to go to restaurants. Now I need to follow their advice because this is something that is not stopping.

This time my family was very worried because they knew Abdirizak was dead.

When I called them from the hospital, they could not believe that I was alive until they saw me.

They have found it hard to believe I escaped – for the fourth time.

Source –

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million



Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

Continue Reading


2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe




A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.

Source –

Continue Reading


Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News




Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.

Source –

Continue Reading