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Mogadishu nun speaks of optimism in Somalia

An Italian missionary nun in Somalia sas reported that the locals in the Somalian "capital" Mogadishu are treating this week's political negotiations in Nairobi as a "miracle".

Newly elected Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed has vowed to work hard to restore peace and a government to his war-torn country. His appointment followed negotiations between warring factions in the hitherto ungovernable country.

Sr Marzia Feurra told the MISNA news agency: "Already on Sunday, walking through Mogadishu men and women could be seen in huts listening to small radios to hear what was happening in Kenya; everyone was talking about it, everyone wanted to know and were waiting for the news that then arrived".

"What occurred in Nairobi is a miracle", she said.

Sr Marzia is the superior of the small Consolata missionary community, which runs a hospital, an orphanage and a school.

"We have faced many difficult moments, in which everyone told us to leave the nation," she said. "We would always look at each other and ask which of us had the courage to leave these people.

Many fled Somalia in 1991, when the fall of the dictator Siad Barre gave way to the chaos dominated by the warlords and battles for control of the territory and wealth of the nation. Others escaped in 1994, when the Restore Hope UN military mission that was supposed to restore order, withdrew leaving the nation in the same state it found it in, causing many to define it as a failure.

'In Nairobi, a miracle', says to MISNA Sister Marzia from Mogadishu (Missionary Service News Agency 12/10/04)

New President's Vision for Somalia (The Nation/ 12/10/04)
Somaliland warns Somalia's leader (BBC 12/10/04)
Somalia's rocky road to peace (BBC 2/9/04)
Our Work: Somalia (Catholic Relief Services)
Somalia: lay missionary killed (Independent Catholic News 7/10/03)

13 Oct 2004