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The smell of gunpowder, in Mogadishu under the eyes of Europeans

Credit: Swedish Navy / Anna Norén

(BRUSSELS2) With the presence of El Shabab forces above the port of Mogadishu, each entry into the port of Mogadishu is a real challenge. Swedish sailors from HMS Carlskrona who were providing escort for one of AMISOM's supply ships, the Petra, witnessed it.

On board the flagship of the European anti-piracy operation Atalanta (1) the crew was able, from the control bridge, to see the smoke of the fighting, hear the detonations of weapons and grenade launchers… smell the powder. " It was unreal, it was like watching a movie but it was for real. " recount one of the sailors, Henrik Olofsson. " It is very difficult for the crew of commercial ships to carry out approach maneuvers. Every entry and exit is risky ».

The Petra's arrival, however, took place without incident. Even though AMISOM troops only control a small part of Mogadishu; Elsewhere, militias reign, notably El Shabab, the Islamist militia suspected of having links with the terrorists Al-Qaeda. Clashes in the Somali capital left 17 dead and at least 46 injured this Wednesday.

(1) HMS Carlkrona ends its mission in a few days before handing over to the French ship De Grasse.




Read also: For the Djiboutian president, the battle for Mogadishu must be won

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).