I first arrived in Somalia in 2011 to cover the famine and military offensive in Mogadishu and surrounding regions, my last trip to Somalia was in February 2017 to cover the severe drought.
A former British protectorate and an Italian colony, Somalia gained independence in 1960. Military rule, followed by civil war, terrorism and drought led to the fall of the state. From 2000 on, internationally backed transitional governments were formed but struggled for internal recognition and to establish control in most of the southern and central regions. By 2006 a coalition of Islamists groups took control of the capital
Mogadishu. Following conflict and drought, the United Nations in 2011 declared a famine. More than 250 000 people died, half of which were children under the age of five. Currently more than six million people – or half of the population – are affected by a new drought in late 2016 to 2017. The country has declared a national disaster.