Armed wardens even the odds in war zone of gorillas v guerillas

The Times of London
Virunga National Park, DR Congo

Gorilla
Ten gorillas were shot dead in 2007 (Jerome Delay/AP)

The mountain gorillas of Virunga National Park have been fighting their way back from the verge of extinction after being targeted by hunters seeking bushmeat, trophies or exotic pets. Now they are being defended against a new danger: the rebel army that has seized the nearby city of Goma.

The diversity of this nature reserve in eastern Congo is startling: glaciers, rivers and lakes, moorland, alpine forest, jungle and savannah, lava fields and active volcanoes, but its 3,000 square miles are also a hotbed of rebellions, militias and insecurity. Continue reading Armed wardens even the odds in war zone of gorillas v guerillas

Hell’s Kitchen

Delayed Gratification
Mogadishu, Somalia

Ahmed Jama
Ahmed Jama in his restaurant ‘The Village’ in Mogadishu (Tristan McConnell)

For a quarter of a century, as his home city of Mogadishu was engulfed by civil war, Ahmed Jama lived abroad. He had been lucky enough to escape, first to Kenya, then Uganda, then the UK, where he studied catering in Solihull and opened his first restaurant in London, on the Fulham Palace Road.

But having spent much of his life escaping Somalia, in late 2008 Jama returned home. He found a city under the control of Islamist insurgents who fought daily battles against a small force of African Union soldiers based at the airport. Unbowed by the conflict and fuelled with a native son’s optimism, Jama opened his first café in a place that fully deserved its “Most Dangerous City in the World” tag.

Continue reading Hell’s Kitchen