Khat producers left high and dry after UK ban

A UK ban on khat – widely used in the Somali community – comes into force in the next few months. But there is anger in Kenya, where thousands of farmers depend on exports of the herbal stimulant. Somali campaigners …

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Exclusive: inside an al-Shabaab training camp

They chant: “We are al-Shabaab! We are al-Qaeda! We are terrorists!” In a secret location, deep in the Somali bush, I met al-Shabaab, one of the most feared al-Qaeda-affiliated organisations in the world. Around 300 newly trained fighters, who have …

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Life in chains: the plight of Somalia’s mentally ill

Living in a tin shack by the roadside, Abdullahi is isolated, barely washed and poorly fed. For the last 17 years he has been chained up by his own family in Hargeisa, Somaliland. He spends most of his days watching …

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Community rebuilds after ‘Islamophobic’ arson attack

The arson attack on the al-Rahma community centre in north London – blamed on the EDL – has left local Somalis and their children deeply affected. Will the area and its people ever recover? It was around 4am in the …

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Somali families’ banking lifeline under threat

A money transfer system allowing UK families to send cash back home is under threat after Barclays said it wouldn’t do business with transfer firms. I report on the problem facing Somalia. Hawa Abdulle, a Somali mother, her children and …

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