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Amid violence, Somali President pitches country as irresistible investment

August 6th, 2014
09:47 AM ET

By Mick Krever and Claire Calzonetti, CNN

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has a pitch.

“There is no investment without risk,” the president of Somalia – a country nearly synonymous with “failed state” – told CNN’s Fred Pleitgen, in for Christiane Amanpour, on Tuesday.

“In Somalia, the level of risk right now we have – some people may claim that it's high, but it's not. It's a security situation that is improving. It is a state-building program that is improving. And there is a very bright future for Somalia and for the partners in Somalia.”

Optimism may as well be a job requirement for the leader of Somalia – especially for one who is pitching his country to investors at the first-ever U.S.-Africa summit in Washington.

When Mohamud was elected president in 2012, it was the first election the country had held on home soil in several decades.


Filed under:  Latest Episode • Somalia

Hanks holds ‘mirror up to nature’ in “Captain Phillips”

Hanks holds ‘mirror up to nature’ in “Captain Phillips”
October 9th, 2013
03:22 PM ET

True story of piracy on the high seas

CNN's Christiane Amanpour speaks with Tom Hanks and Director Paul Greengrass about their new film, "Captain Phillips."


The Somali star of "Captain Phillips"

CNN's Christiane Amanpour speaks with Barkhad Abdi, star, with Tom Hanks, of "Captain Phillips."

By Mick Krever, CNN

A U.S. raid on al-Qaeda-linked militants; the 20th anniversary of Black Hawk Down; a new film on the true-story pirating of an American shipping vessel – Somalia, the war-ravaged East African nation, finds itself in the news now more than almost any other time in recent memory.

The hijacking of an unarmed American ship by Somali pirates in April 2009, and subsequent commando rescue operation by U.S. Navy Seals, is the subject of “Captain Phillips,” a new movie starring Tom Hanks and first-time Somali actor Barkhad Abdi, and directed by Paul Greengrass.

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour spoke with all three in an interview that aired Wednesday.

“The best non-fiction is a record of human behavior that is always checkered, that is always very complex motivations,” Hanks told Amanpour in New York. “They do not hew to the antagonist/protagonist storyline which is the basis of any kind of dramatic art.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Somalia

Somalia welcomes U.S. raid, says America doesn’t need permission

October 7th, 2013
04:41 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Somalia welcomes the U.S. raid on an al-Shabaab leader this weekend, deputy prime minister and foreign minister Fawzia Yusuf Adam told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview on Monday, adding that the U.S. does not have to ask permission for future action.

“We are welcoming more if this will help us get rid of al-Qaeda, al-Shabaab,” she said from London. “We have a cooperation, and they don’t have to ask us, because we are fighting a common enemy.”

“We are grateful to their support,” Adam told Amanpour. “Otherwise the whole region will be in turmoil.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Somalia

Does U.S. now favor commando raids over air strikes?

October 7th, 2013
04:04 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

The U.S. operations this weekend in Somalia and Libya are putting a spotlight once again on American military tactics around the world, and incursions into other countries.

The fact that both operations used commandos on the ground, instead of drone strikes, which have so proliferated under U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration, may be indicative of a recent trend.

“There’s been a strong desire to increase the number of captures and increase the amount of intelligence that we can glean from these operatives,” Former U.S. Counter Terrorism Coordinator Daniel Benjamin told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.

Benjamin is director of Dartmouth's John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding.

Abu Anas al Libi, a man wanted for his connection to the 1998 East Africa embassy bombings, was capture by U.S. forces in Tripoli, Libya.

“There’s a lot to learn from this man,” Benjamin said, “and there’s the additional fact that the Untied States never lets these cases die, and it’s very important to show that we’re going to follow them to their conclusion and that justice will be done.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Libya • Somalia

How to beat back Islamic militants in Africa

January 18th, 2013
03:41 PM ET

By Samuel Burke, CNN

Battles with Islamist militants in Mali and Algeria this week underscore the major challenge al Qaeda poses in North Africa.

But in one northern African country, Islamic fighters are on the run.

This week Somalia’s recently elected president met U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton State who hailed that country's major success in beating back al Qaeda's East Africa affiliate al-Shabab.  FULL POST

Filed under:  Algeria • Latest Episode • Mali • Somalia