73 Killed in Somali Clashes
The Boston Globe reported on the deaths of 73 more people in Mogadishu Saturday in clashes between Ethiopian and Somali troops. The strife also sent more than 300,000 residents fleeing, the biggest refugee movement since 1991. The challenge of the article is to give both history, contex, and detail, while also emphasizing the human element of the story, and it does this extremely well. It ends with these sentences: "I've had enough. I'm abandoning the house. I am caught between two groups -- Ethiopians trying to kill me because I am Somali, and insurgents not happy because I am not picking up a gun and fighting with them. I have lost all hope." I think that this quote captures the feeling of desperation and it's prescence emotionally charges the writing.
The Associated Press covered the events as well, though stated the death toll as 47. The article focuses on the background of the conflict, which is seen by some as a proxy battle between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The governments have an unresolved border dispute that has led to violence in the past.