UnNews:Mogadishu now tops list of "Best Cities to Live in for Warlords"
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25 April 2007
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MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Internationally renowned "Fancy Living" magazine released its annual world city rankings today, and Somalia's capital Mogadishu topped the glamorous "Best City for Warlords" list for the first time since 1993. To the surprise of many, the coastal town knocked Baghdad - the winner for the past 3 years - down to second. The top three were rounded off by El Fasher, Sudan - greatly disappointing the Janjaweed militia which had hoped its Darfur genocide would finally push the town to #1.
"I guess we'll have to try harder next year," bitterly commented spokesperson Ali el-Hashid.
Soon after the long-anticipated issue of "Fancy Living" hit the newsstands, celebratory gunfire could be heard mixed in with regular gunfire in Mogadishu. Warlord Bantu Malawi exclaimed he "never felt prouder to be a Somali," and emphasized how his militia's policy of "killing all the evil Ethiopians" helped the city garner the number one spot. On the other side of town, Islamic insurgent Ali al-Zaraqi, said he "wholeheartedly agreed," but also noted that "Mr. Malawi and his people should also leave Mogadishu, and leave the spoils for us." The weak Somali government also welcomed the news, with the Prime Minister announcing, "a formal celebration will be held as soon as our forces recapture downtown Mogadishu - insurgent positions are being shelled as we speak."
Editors of "Fancy Living" held a press conference to explain their meticulous process to determine the rankings. "Mogadishu has the perfect combination of anarchy, warring factions, foreign troops, and beautiful beaches to really make it heaven for any aspiring warlord," said chief editor Lawrence Harding.
Asked to explain why Baghdad fell to second place, Mr. Harding replied, "The Iraqi capital has gotten a bit boring - it's been in a status quo all year - the Sunnis and Shiias are battling to wipe each other out, while American forces are ostensibly in control along with the puppet Iraqi government - nothing has really changed. Meanwhile, control of Mogadishu has changed 3 times in the past year - from local warlords, to the Islamic courts, to Ethiopian troops. It's a really exciting place."
In addition to subjective opinions, "Fancy Living" also used quantitative assessments to help determine the rankings. Magazine officials say they sent twenty volunteers to each of the prospective top-ranked cities. In Baghdad, five escaped unscathed, twelve were killed in mindless bomb attacks, and only three were kidnapped and utilized for extortion by locals. In Mogadishu, however, not a single innocent life was wasted by the resident warlords. Nineteen of the volunteers were kidnapped by various factions and later traded for cash or weapons. One didn't even make it to the country - his ship was ambushed by pirates off the Somali coast. "That incident really gave Mogadishu a lot of bonus points," admits editor Harding.
City officials worldwide are already thinking of ways to boost their rankings. A delegation from Baghdad is visiting the White House this week to meet with President Bush and ask him to ensure American troop levels remain the same, or higher, throughout the year, as "their presence really helps the local insurgent leaders," said the mayor. Sudanese officials, meanwhile, are planning a meeting with UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon to yet again attempt to convince him that what's going on in Darfur is genocide. "It's a warlord's paradise," laments one Janjaweed militia member, "how many UN food shipments do we have to pilfer before the world finally recognizes that?"