- Oct 10, 2009
Portraits of Instability
Haunting images from the world's most fragile states.
BY ELIZABETH ****INSON, ANNIE LOWREY, JOSHUA KEATING | JULY/AUG 2009
A window into failure: Children peek through an artillery-battered wall of Mogadishu's Bakara Market, the country's largest open-air forum. Sellers and buyers used to be well-stocked with food staples and other daily essentials. Today, the strongest product line is weapons -- everything from handguns to rifles to rocket-propelled grenades. Such arms have been the quickest means to power and subsistence in Somalia since chaos erupted 18 years ago. As Somalia claimed the No. 1 slot on the Failed States Index for a second year in a row, militant attacks had forced the country's fledgling transitional government literally into a corner; by December 2008, it controlled merely a few blocks in a country of 627,000 square kilometers.
JOSE CENDON/AFP/Getty Images