Hassan Mohammed (back right) used to be a cook, but now he works as an armed guard protecting agency workers and community leaders. Hassan is one of the millions in Somalia who has to carry a gun, he is also one of many who wishes he didn't have to.
Hassan has never had to shoot anyone, but he did once arrest a man to bring him before the elders for summary justice. The system of blood money, paying for injuries or killings in cash as compensation, means fewer people get caught up in long-lasting feuds. People are still shot dead to settle arguments, but it happens less frequently in his area of Somalia, where the majority of people are from Hassan’s clan, the Ogaden.
Hassan took us to visit a temporary feeding centre in Bu’aale, set up to help families cope with the effects of famine. They were serving a mixture of maize, cowpea (a kind of bean), sugar, sesame oil and powdered milk, but unfortunately there was not enough for everybody.