Somalia Screens First Public Film in Decades Under Heavy Security

Somalia National Theater

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia on Wednesday screened its first public film in 30 years under heavy security following the country’s prolonged civil war, months after the reconstruction of the National Theater had been completed.

There was a heavy police presence in and around the hall where the public film screening was hosted and roads leading to the National Theater had been closed amid spiraling insecurity in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

The National Theater in Mogadishu had been used as a military base by warring sides during the civil war, when cinema-going ceased but the atmosphere was different on Wednesday night.

Filmgoers paid $10 each for tickets and watched two short movies by the Somali director Ibrahim CM.

It ceased working in 1991 after the civil war led to the collapse of the country’s government and reopened in 2021 after repair by the African Union Mission in Somalia, but it was later blown up by the Al-Qaeda-aligned militant group Al-Shabaab.

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