Ancient Somali cave art "enormous" potential for future tourism

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The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Michael Keating, views some of the ancient rock art at Laas Geel, located near Hargeisa, Somaliland, on 10 January 2018. Photo: UN Photo/Tobin Jones

Ancient rock shelters that are home to some of the oldest cave paintings in Africa, have "enormous" potential to help bring thousands more tourists to Somalia and 'Somaliland'.

That's according to the top envoy who heads the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), Michael Keating.

Standing inside the extraordinary cave formations of Laas Gaal, on the outskirts of Hargeisa, he pointed to some of the cave art — dating back thousands of years — describing it as a valuable "resource for the whole world".

But it was also important for Somalis themselves to realize that despite decades of conflict, they live in a "cradle of civilization" with a proud history, he added.

Mr. Keating was in the region calling for calm and dialogue amid reports of clashes between security forces from the self-declared Republic of 'Somaliland' and neighbouring Puntland.

He spoke to Ari Gaitanis.

Duration: 4'42"

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