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October 27 - November 02, 2014

Media Monitoring Report for Somalia
Posted on November 2, 2014

1) Somaliland Journalists Arrested

“Somaliland: Arrest of Independent newsmen condemned” Somaliland Informer October 31st

  • The arrest of two independent Somaliland reporters has been condemned and described as an attempt to limit freedom of the press
  • One Gebiley-based TV reporter was arrested for reporting that former ruling party supporters have burned the party flag in anger over policies
  • Another TV journalist was arrested after being accused of airing stories against the ruling Kumiye party.
  • The Silanyo leadership is muzzling the press to prevent reporting critical of the administration

“No Demos took place in Gabile, says RG” Somaliland Informer, November 2nd

  • Two journalists belonging to Horn Cable and Somsat television networks have been arrested in Gebiley for libelous misreporting.
  • The Regional Governor made it clear that there was no demonstration of any kind by members of the public in the town against the ruling party.
  • The RG went on to say that the journalist were apprehended to save them from public wrath, following threats from Kulmiye officials and their supporters who were angered by some libelous reports filed by the journalists
  • The RG also denied claims that there have been mass defections from the ruling party to the opposition

“Somaliland Authorities Detain Two TV Journalists” Garowe Online, November 2nd

  • Somaliland authorities arrested two TV journalists working for the UK-based Somali channels SOMSAT and Horn Cable, spurring local condemnations from press watchdogs and human rights observers.
  • The men were detained for reporting on low-turnout at a ruling party conference and anti-government protests.
  • The Somaliland Journalists Association criticized the unconstitutional arrests and called for the men’s unconditional release. SOLJA noted that the journalists had filmed crowds setting the Kulmiye flag on fire near the party’s headquarters.

“Four Journalists Jailed near Hargeisa” RBC Radio, November 2nd

  • Somaliland security forces detained four journalists in Gabiley following allegations of false reporting.
  • The four journalists worked for Horncable TV, Royal TV, Somali Channel TV, and Somsat TV.
  • According to one local journalist who asked not to be named, the arrests were ordered by the town’s District Commissioner, who was angry that an event he hosted days before received little media attention.
  • Both SOLJA and NUSOJ have called for the reporters’ immediate release.
  • Somaliland is a region that claims to be independent from Somalia with a history of intimidation and arrests towards journalists.
2) Somali Government Warns of Foreigners Conducting Illegal Activities Passing as Journalists

Update: Somali Government investigates alleged foreigners posing and journalists conducting illegal activities in Mogadishu
Mareeg Media (November 2nd)
Dalsan Radio (November 1st)

  • Police are investigating foreigners claiming to be journalists from the International Freedom of Expression Exchange who were smuggled into the country after the NUSOJ warned that their name was being used illegally.
  • The Deputy Minister of Information warned that smugglers had entered the country after claiming to be journalists who intended to hold a workshop in Mogadishu
  • National Security Forces stormed a hotel in the capital to search for the foreigners; among those being searched are Ugandan and Ghanaian nationals
  • IFEX is a Canadian-based network for independent NGOs.
  • An event planned by local aides and allegedly hosted by IFEX and the NUSOJ in a Mogadishu hotel was banned by security forces who claimed it had not been authorized by the government
  • The NUSOJ’s Secretary General welcomed the government’s efforts in responding to their call for immediate intervention into this possible disruption among the Somali journalistic community.
3) Tensions continue between Somali Prime Minister and President

“UN Mediating between President, PM, after reshuffle row”, Garowe Online, October 27

  • UN Envoy to Somalia Nicholas Kay is exploring all avenues to settle a long-standing political dispute between the country’s PM and its president.
  • Kay met with the two men at the heavily fortified compound of Villa Somalia, but both men held to their positions according to insiders
  • The Speaker of the Parliament has also reportedly held talks with Ambassador Kay about the dispute, which surfaced after the PM replaced a key presidential aide.
  • Puntland has expressed dismay over the infighting, calling on members of the international community to intervene.
  • Parliament Speaker Jawari called for calm, asking the public and international partners to stroke the infighting.
  • Experts say that the root cause of this and other disputes lies in the constitution, which does not clearly describe the powers of the President and the Prime Minister.

“Somali Religious Leaders Spoke About the Current Disagreement Between the President and the PM”, Dalsan Radio, October 30

  • As the rift between the two men grows, Somali religious leaders have spoken about the disagreement between the Prime Minister and the President.
  • The leaders stated that it is shameful for the top leaders of the government to disagree, calling on the two men to solve their dispute in a positive manner.
  • Sheikh Nuur Baaruud said that whenever the Somali people think they are recovering from instability, disagreements between political leaders resurfaces and slows the development of the country.
  • The PM recently asked all ministers, assistant ministers, and state ministers who were affected by the recent controversial reshuffle to obey the orders of the PM’s office and take up their new positions. Civil servants and parliamentarians were called on to carry out their new duties, protect the law, and stop siding with the President. The statement from the PM added that any opposition to the reshuffle will not be tolerated.

“PM Abdiweli talks on the political tension between him and the president”, RBC Online, November 1st

  • The Prime Minister gave an interview to the international media house ENC, his first public comments since his political dispute with the president was made public.
  • The PM stated that there is no deep political crisis within the government, and the dispute between himself and the President will be solved through dialogue in the coming days.
  • He went on to say that the two men had differing views, but he was optimistic that they can be reconciled, and they can move on from this dispute.
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