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January 12-18, 2015

Domestic Media Monitoring Report for Somalia
Posted on January 19, 2015

Compiled by Laura Metcalfe

Journalists Continue to Face Threats

Hand Grenade Hurled into Radio Galkacyo
Dalsan Radio, January 16

  • Unknown assailants have thrown two hand grenades into the Radio Galkacyo studio.
  • The director of the station has confirmed that there were no casualties from the attacks.
  • A similar attack in December 2014 left two journalists wounded.
  • The Somali Independent Media Houses has condemned the attack and called on authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.

NUSOJ Releases Annual Report on State of Press Freedom in Somalia
Shabelle News, January 15

  • The National Union of Somali Journalists has released the tenth annual report on press freedoms in Somalia.
  • The report provides a comprehensive overview of the state of press freedom, including chronological documentation of media freedom violations and legal repression against the media.
  • Although deadly violence against journalists eased in 2014, this was due to widespread self-censorship that made media less of a target.
  • In 2014, 5 media workers were murdered in Mogadishu, Galkayo, and Baidoa; seven journalists were injured; 47 journalists were arrested; five media houses were attacked; and a repressive legislation was enacted by the federal government and Puntland.
  • The NUSOJ stated that the murder of journalists has become a routine way to control the independent media and send a message to political opponents.
  • Al Shabaab remained the prime suspect of targeted killings with the federal government was directly or indirectly responsible for the arrest of journalist and the attack on Shabelle Media Network.
  • Journalists in Somaliland have found themselves targeted in a pattern of intimidation and harassment by the Hargeisa authorities.

PM Announces New Cabinet

Key President Allies Appear PM’s Shamarke’s New Cabinet List
Raxanreeb, January 12

  • Somali PM Abdirashid Ali Shamrke has announced his long-awaited cabinet list, consisting of 26 ministers and 25 state ministers.
  • Key allies of the President were appointed to key ministries such as national security, justice, finance, federalism, and foreign affairs.
  • Some of the old faces in the new cabinet are members of Damul Jadad, a religious group that the President is an active member of.

New Somalia PM Retains Majority of His Predecessor’s Ministers
Kismaayo, January 13

  • Somalia’s newly appointed PM named a cabinet of 60 people, an increase of 5 posts from the previous cabinet.
  • Many of the appointees were also members of the previous government.
  • The PM warned of the huge task associated with brining peace and stability to the country.

Somali PM Names New Cabinet
Dalsan Radio, January 12

  • The Somali PM has announced his new cabinet, which includes many ministers from the previous government.
  • The announcement was not a surprise to many, as several familiar faces retained their portfolios.
  • The Cabinet’s major tasks include the implementation of Vision 2016, the formation of an electoral commission, and spearheading the federalization of the country.
  • The names of the new cabinet are set to be submitted to parliament next week.  

New Faces in Cabinet Line Up
Garowe Online, January 12

  • New faces have appeared in the cabinet line up for the FGS.
  • 59 members got portfolios in the new cabinet, with a number of former ministers making a comeback.
  • Heavyweights from the former Puntland administration of Dr. Abdirahman Mohamed Farole turned up.
  • The new PM stated he held consultations with the President and the Speaker in deciding the cabinet.

PM Dissolves New Cabinet

PM Shamarke Wants to Dissolve New Cabinet
Garowe Online, January 17

  • Somalia’s PM has written to lawmakers following concerns over the outcome of a planned parliamentary vote.
  • In a press statement from his office, the PM asked Federal MPs to let him review 59 choices in the cabinet lineup.
  • This move comes less than 3 days after 120 lawmakers turned down his request for a deadline extension.
  • Parliamentarians are protesting the choices for Justice Minister, Minister of the Interior, Finance Minister, and National Security Minister.
  • Speaker Jawari announced that cabinet members would face a confidence in parliament.
  • If the four are removed in a premature reshuffle, it will deal a severe blow to the President, who retains close links with the four.

Somali Premier Dissolves New Cabinet
Somaliland Informer, January 17

  • Somalia’s new Prime Minister has dissolved his cabinet less than a week after appointing it.
  • The motivation for the move is unknown, but the composition of the cabinet has been widely criticized due to the appointment of several supporters of the President.
  • The members are seen as having been involved in the disputes between the President and the former PM.
  • Shamarke must appoint a new cabinet within 14 days.

Somali PM Dissolves New Cabinet
Jowhar.com, January 17

  • The Somali PM has dismissed his newly nominated cabinet after a standoff in parliament over the approval of the new cabinet.
  • The nominees were largely former cabinet ministers.
  • Shamarke is expected to appear before the national assembly to request more time to form a new government.

PM Expected to Form New Cabinet in Two Weeks.
Garowe Online, January 17

  • The PM has dissolved his cabinet, clearing the way for the formation of a new government in two weeks.
  • In a letter written to the Parliament, the PM said he needs two weeks to launch a review into the ministerial portfolios.
  • 192 out of 202 present PMs endorsed the request.
  • The PM, Speaker, and President are said to have agreed on the mass dissolution.
  • Four ministers known to be close to the President are likely to be cleansed from the next lineup.

3 Men Sentenced to Life in Prison

Puntland Court Sentences 3 Alleged Traitors to Life in Prison
Garowe Online, January 13

  • A court in Garowe has handed down 3 life sentences to alleged traitors who allegedly participated in a conference on the formation of a federal state in central Somalia.
  • Puntland’s Deputy Attorney General declared the three men traitors who are a threat to the existence of the state.
  • 11 others who had voiced support for the agenda received 10-year jail sentences.
  • The three men reportedly traveled to Galgadud, representing North Mudug in a convention.  Puntland protested the inclusion of north Mudug in the central state map in July 2013, following a trilateral meeting between Galmadug, Hima, Heeb, and the paramilitary group of Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamea in Mogadishu.
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