Radio HornAfrik is back on the air in Kismayo. The sub-station had been shutdown last Thursday by militias of the Islamic Courts Union.
The ICU had accused Radio HornAfrik of inciting violence in its coverage of demonstrations against the ICU in Kismayo. Something radio station officials had denied.
Ali Iman Sharmarke is a managing partner of Radio HornAfrik. From Mogadishu, he spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about the sub-station resuming broadcasting Tuesday.
“Actually, since the closure of the radio, we have been in discussions with the Islamic Courts here in Mogadishu, as well as in Kismayo. What we were trying is to explain to them is that the suspicion they have for the radio is not necessarily true. We explained to them the neutrality of the radio. There was a suspicion that the radio is siding with the local population…we explained the fact that we have to cover the activities and the demonstrations of the public.
Also, we were discussing a common ground of operation and a way that we can communicate to each other if there is some complaint from the radio reporting.”
He says that the Islamic Courts Union made it clear it did not want to block the radio station from operating independently. “That was our main concern,” says Sharmarke.