News / Africa

Al-Shabab Radio Station Off the Air in Somali Capital

Hassan Yusuf monitors a computer in the control room during a live broadcast of the Somali government run radio.  Al-Shabab controls most of southern Somalia uses the Internet and radio stations to get its message out, FILE March 1, 2010.Hassan Yusuf monitors a computer in the control room during a live broadcast of the Somali government run radio. Al-Shabab controls most of southern Somalia uses the Internet and radio stations to get its message out, FILE March 1, 2010.
x
Hassan Yusuf monitors a computer in the control room during a live broadcast of the Somali government run radio.  Al-Shabab controls most of southern Somalia uses the Internet and radio stations to get its message out, FILE March 1, 2010.
Hassan Yusuf monitors a computer in the control room during a live broadcast of the Somali government run radio. Al-Shabab controls most of southern Somalia uses the Internet and radio stations to get its message out, FILE March 1, 2010.
NAIROBI - For the first time in years, people living in and around Somalia's capital will be free from radio propaganda put out by militant group al-Shabab.  Radio Andalus, the pro-al-Shabab station which was broadcasting in the outskirts of Mogadishu, went off the air after African Union forces took control of the area Tuesday. 

Abdiaziz Abdinur is a Somali freelance journalist based in Mogadishu.  He was a frequent listener of pro-al-Shabab Radio Andalus.

For Abdinur, like other journalists who do not have access to the militant group's leaders or press conferences, listening to Radio Andalus was the only way to get al-Shabab's side of any story.

Abdinur told VOA that the last time he heard the station broadcast was on Tuesday afternoon, when al-Shabab said it repelled an attack by the AU and Somali national army in the Daynile district, northwest of Mogadishu. "The last reports broadcast by Radio Andalus were the fighting which took place in Daynile district," he says, "where the government said it defeated al-Shabab. They have also broadcast a recorded interview by Abdikhadir Mumiin, one of al-Shabab's leaders, who is in Galgala Mountains," he said.

Radio Andalus was stationed in the town of Elasha-Biyaha, one of the areas targeted in the AU-Somali government offensive.

Elasha-Biyaha hosts hundreds of thousands of internally displaced Somalis who have fled from Mogadishu in recent years, trying to escape daily fighting between pro-government forces and al-Shabab.

Since the operation began, thousands of people have fled back to Mogadishu to escape heavy fighting in the area.  On Thursday morning, government forces opened roads leading into the capital and allowed the IDPs to enter camps inside the city.

Abdinur says the closure of Radio Andalus will have an impact on Mogadishu's population, who heavily depended on the radio to get information about areas that are still under the control of al-Shabab.

"Media-wise, they were good in providing information in areas under their control,"  Abdinur says. "People depended on Radio Andalus to provide that information, since other media and journalists have no access in al-Shabab areas," Abdinur stated. 

But Abdinur says the station's absence "also does give people in Mogadishu some sort of relief, since they won’t be listening to the group's propaganda, for example, an interview of someone who wants to go and blow himself up."

Al-Shabab has steadily lost ground in recent months as a multi-national effort to crush the group gains momentum.  

However, the group's ouster from Mogadishu has not restored full peace to the city.  On Thursday, four men armed with pistols shot and killed Radio Shabelle political programs producer Ahmed Adow Anshur in the city's Dharkanley district.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid