News / Africa

Rights Groups Welcome Release of Journalists in Somaliland

International and local media rights groups have welcomed the release of 21 journalists in Somaliland and have called for authorities to release another four who are still detained.  But some journalists in Somaliland are concerned for their safety and job effectiveness following the arrests.

The autonomous region of Somaliland is facing intense criticism after the detention of 25 journalists last weekend. On Sunday, local journalists organized a peaceful protest in front of the state house, a day after police stormed and closed a local TV station.

National Union of Somali Journalists Secretary General Mohammed Ibrahim says the group is convinced Somaliland authorities were angered by the independent media reporting on a tribal conference in the Taleeh district of the Sool region.

“Somaliland authorities have systematically cracked down on journalists and media," said Ibrahim. "They are doing this because Somaliland authorities believe that the outcome of this conference will cause insecurity to the Somaliland administration that are currently in control most of the region in Somaliland.”

Following the January 5 conference, elders in the Dhulbahante clan announced the Sool, Sanaag and Aeyn regions are forming a independent state. The three regions are claimed by both Somaliland and Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region.

A Somali political analyst with Southlink Consultants in Nairobi, Abdiwahab Sheikh Abdi Samed, says Somaliland's reaction is clear it will not tolerate political interference from outside.

“They are saying the unity of Somaliland is untouchable," said Samed. "Somaliland, they want to secure her border and they have a very clear border between Somalia and Somaliland. So any one who is going to tempt that border they mark as enemy number one.”

He also said Somaliland authorities would continue to censor media and arrest journalists.

“They want to censor media so that people of Somaliland, they do not get to know much about Dhulbahante state," said Samed. "That [is] why they are cracking down on some of the media houses. So that [the people] do not have a factual and accurate reporting what is going on today in Taleeh and also the declaration of the new state.”

Somalia has not had a functioning central government since President Mohammed Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991. Somalia split into a number of clan-ruled territories, while the people of northwest Somalia formed their own administration called Somaliland. The region runs its own affairs, though it does not have international recognition as an independent state.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid