News / Africa

    Somali Journalists Denounce Military Attack on Press

    Michael Onyiego

    Somali journalists said Thursday they were deliberately targeted by government forces during the bombardment of a press-conference in Mogadishu. The United Nations-backed transitional government has not responded to the accusations.  

    On Thursday, the Mogadishu-based National Union of Somali Journalists condemned the attack on a press-conference being held by Islamist group al-Shabab which killed an estimated 20 people and wounded over 30 others including eight journalists on Tuesday.

    The attack took place at a police training facility in northern Mogadishu, recently captured by al-Shabab. The rebel group was holding a press conference to assert its control over the newly won Abdiaziz neighborhood when explosions, reportedly from mortars and rocket propelled grenades, struck the building.

    Local media in Mogadishu have reported the United Nations-backed Transitional Federal Government was behind the attack. According to the secretary general of the National Union of Somali Journalists, Omar Faruk Osman, one of the injured journalists was threatened by government troops just before the press conference.

    "When they took over the police school al-Shabab invited the media to come and cover the press conference that they were holding in the school," he said.  "One of the journalists who was wounded told our union that the problem in that time was that when they were crossing from the government side to this al-Shabab controlled area they were warned by the government soldiers telling them, 'you need to be very careful. Anything can happen to you because you are going to cover that press conference.," he added.

    Osman denounced the attack, which he said was an attempt to manipulate the news and punish journalists perceived to be sympathetic to the forces of al-Shabab. Osman added that the attack was intentional pointing out that no other fighting in the neighborhood occurred before or after the blasts.  

    The capital has been experiencing several days of violence as the government and African Union peacekeepers continue to battle al-Shabab militants for territory and power.   

    Thursday marks Somalia's 50th anniversary since independence from Britain and Italy in 1960. Despite the occasion, residents in Mogadishu have been banned from celebration by Islamic groups which control large portions of the city.

    The decree came Wednesday from Hizbul Islam, an armed Islamist faction which also banned music as "un-Islamic" in April.

    Osman dismissed the announcement as an empty threat, saying the moratorium on the celebration was an attempt to reassert the authority of Hizbul Islam, which has been beset by internal strife over the past weeks.

    There were signs of defiance in Mogadishu as Radio Shabelle continued to broadcast independence celebrations to the city. Radio Shabelle, which recently relocated from the rebel-controlled Bakara Market to a government-controlled area, said it was no longer afraid of the rebel group.

    Radio Mogadishu, run by the Transitional Federal Government, and Radio Bar-kulan, run by the United Nations in Nairobi, also continued their celebration of independence over the airwaves.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora