News / Africa

Somali Journalist Group Condemns Reporter Killings

Kim Lewis
The National Union of Somali Journalists, NUSO, says it strongly condemns the killing of two Somali journalists in separate incidents Sunday, in Mogadishu.

The first occurred in the morning when unidentified assailants gunned down Yusuf Ali Osman, widely known as Farey, in the Dharkenely district of Mogadishu. The union said three unknown gunmen dressed as school children shot Osman near a garage where he parked his car.  After the attack they immediately fled the scene.  Witnesses said the assailants called out Osman’s name to make sure it was him before they shot him.

Osman, a past director of Radio Mogadishu, was working for Somalia's Ministry of Information. 

In a separate incident later that day, Mohamoud Ali Yare, a Nairobi-based correspondent for Radio Hamar, Voice of Democracy, was killed by a stray bullet that hit him in the head while he was watching a soccer game at a playground in Towfiiq neighborhood of Yaqshid district, also in Mogadishu. 

Yare, better known as Buneyste, was in Mogadishu visiting his sick mother. 

Mohamed Ibrahim, secretary-general of NUSO, said he had just arrived back from a trip to the United States when he was met with the news at the Mogadishu airport on Sunday. 

“We are very sorry about what happened in a single day when 2 journalists were murdered in Mogadishu.  We are angry about this continued attack of the media,” said Ibrahim.

Ibrahim said the two murders were not related, and that attacks are most likely occurring because the country is going through a transition.

“So far nine journalists have been killed, and no one has been brought to court.  We do have concerns that the criminals involved in these actions still have the freedom to kill other journalists.  No one is doing anything about it,” said Ibrahim.
He said the attack on Osman was possibility the work of al Shabab, but it has not been confirmed.  

However the death of Yare came from a bullet from internal fighting between Somali government forces.

“This was from a government bullet that hit the journalist in the head.  While he was watching the game, there was some fire- fighting outside of the playground that hit him,” said Ibrahim.

Ibrahim said it is becoming harder and harder to work as a journalist in Mogadishu.  However, he said, as journalists, they will continue with their profession and not be intimidated by the murders.  He said they will also continue to advocate for justice for the attacks.  Listen to the entire interview between Kim Lewis and Mohamed Ibrahim.

Listen to Kim Lewis interview with Mohamed Ibrahim
Listen to Kim Lewis interview with Mohamed Ibrahimi
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