In Somalia’s port city of Kismayo, forces of the Islamic Courts Union shut down a sub-station of HornAfrik radio. HornAfrik is an affiliate of Voice of America. The Islamic Courts Union (ICU) has accused the station of inciting violence, following its reporting of demonstrations against the ICU in Kismayo. Ali Iman Sharmarke is a managing partner for HornAfrik. From outside of Mogadishu, he tells VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua what happened.
The militia of the court came yesterday, six o’clock, at our station in Kismayo, and they asked it be shut down. The explanation so far they give to us is that the station is inciting the public because we have been giving some coverage for the demonstration of the people in Kismayo.”
It’s unclear when the station might reopen. Sharmarke says, “Actually we have been discussing since last night. We do believe we will achieve opening the station. But we have to get a guarantee that we will not be subjected to another closure. We have to get that guarantee.”
He says there was no violence when the station was shut down, but adds three reporters were detained and questioned today about the radio station’s policies. They were released after about one hour.