MOGADISHU, Somalia, July 18, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns in the strongest terms possible the shooting of the two radio journalists in Kismayo, resulting wounds, one of them seriously on their way on reporting assignment, on Wednesday July 17, 2013 by a member of the Raskamboni Brigade, around 11:30am local time, the latest in a string of violence against the journalists in Kismayo and thus fearing concerns over the safety of the journalists.
A member of the Raskamboni Brigade in Kismayo sporadically fired at a car carrying two journalists, trying to report a landmine attack on the AMISOM troops in Kismayo. at the Somalistar road in Calanley neighborhood, The wounds of the two journalists were immediately rushed to main hospital in Kismayo, where they went under urgent medical treatment.
The two journalists, Mascuud Abdulahi Aadan, a correspondent for the Mogadishu based Dalsan Radio, was hit by the backbone and Mohamed Farah Sahal, a correspondent for the Mogadishu based Goobjoog radio, was hit at the right shoulder, according to journalists who spoke with NUSOJ. Doctors who treated both journalists said that the bullet that hit Mohamed Farah Sahal of Goobjoog radio was removed successfully, but the doctors said that they did not succeed in removing the bullet that hit Mascud of Dalsan radio on the backbone and his healthy condition is seriously deteriorating and might need outside medical treatment.
A journalist, whose name withheld for security reasons, who spoke with NUSOJ said that, “The man who shot at the journalists was not detained or seems that his crime seems unpunished.”
The director of Dalsan Radio, Hassan Ali Gesey who spoke with NUSOJ said that “their reporter, Mascud, was trying to report the attack on AMISOM in Kismayo and was on his way to the scene, when they were shot at.”
It is not yet clear if the shootingswere targeted at the journalists.
The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns in the strongest terms possible and calls for the Raskamboni group to bring the criminal to book to ensure the safety of the journalists. NUSOJ also calls AMISOM troops in Kismayo to protect the journalists and ensure the journalists get fair justice by bringing the attacker to book, since the attacker was working closely with the AMISOM troops in Kismayo.
“We condemn the attack on the journalists in the strongest terms possible and call for an urgent investigation to bring the attacker to book.” Mohamed Ibrahim, Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists said, “Journalists should be given full protection and be allowed to report freely without fear of reprisals.”
“We are deeply disheartened by the attack of our colleagues and hope quick recovery.” Mr. Ibrahim added.
In a separate incident, early this month, several journalists fled the southern port city of Kismayo to various locations including Mogadishu and Nairobi following the recent fierce heightened clan fighting between rival clan militias vying for the control of the town late last month. Though, the fighting claimed heavy civilian casualties, at the same time, there was no journalist casualty reported. So far, three journalists has been confirmed reaching to Nairobi and Mogadishu for safety. NUSOJ will closely monitor the situation of other journalists who were reported to have left the town.
After learning some of the journalists’ escape, NUSOJ feared that this could lead to a news blackout. Therefore, NUSOJ demands the safe return of the journalists and the Ramkamboni group should respect the freedom of expression and the Freedom of the media by removing the draconian rules imposed upon the journalists
In January this year, Raskamboni militias imposed draconian orders on the journalists and the media in Kismayo. Abdinasir Seeraar, spokesperson for the Raskamboni militias ordered the journalists to come to his office in order to ensure they send the news only favors for them and threatened to take action any journalist who dares to report any news critical to their administration.
On May 29, armed assailants shot and wounded at the face Abdulkadir Abdirisak Jama nicknamed “Jiijiile”, who works for the privately owned Royal Television based in the UK and Mustaqbal Radio based in Mogadishu, at Farjano neighborhood, surviving from an assassination attempt and the attackers has not been tried. The journalist is currently recovering in Mogadishu.