|Home | Contact us | Links | Archives|
|BBC Somali Service’s Double Standards|
By Jamal Abdi Gabobe, Seattle Washington
The BBC's Somali service is getting more and more biased against Somaliland. Below are a few examples:
1- Even though Abdiqasims' tenure has expired, the BBC Somali Service is still calling him the President of the Transitional Government (Madaxweynaha Dawladda Ku Meel Ghaadka ah).
They never say the president whose term has expired (Madaxwaynaha Dawladda Waqtigeedi dhammaday), or the government that broke into two wings (dawladda labada dhinac u kala jabtay), or even the former president. They are still pretending as if there is an intact government in Mogadishu. Since they claim to follow technicalities when it comes to Somaliland by calling it the self-declared government of Somaliland (Dawladda la magac baxday Somaliland), if they are being fair they would have called Abdiqasim's government by the relevant epithets.
2- Xasan Barise is still reporting from Mogadishu as if there is a government there, still projecting any gathering of Abdiqasim's clan militia as if it is a meeting of Somalia's police, still claiming that he talked to General so-and-so who runs such-and-such, when in fact the Somali police and army had disbanded over a decade ago.
3- Four out of the five links that the BBC Somali Service's website has with other Somali websites belong to non-Somalilanders, and they are Hiiraan, HornAfrik, Stn-tv, Tababbar Suxufi. The only Somaliland link is with Radio Hargeisa and that link does not work.
4- As soon as one accesses the BBC Somali Service's website one realizes that non-Somalilanders run it. The first thing one encounters is the sign "Nagala Soo Xirir" which makes it clear it was most probably written by a southerner ( a Somalilander would have written Nagala Soo Xidhidh). One also sees expressions like "wuxu yiri" where someone from Somaliland would have written "wuxu yidhi". There is also the obligatory "dawladda la magac baxday Somaliland" (the self-declared government of Somaliland) whenever Somaliland is mentioned, even when the original oral broadcast did not mention the word self-declared.
5- Part of the blame for this terrible situation belongs to Somalilanders who work for the BBC who were outmaneuvered by Yusuf Garad and the anti-Somaliland crowd in the BBC. The Somalilanders in the BBC have turned to hapless readers of the news who have little influence when it comes to policy, or deciding what gets covered and what doesn't get covered, or the writing of the news that is published on the BBC's website. Moreover, the correspondents of Somaliland origin who cover Somaliland are constantly being outdone by Hasan Barise who always has something to report and is always trying to project as if there is an actual government in Mogadishu. Whereas the correspondents in Somaliland rarely report on social, economic, culture and health, and mostly dispatch short and hasty reports about politics, with no features or programs on specialized topics. Even the programs that are made once in a while by Somalilanders are done from a non-Somaliland perspective. A case in point is Adan Nux Dhulleh's program "Qarnigi tegay iyo taarikhda Somaliya" which gives a lot of air-time to Abdirizaq Haji Hussein whereas Somalilanders are given little time.
6- In order to counter the charge that intellectuals from Somaliland are rarely given air time, the BBC service gives a lot of time to intellectuals who are originally from Somaliland but who are opposed to Somaliland's independence, while pro-Somaliland intellectuals and professors have been more or less shut out of the BBC's Somali Service. Three anti-Somaliland figures (Ahmed Ismail Samater, Abdi Ismail Samater, Ali Khalif Galaydh) who are originally from Somaliland seem to have a monopoly on the BBC as if they are the only Somalis with academic credentials. In order to make the frequent interviews and commentaries of this trio seem unplanned, the BBC's broadcasters often preface their program by saying "waxa nugu soo booqday Bush House ninka la yidhaahdo" (we were visited in Bush House by Mr so-and-so).
I have written to the BBC about their bias against Somaliland but have received no reply. I encourage Somaliland's citizens, government and media to protest the unfair and unprofessional practices of the BBC's Somali Service. It is also about time the Somalilanders in the BBC should realize that the BBC has turned into a weapon against Somaliland in their presence; and that they're partially responsible for this, and Somalilanders will never forgive them.
I urge people like me, who are fed up with the shenanigans of the BBC's Somali Service to write to the BBC's governors and the executive committee. Their names are listed at http://www.bbc.co.uk/info/running/governors/
The governors and executive committee can be reached at:
People could also write to the Somali service, although they are unlikely to get a response and their complaint is very likely to be suppressed by the staff of the Somali section. The BBC's Somali service can be contacted through:
Fax: + 44 020 7497-1374
While browsing the BBC's website, I came across a page entitled "How the BBC is run". What is in that page is so different from what is being practiced by the Somali Service, after I finished reading it, I said to myself, "Allow ya u sheega" (if only they knew).