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Somaliland Website and Newspaper Owners and Administrators: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Almost all the Somaliland websites and newspapers are owned, managed, and controlled by some unscrupulous individuals or groups with unhealthy tribal and regional affiliations whose negative dispensation of information has generally hampered the political, economic, and social discourse and development on all sectors in the country.
And most of these individuals or groups who would like to be known as the so-called “Saxaafadda” (media) of Somaliland do not posses any journalistic qualifications and skills and are known not to be willing to learn on their own or from others or not to follow the proper journalistic standards and ethics even though they are brazenly trying to disguise themselves as genuine professionals and journalists. In addition, most of these individuals or groups of the “Saxaafadda” are openly and shamelessly biased towards some segments of the society and regions particularly the Eastern Regions of the country, and are widely known to covertly and overtly promote tribalism, regionalism, petty domestic wrangling (“Yooyootan”) and support wholeheartedly certain demagogues and rogue officials or individuals in both the previous and current corrupt and inept administrations.
On the same token, these groups or individuals do not have the basic knowledge and skills of investigative journalism or even possess the basic political, economic, and social consciousness to enable them carry their duties as required.
Remember the number of Inquiry Committees this inept and corrupt Riyaale administration launched since it came to power, for example, the Dumbuluq Inquiry, the Hargeisa Hospital Inquiry, the Hargeisa Jail break-out Inquiry, the Berbera Container Incident, etc. all of which were fruitless and waste of time and ended without any outcome or accountability to this day while, “Saxaafadda”, which were supposed to be the watchdog of the public and the country that should have made swift and effective follow up of these fake inquiries, and hold the feet of this rogue administration officials to the fire for answers and accountability turned out to became the dog that did not bark!
Again, that is why this rogue Riyaale administration manages, time and again, to easily succeed in formulating and implementing their divisive evil plans and also manages easily distract or divert the attention of the general public by simply staging an even much alarming and horrible new incident knowing very well that the "Saxaafadda” and the citizenry in the Diasporas will quickly jump all over that particular new development or story and be busy with it for some days, and in the process forget the outstanding serious incidents that have happened before, which only needed a proper follow up for such a repeat not to reoccur.
Worse still, these “Saxaafadda”, are known to down play all these evils happening to our people and country, and are busy playing favouritism with some writers from certain quarters who either openly support or throw soft balls or mild criticism at this rogue administration while, suppressing the genuine views and opinions of those who throw hard ball or strong criticism at the government.
To make it more worse, the “Saxaafadda” are generally arrogant even though they do not have the proper journalistic knowledge and skills or the capability to prepare daily Editorials and Commentaries of their own. In fact, they are heavily dependent, though ungrateful, on the work or materials of the free lance journalists and intellectuals in the country and in the Diasporas, which they happily, selectively, and decoratively post on or publish on their websites and newspapers and callously suppress other views or opinions or article that they perceive to be “improper” or too truthful and scandalizing without providing any explanation!!
Example No. 1: The Good:
In accordance with my recent article titled, “Who Is Afraid of Hon. Ahmed Silanyo?” which was dated on November 21, 2006, was without any hesitation due to its legitimate argument and substance published by the following nationalistic or patriotic or die hard Somaliland major websites:
These above mentioned four non-tribal and non-partisan websites work tirelessly, day in day out, to the best of their ability and meagre resources to inform their fellow brethren or citizenry or people in the country and in the Diasporas, and are fearlessly known to be at the forefront of the struggle for peace, democracy, justice, and general development, and to defend the cause and existence of Somaliland at any cost. In fact, these websites do not suppress the contributions or views or opinions or articles of their fellow citizenry as long as their materials are informative, have substance, are well written, and are not brazenly offensive to any individual or group or oppose the cause and existence of Somaliland. I highly respect these websites and their owners for who they are and for their invaluable contribution to people and Somaliland, and would therefore endorse them to all the nationalistic and patriotic Somalilanders living in the country and in the Diasporas as great guys and medium worthy of doing business with.
Example No. 2: The Bad:
Two other websites, which are not in the same category as the websites stated on the above but, understood the importance of my argument and the scope of the article, and went ahead to publish it so that their readers may also enjoy it or even have the opportunity to condemn it as they see fit are: www.golisnews.com and www.somalilandtalk.com . I think these websites have been courageous to publish this important but, controversial article. And I think there is a room for them to improve in the future and become great medium.
Example No. 3: The Ugly:
Apparently, this interesting article, which was even published by some of the Somalia websites such as www.somaliweyn.com , was not published by certain notorious Somaliland websites without providing any explanation to their contributor. Most importantly, www.somaliland.org website, which many perceive as being part of the opposition or representing the voice of the opposition and who some perceive that it openly supports KULMIYE party and its leaders such as Hon. Ahmed Silanyo and others who without any hesitation or happily published the article titled, “Who Should Replace Silanyo by Mr. Mohamud Tani, which was dated on November 11, 2006, chose to suppress my response to that very article as well as many other articles or mine without providing any explanation each time!!
If www.somaliweyn.com can publish my article with all the FAQASH references therein, why shouldn’t www.somaliland.org website and others declined from publishing it or resorted to censoring it? Whose interests and prestige has been trample on by this article? Whose is being threatened here by not publishing this interesting article that bears a legitimate question and argument, which was only responding to a previous article that was published by the major Somaliland websites and newspapers?
So if they have now suppressed this articles supporting the KULMIYE party and Chairman Ahmed Silanyo, and they do neither support UCID party nor UDUB party and their leaders then, who are they? Are they tribal? Are they regionalists? Are they Somaliweyn? Are they Maxaakiimta? I really wonder who they are because they even recently suppressed my article titled, “Baaq Ku Wajahan Magaalada Burco, Gobolka Togdheer, iyo Sheikh Cali Warsame”!!
Whatever the case, the short list of the websites, which suppressed my recent and past articles are as follows:
This signifies that these websites are owned and controlled by some notorious: tribal and partisan webmasters and newspapers editors who are known to suppress the genuine voices of the citizenry or views or opinions or articles or news that happen to be unfavourable to this rogue administration or articles that are deemed to be in the defence of the innocent people, cause, and existence of Somaliland.
It is common knowledge that some of these websites are covertly financed by this rogue Riyaale administration and others are suspected of being financed by the enemy of our people, cause, and existence of Somaliland. Their major work is to divert public attention whenever the government goofs up or is cornered by the citizenry, and to heavily censor the political views of the opposition as well as that of the nationalistic and patriotic Somalilanders in general. And they do not even have the courtesy or civility to respond to queries or concerns or the correspondence sent to them. Remember I warned these websites in my last weeks article that, “You can not hide, we know who you are”? Did they think that I was not going to get back at them? I think now they know better!
After all, some of these so-called “Saxaafadda” are so cheap and dump to the extent that they are from, time and again, caught unaware or surprised and taken to task by the equally mediocre Somalia webmasters and editors or reporters. Example: Remember the Samsam Case and the recent alleged torture video of some terrorist “Sheikh” in Hargeisa?
In both of these cases and many others this corrupt and inept Riyaale administration as well as the so-called “Saxaafadda” of Somaliland scrambled to hurriedly construct imaginary dykes on the air waves and on the print media to stem off the incoming wave after wave of outrageous allegations of some crime or wrong doing and the daily onslaught of accusations from the biased and unreliable Somalia media, and the constant ridiculous and mean statements of their criminal “Beast-Man” Warlords who are fond of accusing our people and country of committing some imaginary horrendous crimes against humanity in order to cover up the real bloodshed and genocide they are committing to this day, all of which ended in a fiasco. Both this rogue administration and the unqualified and arrogant “Saxaafadda” failed our people and the country who committed none of the alleged crimes, and made us look like the laughing stock in the eyes of the international community!
In fact, for the “Saxaafadda” of Somaliland, what the mediocre, biased, and unreliable Somalia media had inflicted on them was truly, the real “Shock and awe” that was much talked about. Sadly, this “Saxaafadda” are not known to get even with their provocative and aggressive counterpart. And I think it is only fair that they get even with their hateful counterpart in order to be respected in the future. In other words, they will be put on the run some time in the future if they do not act now.
Nevertheless, these individuals or groups who do not even have the financial capacity to hire the required skilled journalists or even have the capability to hire a few low class reporters to cover the information vacuum existing in all the major cities and regions of the country, sadly dominate the Somaliland media even though they are known to feed the public with some junk information, shallow breaking news bites, and terse statements of some officials most of which originate from Hargeisa City, the capital of Somaliland while; completely ignoring or neglecting the state of affairs of Burao City, the second capital of the country or Gabiley City or Bali Doogle City or Borame City or Las Anood City. And the only time they report about these important and heavily populated urban areas, their coverage are usually shallow; lacks substance, boring, biased, generally negative, and tend or are designed to foment divisive domestic political wrangling, cheap regionalism politics, and outright tribalism!
Do they really think that Somaliland is Hargeisa City alone? Who are these groups or individuals who manage and control the “Saxaafadda” of Somaliland? Do they think they have a monopoly on the country’s media in general? Do they think that these other peoples and cities such as Burao, Gabiley, Bali Doogle, Borame, and Las Anood and others do not have the capability and resources to develop effective, reliable, and fair information medium or websites and newspapers of their own?
Overall, I would conclude here with this statement to these unscrupulous groups and individuals: Enjoy for now while, it lasts. But your empty arrogance and perceived domination of the “Saxaafadda” of Somaliland is numbered and will be ended soon!
And let us see if they have the guts to publish this informative and constructive criticism.
Farah Ali Jama,
Ottawa , Canada .