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Somalia: The Killing Field To Muzzle Writers And Journalists
Djibouti, August 16, 2007 – The civilian Killings in Somalia's capital has reach 31 innocent civilians in the past 24 hours, a local human rights group said Tuesday.
The battles began Monday when insurgents attacked government bases, said Sudan Ali Ahmed, chairman of Elman Human Rights, an independent Somali group.
His organization arrived at the death toll by contacting hospitals and doing its own surveys throughout the city.
Although there are independent Media in Somalia the Journalists work in very difficult situation. There are no tangible relations between them and violations on the Journalist range from intimidation, torture to death. Below is an inventory of the violations as recorded by ASOJ: -
On 26th January 2000, unknown gunmen killed Ahmed Kafi Awale of Radio Voice of People in Bakaro Market of Mogadishu at a time he was engaged in duty.
On 21st February 2001, Abdi Shakur Yusuf of Ogaal Newspaper was arrested in Bosaso (Puntland) but released in April, the same year.
On 27th August 2001, Bile Mohamed Qabowsade and Mahomed Sa’id of Soyal and Yool Newspaper respectively were arrested in Bossaso (Puntland) and freed later.
17th January 2003, gunmen loyal to businessman Mohamed Deylaf closed down Horn afrik Media in Mogadishu.
On 5th June 2003, Abdirahman Hudeyfi and Hussein Geddi working for Banadir Radio were arrested by TNG.
On 9th February 2005, Kate Peyton working for the BBC was shot dead in Mogadishu by unknown gunmen.
On May 2005, gunman wounded Abdalla Nuradin of Horn afrik Media station.
On 5th June 2005, gunmen shot dead Dunia Muhyadin Nuur (Horn Afrik Media Station) in Afgoye town of Somalia while she was in her line of duty.
On 3rd August 2005, Abdillahi Kulmiye was arrested in Jowhar (Middle Shabelle region – Somalia) by the local administration but released after few days.
On 23rd June 2006, freelance Swedish Cameraman Martin Alder was killed in Mogadishu.
On 24th October 2006, the TFG detained Fahad Mohamed Abokar, Mohamed Adawe, and Muqtar Mohamed Catosh working 3 media stations: Horn Afrik, Shabelle Radio and Warsan radio. The journalists were freed after few days of captivity in Baidoa.
On 24th November 2006, Abdillahi Yasin from Warsan radio was arrested in Baidoa by the TFG but released after few days of detention.
On 15th January 2007, the TFG closed down three Radio stations in Mogadishu namely Horn Afrik media, Shabelle Media Network, and Holy Quran Media Station (IQK).
On 2nd January 2007, some of the Haatuf newspaper staff were arrested by Somaliland authorities and sentenced 2 years in prison. Allegations were premised on editorial about the Family of President Rayale of Somaliland.
On 9th March 2007, the TFG detained Hassan Sade Dhagane of Horn afrik media station in Mogadishu but freed after over a week of detention.
On 4th April 2007, Abdulkadir Nadara, Bashiir Naleye, Hamid Mohamed of Universal TV were by the TFG but released after arraigning in Court on 22nd May 2007.
On 5th May 2007, Mohamed Abdillahi, Director of Radio Galkayo was shot dead in Puntland.
On 11th August 2007, Mahad Ahmed Elmi Director of Radio Capital Voice was shot dead in Mogadishu as well as Ali Eman Sharmarke - The founder of HornAfrik Radio In Mogadishu.
Mogadishu is increasingly caught in a guerrilla war, with frequent roadside bombs and mortar attacks. Thousands of civilians have been killed, and a fifth of Mogadishu's two million residents have fled to squalid camps.
The Ethiopian forces, Somali TNG forces and Islamist insurgent are all responsible for rampant violations of the laws of war in Mogadishu, causing massive suffering for the civilian population, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Human Rights Watch urged the UN Security Council during its current deliberations on Somalia to include a strong civilian protection mandate in any peacekeeping mission.
The 113-page report, “Shell-Shocked: Civilians Under Siege in Mogadishu,” is the first independent, on-the-ground investigation of the fighting that wracked Mogadishu in March and April 2007, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of civilians and the displacement of 400,000 people
“The warring parties have all shown criminal disregard for the well-being of the civilian population of Mogadishu,” said Ken Roth, executive director for Human Rights Watch. “The UN Security Council’s indifference to this crisis has only added to the tragedy.”
Human Rights Watch documented numerous war crimes among many other violations of the laws of war by all parties to the armed conflict in Mogadishu.
The Britain's UN diplomat is proposing the United Nations start planning for the possible deployment of U.N. peacekeepers to take over for an African Union force struggling to keep the peace in war-torn Somalia, according to a draft Security Council resolution circulated Monday.
The U.N. has come under increasing pressure from the African Union and Somalia's transitional government to deploy a well-equipped force to Somalia, which has been mired in chaos since 1991 when warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siyad Barre and then turned against one another.
The AU's Peace and Security Council agreed last month to extend the mandate of its force in Somalia for six months and called for the U.N. to deploy a peacekeeping operation that will support the country's long-term stabilization.
AU chairman Alpha Oumar Konare followed up with a letter this month to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council pushing for the deployment of U.N. troops to replace the AU force.
The secretary-general's special envoy to Somalia, Francois Lonseny Fall says, Somalia must make some headway toward peace in reconciliation talks before the U.N. will consider assuming responsibility for the mission. "In six months, if we get enough political progress, and if we complete AMISOM, then the door is always open for the U.N. peacekeeping in Somalia. But we need to push in the political dialogue to have some political progress," he said.
The launch of the report coincides with today’s UN Security Council deliberations on Somalia. The Security Council is due to discuss the 1,500-member African Union mission in Somalia and proposals to turn the mission into a UN force.
Sources: The Geeska Afrika Magazine: HAN staff in Nairobi