- The Committee to Protect Journalists has called on warring parties in Somalia to allow journalists to carry out their work without fear of retribution. The call follows the weekend attack on two staff members of Radio Shabelle on Sunday that left one dead and one injured.
Radio Shabelle Director Mukhtar Mohammad Hirabe, was shot in the head in Mogadishu and a colleague, Ahmed Omar Tajil, was seriously wounded after two gunmen opened fire as they were walking near the Bakara Market in Mogadishu. Mr Hirabe’s death brings a total to five of journalists killed in Somalia this year.
The CPJ’s Africa programme coordinator Tom Rhodes said as the conflict in Somalia intensifies, journalists are increasingly targeted at unprecedented levels by insurgent groups.
“We call on all those who are fighting in this conflict to stop targeting journalists and instead do their utmost to protect them. The international community must hold those who commit violence against journalists to account,” he said.
CPJ believes the latest attack may have been due to false stories that claimed Islamist opposition leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys was killed or seriously injured during an intense Friday conflict that killed more than 120 people.
However, some of Mr Hashi and Mr Hirabi’s colleagues said they believe insurgents are targeting Somalia’s leading independent radio stations in an effort to control the airwaves.
Radio Shabelle is currently off the air since the majority of workers have either fled or are in hiding, Editor-in-Chief Addirahman Yusuf told CPJ.
Mr Hirabe, 48, was the third Shabelle journalists killed this year.
Somalia is the most dangerous country in Africa to work as a journalist, with five journalists killed this year, according to CPJ.
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