Somaliland: NUSOJ Ploys Irk Local Media Chiefs

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“Any entity requiring information on events surrounding media in our country should consult SOLJA” Mohamed-Rashid

“Constant NUSOJ defamation reports are an extension of the smear campaign waged on Somaliland by the SFG” Sayid Mire

L-R M Sayid Mire of Dawan and Mohamed-Rashid of SOLJA

By: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The National Union of Somalia Journalists-NUSOJ has been warned against regular interferences with issues related to journalists and the media in Somaliland and asked to keep off.

This warning was given by the Secretary General of the Somaliland Journalists Association- SOLJA Mr. Mohamed-Rashid Muhumed Farah and the Managing Editor of Dawan Media Group Mr. Mohamed Osman Mire ‘Sayid’ during separate interviews with Somalilandsun in Hargeisa.

These reactions follows continued information concerning any wrangles between the Media and administration here in Somaliland posted on various websites or magazines by NUSOJ or attributed to the Somalia outfit.

“Whatever our differences with the administration, NUSOJ does not have the authority to speak on behalf of local journalists since it represents the media in Somalia” said SOLJA’s Mohamed Rashid

Informing that the over 250 journalists based in all regions of somaliland are free to pursue their official duties, the SOLJA Secretary General Mr. Mohamed Rashid said that his organization is the only authority with the mandate to act on behalf of the somaliland journalists be they it’s members or not.

Wondering how NUSOJ gathers its much distributed information considering that it neither operates an office nor have a representative in the country Mohamed Rashid urged the various media and humanitarian organizations interested in information regarding local journalists to contact relevant authorities like the Somaliland journalists association-SOLJA or government departments in Hargeisa.

“Any individual or organization interested in factual information concerning prevalent status of the media or journalists in Somaliland should consult SOLJA directly and immediate response shall be given at no costs” said Mohamed-Rashid

Diverse information on local media issues or relevant contacts of SOLJA is available at the organization’s official site www.ururkasolja.org

In conclusion Mohamed-Rashid Muhumed Farah wondered why NUSOJ is busy getting involved in issues somaliland while it has failed to do anything about its own member journalists who are being butchered daily in the country now recognized as the worst for journalist to work in, Somali.

Similar sentiments were offered by the Managing editor of the state owned Dawan Media Group-DMG Mr. Mohamed Osman Mire ‘Sayid’ who reminded NUSOJ that Somaliland and Somalia are two very different countries each with its own mechanism, structures and channels of handling local issues of whatever nature.

Said he, “Constant NUSOJ defamation reports are an extension of the smear campaign waged on Somaliland by the SFG” in apparent reference to the political machinations of the Somalia Federal government whose intent hook or crook is to see Somaliland reunite with the war ravaged Somalia.

Asking NUSOJ to concentrate on the welfare of the Somalia journalists who are being harassed on a daily basis the DMG boss said that local somaliland journalists live and work in a peaceful environment and the few reported incidents of arrests are done and accomplished in a legal as enshrined in the country’s media laws that are lacking where they, NUSOJ purport to be operational.

“How can you try to put out an imaginary fire you alone purport to notice while an actual fire is razing your house to the ground” wondered Sayid Mire while urging NUSOJ to refrain from interferences in local journalism just like SOLJA does in issues Mogadishu.

While stressing on the importance of NUSOJ keeping to its own turf where it holds a mandate the Dawan boss who also doubles as a director at the ministry of information and national guidance urged the Mogadishu outfit to concentrate on helping the long suffering journalists of Somalia and stop being used by the SFG in its smear campaign against somaliland.

Said he “Whatever political differences exists between the two countries is a matter for politicians, appointed in Somalia and elected in Somaliland to settle”

Reminding NUSOJ that it was a welfare organization and not a political party Sayid Mire urged the body’s officials to concentrate their energies in securing conducive working environments for journalists in Somalia especially those below the age of 40 years who are now jobless following recent SFG laws.

Revisiting the issue of jurisdiction and mandate the Managing Editor of Dawan Media Group Mr. Mohamed Osman Mire ‘Sayid’ told NUSOJ to take a leaf from other countries journalists wellfare organizations that deal specifically with issues pertaining to the media in their respective countries.

“While NUSOJ is known to continuously cry wolf about the handling of errant journalists by the Somaliland government am yet to hear similar outbursts from media organizations in neighbouring countries like Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya or Sudan etc.” wonder Sayid Mire

As he termed entities that seek or rely on NUSOJ for information on Somaliland as unprofessional, partial and devoid of ethics the Dawan Chief particularly praised the Committee to Protect Journalists– CPJ and urged others to emulate them for the efforts they nowadays make to seek clarification for the noble sake of verifying facts about SL through the proper channels.

He noted the CPJ’s recent contact to SL on the Kalsan issue in which real facts were availed to them swiftly and satisfactorily.

Though the government of Somaliland has never made an official statement about the naggings and abuses directed against by NUSOJ, the current reaction by media barons should be a clear warning to the Mogadishu outfit that things must change or action shall be taken with the appropriate world bodies.

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