Media Oppression in Somalia

News media outlets in Somalia have been ordered to stop reporting on the violence in Mogadishu, as the interim government there wrestles for control:

The interim government of Somalia has ordered the three main local media organisations operating in the capital to stop reporting on military operations and the displacement of civilians.

The deputy head of the National Security Agency, General Nur Muhammad Mahamud, told HornAfrik radio, Benadir radio and the Shabelle Media Network that as Somalia was under martial law, the media was not allowed to report freely.

He said that if the media groups continued to report on the violence, they would be shut down.

But a manager at HornAfrik told the BBC that his radio station would not be intimidated by the interim government and that it was continuing to broadcast reports of the ongoing violence in Mogadishu. [BBC]

More power to HornAfrik. Society needs a watchdog to function, especially in such times of turmoil. Their website, which includes a live radio link along with (slightly out-of-date) reports in English, is here.

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