Mogadishu  –  September  29th,  2012:  The  Special  Representative  of  the  Chairperson  of  the African Union Commission for Somalia, Ambassador Boubacar Diarra has urged Somalia’s newly elected authorities  to do more to protect  journalists and promote the right to free expression following a string of assassinations of Somali journalists in Mogadishu. 

“The Somali government and police must urgently  institute credible  investigations  into  these killings and ensure that the perpetrators of these atrocious acts are brought to justice,” he said adding  that  the  African  Union  Mission  in  Somalia  was  ready  and  willing  to  help  with  any investigations.  

While  sending  his  condolences  to  the  family  and  friends  of  the  murdered  journalists, Ambassador Diarra reaffirmed AMISOM’s commitment to helping the Somali National Security Forces enhance security in the capital.  

“AMISOM has been helping to train the core of a rejuvenated national army and police force for Somalia. We have  recently deployed  two  Formed Police Units –the  first  in  the history of  the African Union-  to Mogadishu  to  help mentor  and  train  Somali National  Police  officers.”  Said Ambassador Diarra. “Freedom of expression  is a precious  tool  that can be used by  the Somali journalists to  free the Somali people  from the oppression and tyranny of Al-Shabaab, and can help build the foundation of a free and just society. This is a fundamental right that the Somali authorities must protect, especially at the dawn of this new era.” He added.  

Abdirahman  Mohamud  Ali,  an  online  journalist  working  for  a  Somali-owned  website  was beheaded and his body dumped on a  street  in northern Mogadishu on Thursday and Ahmed Abdullahi Fanah was also killed on Friday bringing the number of journalists killed this week to five. 

Another three journalists lost their lives when two suicide bombers from the Al Qaeda-affiliated terror group, Al-Shabaab, blew  themselves up at a Mogadishu  restaurant  last week, killing at least 14 people. The country’s journalists have long topped the list of targets for the extremist militants. So far, this year, 15 have been murdered while more than 20 have been injured. 

Posted by Tchioffo Kodjo
Last updated by Abraham Kebede

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