Published On: Fri, May 18th, 2012

SOMALILAND: Two Journalists join two others in prison

HARGEISA — Mohamed Abdi Omar and Khadar Farah Hussein, managing editor and reporter/cameraman, respectively, with the newspaper Yool newspaper, became the latest number of journalists held in Somaliland prisons without charges.

Mr. Omar and Mr. Hussein were arrested by police on Tuesday (15 May) while covering a deadly land dispute that erupted between government forces and armed civilians in eastern parts of the capital. The clashes, which left seven people dead including three officers and a pregnant mother spiraled out of control. More than ten were injured and twenty-eight were taken into custody in which seventeen of them face the death penalty.

The Military court also gave five teenagers life sentences, three were acquitted and three others saw their trial delayed till they recover from injuries they sustained during the conflict.

The two reporters got arrested after taking photos of the Interior Minister Mohamed Nuur Arale and Minister of presidency Hersi Ali Haji during their visit to the disputed former military facility.

They are part of number of journalists held in Somaliland prisons without charges including Abdifatah Mohamed Aided (Saxafi newspaper) and Mohamed Abdillahi (Somali Channel tv).

The land dispute centers an area in Qudhac Dheer district that local residents claim as part of their gardens (Garden of Hassan Galool) and argue the old government of Siad Barre confiscated from them without financial returns. In 1980s, at the height of the civil war in the former Somali republic, Siad Barre forces used the land as a military repair facility (Warshada Kabista). The current government refuses to deal with the residents and is said to have sold the land to a third party.

On Friday local journalist umbrellas in Hargeisa have called on the government to release the reporters without any delay and condemned its use of brutal force against both civilians and the media.


May 18, 2012

Displaying 17 Comments
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  1. Kayse says:

    The journalists must be released without further delay otherwise see your little welfare from the governments of UK, EU and USA see suspended and police and military with no income means more uprises.

    The land must also be returned to its rightful owners immediately and unconditionally. A Council has no mandate to claim or reclaim a government property, this can only be issued from a civilian court in Mogadishu.

    Right now Mogadishu is not interest in confiscating a land from civilians, a military base should also be out side from civilian area and Mogadishu will establish a military base outside of Naso Hablood mountains where it can swiftly respond to external threats.

    The Council in western Hargeisa wants to silence both the civilians and the media like Gaddafi, Hosni Mubarak, Bashar al Assad and Siyad Barre. This is unacceptable and the Council must return to its Council duties and stop acting on behave of Dahabshiil Company and those driven by greed.

    He (Dahabshiil) already looted huge block of land between Golis Hotel and the Islamic Tabiliqi center also in New Hargeisa.

    I call for calm and never support violence but I encourage my people in Hargeisa not to be too loyal to a small Council that behaves like Siyad Barre regime, unlike Siyad who offered you jobs, security and better living conditions, Silanyo has nothing but empty promises and the game of sitting and waiting for fictional "RECOGNITION". And even if recognition comes, which is not likely, the two subclans will fight over every dollar donated to the newly recognized Council. Trust me.

    Years ago when we made tryst with destiny, we didn't clasped hands together for one-clan-one-state but the pursuit of justice, equality, opportunity, knowledge and humanity gave us the courage to topple Mohamed Siyad Bare and his totalitarian regime. Never has our land experienced more injust, nepotism and backwardness than today, so again without violence, we need to rise up and fulfill our pledges two centuries ago.

    We can do so by accepting one fact, Somaliland is transitional administration that we can coexist under till Somalia recovers and a national unity government that will allow our kids to learn and pursue education beyond the two hills of Hargeisa.

    We must also take part, be inclusive and help the process currently being cultivated in our capital Mogadishu. We must support our elders' efforts in helping Somalia recover and find a lasting peace that bears fruits for all Somali generations in all spheres of lives.

    Hargeisa today if the one that sided with you yesterday can maltreat you today, the one who was your enemy yesterday can also be your friend today. These are the dynamics of conflict. It is a never static thing that reminds fixed at one point. Like the wind hurling above Golis mountains—the face of conflict and friendship can also change. Right now our people are in a period of reconciliation, forgiveness and healing. Do not think one family, one clan and one blood can deliver justice, after all the two sons of Adam (A.S.), Habil (Cain) and Qabil (Abel), the only brothers in the world at that time, did murder each others.

    Today what unifies races, tribes, clans and religion is not blood, its not your mother is my mother but rather humanities' pursue for better lives, for better world, for diversity, multiculturalism and equality.

    Join your brothers and don't let the Council in Hargeisa hold you hostage with fear and Dhag-dheer scare tactics. Mogadishu, Bosasso, Kismayu, Las Annod, Baidabo are yours as much as Hargeisa and Burao and Berbera and Borama and Zeila.

    Do not fight over a little land, Somalia has so much land for you.

    • khaatumo citizen says:

      lool @kayse I couldn't have said It better.. I was thinking if we Somalis all can forgive each other and forget the past behind but learn from it and build a nation with equality, unity and justice not two or three subclans which only thing that unites them is the hate they have for other clans and much worse calling themselve a nation and i dont just Somaliland but whole somalis

  2. ahmed says:

    This is first sings of collapsing regional addmin arresting journalist,if There is no freedom of speech and free journalist to move around as They wish it's breach of democracy. human right delegation must reach This region with The african national journalist associations.

  3. Kayse says:

    When warlord Silanyo got your vote and the endorsement of the media with his empty promises (freedom for media and political formations) he closed the door on both promises. First he called the nine new political parties "illegal" and did not meet some fake criteria then he arrested all the journalists in the country. Remember last time they took 28+ reporters to prison in a single day.

    Dahabshiil is the one that calls the shots when it comes to media and impartiality. It threatens them to withdraw "ads" if they do not publish "press releases", "positive" news and uses other measures to extort them.

    They pay others to hack certain websites that publish damning reports. I personally have worked with Dahabshiil and if a court requires all the evidence I have it.

    I will not however expose them, I will just request that they stop fueling and funding conflicts in North Somalia and harassing the media.

    Lastly its people power that I believe in, if you want peaceful Somalia, stop using the likes of Dahabshiil and sponsoring pirate activities.

    The United Nation employees operating in Somalia should use Western Union and other companies not involved in Somali conflict.

  4. hodan says:

    No Government will comprise on law and order!!!

    Toughest action should be taken against elements who try to provoke sentiments and incite riots.

    Give the Government a chance to work towards a progressive and better Somaliland.

  5. Kayse says:

    The Council in western Hargeisa and its supporters only respect a foreigner who listens only to their lies. For instance they prefer a British backpacker with no clue about the world over their intellectuals such as Ismail Bubba. Don't believe me? Go under cover one day, paint yourself white with plaster and borrow a backpack and visit Egal International airport and see how many Council ministers lineup for you.

    I am thinking of doing that next time I visit then telling them "mohahahaha Dahabshiil worker you got Punk'd, welcome to Universal TV"….you can imagine their red eyes and qat spit flying all over the Daallo Airlines chasing me and my backpack….

    Council enough is enough.

  6. Kamal Omer says:

    What is happening in Somaliland is human rights violations and complete assault on democracy. Siylanyo has proved to be a total disappointment and has turned Somaliland into a lawless jungle. How can a military court judge civilians? This is unheard of. Arresting journalists, brutality, abuse of power, denying the constitutional rights of politicians, banning peaceful demonstrations, sentencing to death young boys over land dispute etc is what only notorious dictator do.

    Yesterday he made a statement supporting the electoral commission whom he knows are corrupt and have lied about their decision to fails 9 parties from competing in the future election. This is shameful and scandalous.

    Sylanyo has lost legitimacy and respect of not only his people but those who used to support Somaliland from the outside world. He has proved to be too weak to lead the country and Somaliland is now run by his family and friends who are not qualified to be involved in government matters. The world should intervene urgently.

    Kamal Ali Omer, Finland

  7. Burcawii says:

    I'm sad to say that "fitna" has been increasing since this government came to power. The government is progressing when it comes to SL foriegne politics, but for some reason, Silanyo government is handling things very poorly when it comes to the SL internal affairs.

    Those who commit crimes in the land, if proven, should brought to justice and the govrnment should also held responsible for their actions. Like civilians, we need accountability when it comes to the government side.

    I hope things will be resolved in a peaceful way.

  8. mohamed cheers says:

    Simple answer to kayse's equivocal writings, law and order takes precedence over all public
    disturbances bent on willful evil intents should be dealt with promptly and brought to justice.
    What a humdrum character in display. You making everything sick including the famous mong
    dalai lama of tibet who feels some posioning evils! mohahahaha

  9. HMObsiye says:

    Dear Somalilandpress Editorial boards,

    I thought the purpose of launching this website was to inform Somaliland people worldwide, about their motherland and report positive information about our country.

    As you well know the founder of this website was recently welcomed in Somaliland as hero, where he had an opportunity to meet with Somaliland president.

    However, lately your website is allowing trashes and garbage written about Somaliland and as you well aware none of these garbage you allowed is true, and yet your website continued allowing this nonsense on continuers bases. As we all well aware there was no iota of truth to any of these and why did your website continued allowing these ? It's time for your website to stop publishing these rubbish comments or the so-called articles, otherwise, you will be another tabloid journalist the like of Harowo and Qaran. As every Somalilanders came to know now both of these website are clan based website and I hope you will not be one of them and please, stop this false languages used by anti-somaliland elements in your website.

  10. mohamed cheers says:

    Fully seconded. I can never understand SLDpress mptivations and attitudes. As contributor to this website for a long time I have yet to understand what the Sldpress is all about. Honestly I mean it seriously. I even don't know who are the owners but guess Ciise Muse by clan.

  11. mohamed cheers says:

    Typo: Motivations..not mptivations. Sorry.

  12. Kayse says:

    Look at the poor HMObsiye and Mohamed cheers like Dahabshiil try to block impartiality and interfere with the media; I guess its something widely practiced by the two subclans, from business to average die hard fan.

    How many things will you block? Just stop attacking people and media and things would not be so "negative" for your little imaginary council.

    Learn to accept the reality, in the real world both negative and positives coexist, just like the sun rises one direction and sets in another, the world will also have – and +.

    Poor members of the two subclans.

  13. Xarago says:

    Let the website be fair, the website publish every thing happen in Somalia.

    Let the free press work.

  14. Kayse says:

    If HMObsiye, Gobaad and Mohamed "Cheers" protest about Somalilandpress who cares because it has better market and more visitors from Somalia including Somaliland.

    "the site has attained a traffic rank of 47 among users in Somalia, where approximately 43% of its audience is located."

    Its business, you dont see Dahabshiil closing its offices in Mogadishu. Why should Somalilandpress listen to Dahabshiil or three users?

  15. cimraan says:

    Let us establish on thing here especially to this kayse dude. This is not a Somali cafe where everyone spews whatever comes to his/her mind be it facts or otherwise and throws it wherever. honorable debating is a respectable way of arguing the facts and explaining or interpreting them without insulting the intelligence of your debater. Northern Somalis are known to honor this tradition and deal with it in a respectable way without exception. It is a time honored method of dealing with issues among tribes. People who used to excel in this were honored and revered in all places. It is obvious from your rants you have no clue. I can’t blame you on that because as I said before you’re not a Somali, but at least, you will respect this tradition since you are in Somaliland home(website)who afforded you without prejudice ( hargarla’an) to express your views no matter what they’re. It is true those who said ” if you honor the kareem he will be greatful,but if you honor the weasel (la’eemm) he will dishonor you. mole.

  16. Mica says:

    The clashes, that left seven individuals dead together with 3 officers and a pregnant mother spiraled out of management. quite 10 were battle-scarred and twenty-eight were taken into custody during which seventeen of them face the capital punishment.

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