Somalia to launch multi-stakeholder dialogue forum to address the safety of journalists
Somalia’s Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism is preparing to host a multi-stakeholder forum for the safety of media professionals.
The dialogue, which is supported by UNESCO and other international partners will include stakeholders from the media, government, human rights organizations and civil society this Saturday in Mogadishu.
The Somali government is hoping that the two-day consultation held at the AMISOM VIP Conference facility will assist them in establishing a national mechanism for the safety of journalists.
A total of 26 journalists have been murdered in Somalia in the past decade. Somalia has retained the dubious honour of sitting atop the Committee to Protect Journalists’ Global Impunity Index for the third consecutive year. Nobody has ever been tried or convicted for these killings.
The Somali government admits that it has a lot of work to protect journalists. In a press release from the Ministry of For Information, Culture and Tourism, the Federal Government of Somalia says it has responded to a UN request for an investigation.
“Because of cycles of conflict and fragility that have spanned decades, Somalia has over the years recorded one of the highest numbers of crimes against journalists in the world that go unpunished. In a period of 10 years between 2006-2016 for example, UNESCO recorded a list of 56 journalists killed. While in 2017 the Federal Government of Somalia responded to UNESCO’s Director-General on judicial investigations and reporting as per UN Resolution 29 on the condemnation of violence against journalists, a full investigation of all the past and current cases has not been complete,” reads the statement.
The acting Minister of Information, Culture & Tourism, Honourable Abdirahman Idan Yonis expresses his appreciation to UNESCO and SMSG and other International partners for their continued support for Development of Somalia. The Minister said that the ministry of Information is committed to fully cooperate with any organization or country that plans to assist Somali Media.
If all goes as planned, over 50 delegates from the Federal, Jubaland, Puntland, South-West, Galmugud, Hirshabelle and Benadir regional administration, are expected to launch the Somalia Multistakeholder Dialogue Forum for Safety of Journalists.