IFJ Urges Protection of Journalists in Somalia after Union Leaders’ Car Attacked

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the recent attack on leaders of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) and called on the African Union and the international community to intervene to improve the security situation in Somalia.

“The volatile situation in Somalia enables militias to attack, kill, harm or rob civilians in broad day light with impunity,” said Gabriel Baglo, Director of the IFJ Africa Office.

Two executive members of NUSOJ were attacked by three gunmen about 45 kilometers outside of Baidoa as they drove to Mogadishu on Friday at around 9:30am local time, the union said.

The car’s driver, Madey Garas was killed immediately, NUSOJ said. NUSOJ Vice Chairperson Fahad Mohammed Abukar was injured by a bullet that first struck the driver. NUSOJ’s Secretary General Omar Faruk was also in the car but was not injured.

“Two bodyguards in the union's vehicle opened fire on the attackers and forced them to escape into the bush,” Faruk said. Fahad Mohammed Abukar got emergency medical treatment and was admitted to a hospital in Mogadishu to remove the metal in his right hand, he added.

The IFJ is calling on the African Union and the international community to intervene to stop the deliberate killing of civilians and journalists in Somalia.

In recent months, there has been a surge in intimidation and violence against journalists by government and militia forces.

On June 23, freelance Swedish cameraman Martin Adler was shot by an unknown assailant during a demonstration organised by the Islamic Courts Union in Mogadishu. His brutal murder is still unsolved.

For further information contact the IFJ: +221 842 01 43

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries