Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today hailed the outcome of a Regional
Conference on Peace and Safety for Somali Media, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
"It is crucial
that we remember at all times the plight of journalists
in Somalia suffering at the hands of Al-Shabbab and other rebel
groups," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "The journalist community has
been repeatedly targeted and many journalists have paid for their lives in
their effort to keep their citizens informed. This must stop. In calling for
peace, this conference could not have come at a better to also call for justice
for journalists and their families."
The IFJ has applauded the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
and the Eastern Africa Journalists Association (EAJA) for taking the initiative
to support Somalia's endangered media, in collaboration with the IFJ's Somalia
affiliate, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ).
At the end of the
meeting, the participants from Somalia's mainstream media adopted a strong declaration
setting out that they want to do and their true expression of the current
situation in country.
The IFJ has endorsed
this declaration from the regional conference and has stated that it is a true
manifesto of what the media in Somalia wants to be done. "We call for the true
implementation of this declaration by all concerned associates and we will do
everything in our power to support a safe working environment for Somali and
freedom of expression for journalists," added Boumelha.
The National Union of
Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), an IFJ affiliate, said the meeting was very
successful. "We need peace so that we can have an environment that is conducive
for journalists to work in," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. "Journalism
is being used by those who want to put forward their own political agenda in
the country's conflict. They are using it to eliminate journalists and their
The conference, which
brought together leading journalists from different areas of Somalia, attracted
participants from Somalia's neighbours including Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya,
Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda.
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 221 33
867 95 86/87
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries