The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called for action by the Somali authorities to halt the rising death toll after the killing of two journalists yesterday in an ambush in Jowhar, north of Mogadishu.
Abshir Ali Gabra and Ahmed Hassan were killed when a convoy of Somali government officials that they were a part of came under fire.
“We are appalled by the deaths of Abshir and Ahmed just 11 days after another journalist Mohammed Khalif was shot in Somalia,” said Gabriel Baglo Director of IFJ Africa Office. “The African Union, the United Nations and the international community must act to end this continuous slaughter of journalists.”
The IFJ also called on the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the armed groups to cease attacks on journalists and media workers.
Ali Gabra, a journalist with the radio station IQK FM based in Mogadishu and Hassan, a journalist with SBC Radio in Bosaso in Northern Somalia were part of a government convoy travelling to report on mediation efforts to resolve a conflict in Jowhar. According to Shabelle Media Network, armed men ambushed the convoy and riddled the first vehicle with bullets. Six government soldiers were also killed.
Four journalists have been killed so far this year in Somalia. According to IFJ records, 2007 is now the worst year for Somali journalists since 1993 when 11 journalists died in the country.
“We renew our call for the government to investigate the death of all the journalists killed in Somalia and to take measures to improve journalists’ safety,” added Baglo.
For further information contact the IFJ: +221 842 01 43
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 115 countries