Journalists' Leaders in the Horn of Africa Attempt to Revive the Eastern Africa Journalists' Association

Joint Statement from the Somali Journalists Network and the Ethiopian Free Press Journalists Association


The leaders of the Somali Journalists Network (SOJON) and the Ethiopian Free Press Journalists Association (EFJA), Omar Faruk Osman, SOJON Secretary General and Kifle Mulat, EFJA President, meeting in Addis Ababa on 4 July 2005 concentrated on many vital concerns both national and regional levels.


The leaders deprecated the continuation of infringements against media professionals in the Eastern Africa countries, particularly the Horn of Africa countries, where journalists and media institutions are attacked, censored, arrested, intimidated, killed and threatened.


Strengthening the network of Eastern Africa Journalists Association was core of the discussions, and finally issued following mutual recommendations:


The leaders of Journalists’ unions/associations in Eastern Africa have to come together before the end of this year to discuss current concerns and priorities of Eastern Africa Journalists, and to deliberate the revitalization of EAJA as an existing regional body.

We propose the meeting of EAJA group of associations/unions to be held under the auspices of IFJ Africa office in Dakar, Senegal. We advise the EAJA conference to be held in Kampala, Uganda, after having measured the present situations of other Eastern Africa countries.

SOJON and EFJA appeal to the IFJ to send a mission to Horn of Africa countries (Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea and Sudan) those have serious press freedom violations when compared to other Eastern Africa countries.

We urge the General Secretary of EAJA, Stephen Ouma, to prepare draft of basic document for EAJA, such as EAJA rules, in collaboration with other colleagues, in order to consider it in the proposed EAJA meeting.


DONE IN ADDIS ABABA


5 July 2005

For further information please contact: Omar Faruk Osman

Secretary General

Somali Journalists Network (SOJON)

E-mail: faruk129@yahoo.com, Website: http://www.sojonsomalia.org