IFJ Hails Somalia Conference for Promoting Media Peace and Safety

The International

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

media organisations."

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