Somalia: Journalist killed in targeted suicide attack

Veteran journalist Abdiaziz Mohamud Guled was killed on 20 November in a targeted attack by a suicide bomber in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its Somali affiliate, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) mourn the death of our colleague and urge the federal government to redouble efforts to bring those responsible for this heinous crime to justice.

Abdiaziz Mohamud Guled

Guled, 41, also known as Abdiaziz Afrika, was well known for his reporting and campaigning against violent extremism. He produced several radio and television programs that advocated against violent extremism and senseless killings of the citizens. 

Guled boldly called on the authorities to investigate the activities of Al-Shabaab and bring its leadership to justice. He also interviewed Al-Shahaab suspects detained by Somali security forces.

He was killed on November 20 in a targeted suicide attack in Mogadishu claimed by the terrorist group.

"He came out of the restaurant and went into his car with a colleague after they had dinner and the suicide bomber ran onto the car window and detonated himself," said to media a colleague of Mohamud who witnessed the attack.

Director at Somali National Television, Sharmarke Mohamed Warsame, and a driver were also wounded in the blast. Warsame is currently fighting for his life at Madina hospital in Mogadishu. 

One of the most dangerous countries for journalists in Africa

Guled is the second journalist to be murdered in Somalia in this year. Jamal Farah Adan, another veteran journalist whose radio programs were also critical of Al-Shabaab and its operations in the Mudug region, fell to assassins’ bullets on 1 March 2021.

Since 2010, and counting on the recent killing of Guled, 59 journalists have been killed in Somalia. The level of impunity for these crimes remains at its highest as, until the date, only four killers (three Al-Shabaab fighters and one police officer) have been found guilty of murdering journalists by court of law.

Somalia was one of the five target countries of the 2021 IFJ campaign against impunity for crimes against journalists.

It is another sad day again for Somalia, when we are forced to witness the senseless death of another journalist on the front lines of journalistic duty. The NUSOJ strongly condemns this cowardly act that has robbed us of a talented veteran journalist. We send our most heartfelt condolences to the family of the late Abdiaziz Mohamud Guled (Africa). We stand in solidarity with his family, friends and colleagues at Radio Mogadishu. We assure the media fraternity and indeed the citizens of Somalia that our quest for a free and just society will not be deterred by these acts of intimidation,” said NUSOJ Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman.

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger said: “The IFJ family is appalled by the killing of another Somali colleague. Guled was a prominent and veteran journalist who was killed for his reporting against terrorism, extremism and violence. We mourn his death and send condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. We urge the Somali authorities to bring the masterminds of this heinous crime to justice”.