Somalia: Journalists adopt National Action Plan to strengthen safety of media workers

A National Action Plan (NAP) on the Safety of Journalists, was adopted at the end of a three-day consultative forum organised by IFJ-affiliate, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) in Mogadishu with the support of the African Union and with the technical assistance of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and UNESCO. The International Federation of Journalists welcomes the plan and supports its affiliate in the fight to end the spiral of violence targeting journalists and the climate of impunity in the country.

Abdulkadir Farah (L), Omar Faruk Osman (C) and Abdi Adan Guled (R). Credit: NUSOJ.

The NAP is based on the realisation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity and the African Union’s initiative ‘Silencing the Guns’ which aspires to end wars and conflict in the continent. The newly launched plan aims to accelerate actions for safe journalism through a journalist-centred process.

Since 2012, when the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity was launched, 52 journalists have been killed in the country, according to annual data collated by NUSOJ. The discussions in the forum assessed what has worked after 10 years of the UN Plan of Action and how it can be improved to safeguard the safety and security of journalists.

The Secretary General of NUSOJ, Omar Faruk Osman said: “Our drive for safe journalism is action-oriented, journalists-centred, conscious of local realities and conforms to global standards, while also fulfilling international obligations in defending media freedom.” Osman described the gathering as an important step in charting practical approaches to addressing the safety challenges facing journalists.

IFJ Secretary General Anthony Bellanger welcomed the launching of a Somali-owned and Somali-led roadmap to strengthen safety and security at work, and end impunity against journalists. “It is crucial to tackle the safety crisis engulfing the media industry in Somalia. Press freedom and the safety of journalists must be strongly protected to enhance democracy,” he added.

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