11 August 2012

Somalia: Former BBC Somali Journalist to 'Possibly' Join Political Arena

Mogadishu — Yusuf Garaad Omar a veteran journalist, gave an exclusive interview to Radio Garowe where he stated that he is leaving the BBC to throw his hat in the upcoming elections for parliament and President, Garowe Online reports.

Yusuf has been working in journalism for the past 30 years and has been working with BBC Somali for the last 12 years, speaking with Radio Garowe said that he has enough insight given his extensive career covering Somalia.

"I might not be a politician but as a journalist covering Somalia I have been seeing and hearing about the plight of Somalia for the past 20 years and I've been interviewing top officials from the Somali government over the years and have seen were they have done well and where they have gone wrong," said Yusuf.

Yusuf arrived in Mogadishu on Friday after leaving the BBC last week, although Yusuf has not officially announced his running for President, reports indicate that he is a prominent candidate in the Hiil Qaran political party. Radio Garowe asked if he had ambitions to become Hiil Qaran's leader and president elect.

"I'm not in the Hiil Qaran party; I do have many colleagues in that political party, but I'm currently not in that party. I just want to change the current situation Somalia is in, if I will run for office or member of parliament, I still haven't decided but my goal for now is to go back to Somalia and to assist in rebuilding the country," said Yusuf Garaad.

"The problems facing Somali youth in terms of unemployment and poor education the problems facing the large amount of underprivileged Somalis is what I want to change," added Garaad.

Adan Soyaal our Radio Garowe interviewer, asked Mr. Garaad what he would do to curb the series of attacks on journalists working in Somalia.

"Since I have been a journalist for most of my natural life these killings have seriously touched me. However you cannot solve cases on emotion but you need solid investigations that organize the community and journalists so they can speak to authorities freely, and discuss their issues," said Garaad.

Mr. Soyaal asked Yusuf what his first steps would be when he arrives in Somalia.

"My first step is consultation; I will consult other Somalis if my ideas can be turned in to solid solutions for Somalis and where I need to change my approach to help my people. Maybe even a political adviser to the President elect.

"However my profession is journalism so one of my ideas is that I could teach at one of the many schools and universities across Somalia," said Mr. Garaad.

Garaad's return to Somalia has ignited many supporters, who have been listening to the famous journalist over the past years and his supporters believe he should throw his hat in the upcoming presidential elections.


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