23 July 2013

Somalia: Private Television Network Banned in Somaliland

Mogadishu — The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) today urged Somaliland authorities to reconsider its decision to ban privately-owned television network, while stressing the importance of ensuring media freedom in Somaliland following the reshuffle of the cabinet.

Authorities in Somaliland officially banned on Monday, 22 July, the operations of recently established television Network, Kalsan TV, in Somaliland. Kalsan TV is based in London but has offices across the country.

Abdullahi Mohamed Dahir, also known as Ukuse, the Minister of Information, Culture and National Guidance of Somaliland said in a meeting with managers of TV stations that Somaliland "banned the operations of Kalsan TV with immediate effect".

The officially stated motive of the ban is "lack of license" to operate in Somaliland. But the management of Kalsan TV and journalists in Somaliland believe that the ban was prompted by a TV debate which was recently broadcasted by Kalsan TV. Somaliland officials, who reportedly knew when the said political debate was recorded, warned the Station not to broadcast this debate but the Station aired.

According to media reports, Somaliland officials repeatedly expressed their irritation concerning words used by Kalsan TV presenters who call Somaliland as "Somaliland Administration" instead of calling it "Somaliland government".

"We urge the authorities in Somaliland to fully respect its commitment to media freedom and to revise the decision against Kalsan TV quickly," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.

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