4 February 2014

Somalia: Somaliland Govt Revokes Universal TV's Operating License

Hargeisa — Somaliland's separatist administration Monday imposed unspecified ban on a UK-based Somali Channel Universal TV, accusing it of spreading anti-government officials propaganda, Garowe Online reports.

Speaking to the media in Somaliland capital of Hargeisa, the region's Information Minister Abdullahi Mohamed Dahir Ukuse said that Universal TV has been violating the ethics of journalism and failed to adhere to balanced coverage.

"From today which marks Monday, we imposed ban on the work of Universal TV throughout Somaliland. We will transfer a complaint against Universal TV owner to Somaliland courts in accordance with the international media laws," Ukuse told reporters.

Somaliland Information Minister noted that the Somali channel of Universal flouted previous agreements and opted out of the media arena: "Universal TV began to spread cheap propaganda on Somaliland government officials by siding with Somalia Federal Government after they were bribed a public building in Mogadishu".

On his side, Universal TV's representative to Somaliland Mohamed Abdi Digale revealed that Somaliland complains about cartoon footage that depicts the dynamic political situation of Somalia.

"The decision reached by Somaliland authorities runs counter to the media laws," said Digale, adding that they have complied with the government decree.

Universal TV faces the second ban from Somalia's separatist administration of Somaliland on the grounds of unethical reporting.

Somaliland, located in northwestern Somalia unilaterally declared its independence from the rest of the country as a de facto sovereign state in 1991 but it hasn't been recognized internationally yet.

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