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Somalia: Al-Shabab Developing own media capability, warns TFG

Transitional Federal Government of Somalia
Sunday, August 29, 2010

(Mogadishu – August 28, 2010) Al Shabab militants this week took control of Holy Quran Radio (aka IQK), a private FM station based in Mogadishu.

Earlier this year Al Shabab militia also looted a transmitter and other radio equipment belonging to Somaliweyn, a private media based in Mogadishu and installed the same equipment in Elbur, a district in central Somalia.

Al Shabab are now using these stations for their own propaganda.

Abdirahman Omar Osman (Eng. Yarisow), Minister of Information said:

"We strongly condemn these acts. They want to silence the independent media with brutality and intolerance. We know that they are desperate to develop their own media capability so that they can start to impose their will over an ever wider population. They want to use the media they loot for their propaganda."

Furthermore, Al Shabab is currently undertaking a lot of propaganda in some parts of south and central Somalia using traditional means of communication such as madarassas, mosque lectures, and workshops.

"Somalis in remote areas are not educated in the detail of Islam. They are vulnerable to radicalisation and Al Shabab is intent on using radio as a means to impose their views and extreme interpretation of our faith and to brainwash the young men, women and children, especially in rural areas, where the number of educated people is limited. This is a serious issue as we see that the recent forced recruitment of young men and boys is occurring outside the capital Mogadishu.

"The Somali Government needs help to act quickly against the extremists before they plant their seeds of extremism among the most vulnerable among our society. Currently Al Shabab do not have a popular base. We must not let them gain any ground, lest of all through the control of media."

Al-Shabab have previously looted other stations in Baidoa and Kismayo. All media outlets working in Al-Shabaab controlled areas were restricted to prevent independent programming and are constantly harassed and intimidated. Al-Shabab is also responsible for the killing and assassination of a number of journalists during the last 2 years.

Ministry of Information, Mogadishu

Contact address: Ministry of Information, Villa Somalia, Mogadishu, Somalia. Telephone: +252699941070, +25261 5479911, +25262755400, +252699998854 e-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]

Source: Transitional Federal Government of Somalia