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Somalia: IFJ Hails Somalia Conference for Promoting Media Peace and Safety

International Federation of Journalists
Press release
Thursday, May 30, 2013

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today hailed the outcome of a Regional Conference on Peace and Safety for Somali Media, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

"It is crucial that we remember at all times the plight of journalists in Somalia suffering at the hands of Al-Shabbab and other rebel groups," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "The journalist community has been repeatedly targeted and many journalists have paid for their lives in their effort to keep their citizens informed. This must stop. In calling for peace, this conference could not have come at a better to also call for justice for journalists and their families."

The IFJ has applauded the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Eastern Africa Journalists Association (EAJA) for taking the initiative to support Somalia's endangered media, in collaboration with the IFJ's Somalia affiliate, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ).

At the end of the meeting, the participants from Somalia's mainstream media adopted a strong declaration setting out that they want to do and their true expression of the current situation in country.

The IFJ has endorsed this declaration from the regional conference and has stated that it is a true manifesto of what the media in Somalia wants to be done. "We call for the true implementation of this declaration by all concerned associates and we will do everything in our power to support a safe working environment for Somali and freedom of expression for journalists," added Boumelha.

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), an IFJ affiliate, said the meeting was very successful. "We need peace so that we can have an environment that is conducive for journalists to work in," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. "Journalism is being used by those who want to put forward their own political agenda in the country's conflict. They are using it to eliminate journalists and their media organisations."

The conference, which brought together leading journalists from different areas of Somalia, attracted participants from Somalia's neighbours including Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda.

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 221 33 867 95 86/87

The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries


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