Somalia: UN envoy shocked by deadly attack on radio journalist
“I condemn this hideous attack in the strongest terms and send my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Rahma Abdulkadir,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga.
Ms. Abdulkadir, who worked at Abduwaq radio, was reportedly shot and killed by unknown attackers in the Yaqshid district in Mogadishu last night. She is the third media professional to be killed in Somalia in 2013. Last year, 18 journalists were killed in direct or indirect attacks.
“Somalia continues to be one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists to operate. This negative picture needs to change,” Mr. Mahiga said, calling on the recently-formed Independent Task Force on Human Rights and law enforcement bodies to ensure that the perpetrators are brought swiftly to justice.
Somalia, which has been affected by conflict for more than two decades, has recently made some significant political gains. It marked a political watershed last August when it swore in the first formal parliament and ended a nine-year transition period, followed by the appointments of a new President and a new Prime Minister. Last month, Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon launched the Independent Task Force to end the culture of impunity on human rights abuses in the country.
“The Somali media community has proved its courage and resilience throughout the years. Somalia has moved to a new era where freedom of expression is guaranteed in the provisional constitution and the Government has committed to safeguarding human rights, and, in particular, the protection of vulnerable groups, including journalists. I call on the assailants to stop this senseless violence,” added Mr. Mahiga, head of the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS).