Investigative Reports

Ministry of Information Spends 600,000 US Dollars to Fix a Decade Old Radio Station

According to a contract signed by the Minister of Information, Culture...

How Somalia is trying to Stifle Somaliland – US ties with an Online Troll and a pseudo-Charitable Organization

In February, June, and  August 2022, Mr. Okeke-Von Batten filed Lobby Disclosure Act...

Somaliland Government Usurps Journalist Advocacy Association

In the latest change of guard at Somaliland Journalist Association (SOLJA), the majority of board members including the newly elected chairman Mr. Zakaria Ahmed Mohamed are employees of the Ministry of Information and National Guidance.

The organizations’ stated goal is “SOLJA stands for Defense, Development, and Integration of Somaliland Journalists” according to the outgoing chairman Mr. Mohamoud Abdi Jama (Huto) but in its upcoming permutation that may be an issue since most of its current leadership report directly to the Minister of Information and National Guidance Hon. Saleban Ali Kore who in the recent past has had major issues with SOLJA and its stance on various directives he issued including a Draconian registration and demand of information from media houses that SOLJA has fiercely opposed.

Although the organization’s effectiveness has been questioned in the past and many of its former chairmen have moved on to high-level government positions, it has nonetheless been focal in its opposition to the arbitrary detention of journalists and issues detrimental to freedom of speech. The outgoing chairman Mr. Mohamoud Abdi Jama (Huto) is a candidate in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

In addition, SOLJA has strongly condemned Minister Kore’s action to shut down two television stations for failure to carry a live broadcast of the June 26th Independence Day festivities at the Presidential Palace. The TV stations have since been fined and reinstated.

The general assembly of SOLJA where the new leadership was elected was boycotted by a large number of journalists who condemned the process as rigged and have stated that they will establish a new umbrella that represents journalists.

This is not the only effort by the Somaliland government and Minister Kore to bring the media under government control, in 2020, the Ministry of Information and National Guidance has spent nearly 70,000 US dollars on various outlets for what it calls “defending Somaliland’s interest on social media“. The bulk of the funds went to few individuals and media outlets include Qaran News, Oodweyne News among others. Minister Kore decline to comment on the nature of the payment to these individuals and media outlets. Repeated calls to reach Mr. Kore were unsuccessful.

It is unclear if SOLJA, under the current leadership, will be able to advocate for Somaliland media professionals when detained by the government effectively putting them on a collision course with their employer but counter-argument by reporters who support the new leadership online points to the fact that the organization’s charter does not preclude government employees from leading the organization and that the Ministry of Information and National Guidance employs the most journalists in Somaliland.

Although successive Somaliland governments have cracked down on journalists, media freedom under President Bihi has been in steep decline, and the current Minister of Information and National Guidance Mr. Kore has been one of the most Draconian in stifling free media and the usurpation of SOLJA into government control may signal a desire to extinguish independent media and muzzle critical coverage of its activities.

Latest

Ministry of Information Spends 600,000 US Dollars to Fix a Decade Old Radio Station

According to a contract signed by the Minister of Information, Culture...

Guban View: The Civil Disturbances in Las-Anood, another critical battle for Somaliland freedom

For too long, the Las Anood communities waited patiently...

Somaliland Army Ordered to Barracks to De-escalate Las Anod Crisis

Somaliland Armed Forces command announced the arrest of two...

Stay Connected

Don't miss

Ministry of Information Spends 600,000 US Dollars to Fix a Decade Old Radio Station

According to a contract signed by the Minister of Information, Culture...

Guban View: The Civil Disturbances in Las-Anood, another critical battle for Somaliland freedom

For too long, the Las Anood communities waited patiently...

Somaliland Army Ordered to Barracks to De-escalate Las Anod Crisis

Somaliland Armed Forces command announced the arrest of two...

President Bihi Addresses the Las Anod Crisis and Warns Somalia that Somaliland will Defend itself if Attacked

The President of the Republic of Somaliland addressed the...

Ministry of Information Spends 600,000 US Dollars to Fix a Decade Old Radio Station

According to a contract signed by the Minister of Information, Culture and National Guidance, Mr. Saleban Ali Kore, the Ministry will pay Gorof Procurement and Logistics...

Ministry of Telecommunication and Technology Spent Tens of Thousands of Taxpayer Funds on Documents Plagiarized from the Internet

According to government records and agreements examined by the Somaliland Chronicle, The Ministry of Telecommunication and Technology has spent tens of thousands of dollars...

Guban View: The Civil Disturbances in Las-Anood, another critical battle for Somaliland freedom

For too long, the Las Anood communities waited patiently for Somaliland to bring justice to the perpetrators of over 40 unresolved assassinations against Somaliland...