Somali insurgents seized Media Stations in Mogadishu 20 Sep 20, 2010 - 4:48:36 AM
Somali insurgents groups have seized control of two radio stations, Horn Afrik and GBC (Global Broadcasting Corporation) in the capital Mogadishu, Radio Garowe reports.
One of witnesses told Garowe online that al-Shabaab forcibly entered the Horn Afrik media house last night took technical materials from the Horn Afrik broadcaster and destroyed audio tapes and cassettes.
“Al-Shabaab forcibly takes over controls of the two radio stations and one TV station,” said witness.
The insurgent group has officially taken over the Horn Afrik which located in Main Bakara market and chased away journalists.
Horn Afrik used to broadcast both the BBC and America's VOA programs before the takeover.
On April 9, Al-shabaab banned the British Broadcasting Corp. from all areas under the group's control and carried off equipment from the service's offices.
There is a report says that the rebels doubt if the Horn Afrik planning to shift to the where Somali government controls.
Less than a month ago, Al-Qaeda linked group of Al-Shabaab seized another privately-owned Mogadishu station, Radio Holy Quran (IQK). The stations have been used to broadcast their propaganda.
Meanwhile, another insurgent group, Hizbul-islam also has taken over the control of Voice of Peace Radio (GBC) at the area of Ex-control Bal’ad in Heliwa district in Mogadishu.
A journalist at the station said the raid was preceded by a letter of notification demanding that the station be handed over to the group.
Somali government claimed that looting of equipment is part of efforts to silence the private independence media.
Since last year the groups take over at least 6 media houses which are Radio Warsan and Radio Jubba in Baydhabo region, Horn afrik in Kismaayo, Radio IQK and Radio Hornafrik include Radio GBC Mogadishu.
Last year over 10 journalists were killed in Somalia - the highest total in any one year since 1991, when armed conflict broke out following the collapse of the government of the former President Siad Barre.
Include Mr. Said Tahliil Axmed was the director of Hornafric radio in Mogadishu for close to two years and assassinated in Bakara Market on February o4 2009 while he was on his way for press conference of Al-shabaab group. Also Radio Shabelle reporter Hassan Mayow Hassan was gunned down by a member of a pro-government militia in Afgooye, 30 km south of Mogadishu.
Somalia is ranks among the world's deadliest for journalists, with over 10 killed in relation to their work last year and dozen others fled.
The horn of Africa country has not had a stable government since 1991.