Somalia suspends two media companies
MOGADISHU, Somalia - In what could further cause rifts between the Federal Government of Somalia and the international community, two major media and communication companies have been suspended from operating in Somalia.
Newly appointed Government Spokesman Mukhtar Omar confirmed suspension of Perspective Media and Ink Media, which have been operating in the Horn of Africa nation for decades now.
Mukhtar, a former District Commissioner and Director of Private Media relations at the Information Ministry, said the two have been 'disregarding national strategies'.
"The Ministry of Information of the FGS, today has issued a notice of suspension to two organizations operating in Somalia on Media and Communication after disregarding the national strategies and guidelines of the ministry," read his tweet.
Information and Tourism Ministry, in letters addressing the two media companies, claimed that they were 'working outside National Strategy Public Awareness' enacted by the Council of Ministers.
Further, the ministry said, the affected organizations have been adopting their own strategies without following particular law and order as enshrined in the country's regulations.
"Following a meeting with our international public awareness partners and their implementing organizations, we recognized that most of them are working outside National Strategy Public Awareness approved by Council of ministers and guiding principles," reads the letter.
"Some of these organizations have been adopting their own strategies with regard to their lack of law enforcement and accountability developed during the civil war in Somalia."
A quick search shows Perspective Media is based in Kenya's capital Nairobi and operates within Somalia as well. The company specializes in the creation of communication and media strategic content.
The content, further says, educates, inspires and challenges the perception of audiences across the East Africa region. The content is generated both for print and electronic media.
"We create impactful story-driven content for TV, radio, print and online dissemination, to educate, inspire and challenge the perceptions of our audiences across Eastern Africa," reads part of their intro.
For Ink Media, a company with roots in the US, it mainly focuses on organizing for travel across the world. The company targets traveling tourists.
"Welcome to Ink, the world’s leading travel media company. We create award-winning travel content and sell bespoke advertising solutions," reads part of her intro.
Interestingly, the suspension comes barely 48 hours after a UN report linked the Federal Government to suppression of media freedoms and extrajudicial killings.
The UN observed that the Federal Government has failed to respect freedom of expression, a move that could force President Mohamed Farmaajo to go back to the drawing board.
Several companies are working in Somalia, with most of them contracted with international organizations for execution of specific duties.
It was the first time the Federal Government was passing a communication through a spokesman, who was ostensibly appointed to issue government statements to the press regularly.