Somalilandsun- Prior to the declaration of independence of Somaliland in 1991, the Somali state was under a military regime which the freedom of expression and media has been in a doomed situation. Human rights abuses including freedom of the press and expression, demonstration and movement, extra-judiciary killings, torture, force disappearance had been practiced systematically and were part and parcel of the governance system during the Siad Barre’s regime from 1969–1991
Following the fall down of the military and subsequent collapse of the Somali state in 1991, Somaliland has declared as independent state from the rest of the country. The freedom of expression and press became one of the cornerstone of the peace and state building process of the contemporary Somaliland. In this regard, one of the reasons why struggle and rebellion against Siad Barre’s regime started in the early days of the military junta administration is regarded as the lack or abuse of the freedom of expression and press.
On the contrary, as soon as the Somaliland Republic launched its state and peace building processes in 1991, all types of Media including, the printed, electronic and broadcasting became catalyst of different sects of Somaliland to play their role in building state institutions and governance system. On the other hand, experience and knowledge of the people about the media and its industry was limited if not absent because of the long period of the authoritarian system which negatively affected the way of thinking of the society (Adam, 2006: 5). On the same token, the state institutions and infrastructures have been very weak and all regulatory framework including laws, policies and complain procedures have not been applied adequately for long time and not sufficient.
This summation is contained in a 2014 research paper By: Adam Haji-Ali Ahmed titled Somaliland Press Freedom: Opportunites and Challenges
This paper examines the practices and the regulatory framework of the Somaliland media post– 1991, and explains how the policies and other laws has been applied if any. The study discusses the legal gaps and challenges that mostly face newly emerging media industry, such as those in Somaliland. The study highlights the extent to which both media and state institutions in Somaliland are capable of managing the legal challenges and gaps evident within the industry before further conflicts erupt between the media and state institutions.
Read full research paper Somaliland Press Freedom: Opportunites and Challenges