By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The Somaliland Online Association-SOA has refuted allegations that its cooperation agreement wit the ministry of information is a ploy by the government to muzzle its freedom.
According to Mr Mustafa Janale the chairman of the SOA which is an organization of news website operating in somaliland among them Somalilandsun the recent meeting between SOA and the minister of information, culture and national guidance Mr Abdilahi Ukuse was not one of muzzling SOA members but geared towards establishing working relationships.
“We spent the entire meeting establishing guidelines for future cooperation and issues of towing the government line were not discussed nor we they implied” said Mr Janale.
In a press statement the SOA Chairman who said that the country’s websites are ready and willing to continue observing the media laws and maintaining journalistic ethics also urged the government to reciprocate in kind by ensuring that the scribes have freedom of performance that emanate from lack of fear of persecution.
During the meeting in which the information minister congratulated the online sites for their continued provision of relevant news about local ingoing’s also urged intensified disbursement of relevant information pertinent to the country’s quest for international recognition.
Minister Ukuse who assumed his portfolio a month back is intent on establishing good working relations with the local media that has been in constant squabbles with the government resulting with regular arrests and detention of journalists has so far held meetings with TV Channels and SOA while is expected to consult with newspaper editors soon.
Rumours circulating that his policy is geared towards the muzzling of the media is untenable in view of the independence in reporting displayed by the country’s nascent media of over 25 websites, 11 newspapers and 5 TV channels.