Somaliland: Local Media Turned Weapon against the Nation


Mr Sayid Mire urges media caution

“Our colleagues in the so-called independent media in the country should be self-censoring in what they publish especially if it is a translation from English to Somali for it appears that much is lost in translation” Sayid Mire

By: Yusuf Mohamed Hasan

Somalilandsun – While the country’s fourth estate is vibrant and plays an important role in nation building the professionalism displayed sometimes leaves a sour taste.

The sour taste emanates from the now enshrined practice by some media houses among them a number of newspapers and websites whose ethical standards leave a lot to be desired through the type of language used and choice of news items published.

While media houses have the right to post whatever information they deem fit and apt for their readership consumption the editorial boards seem to be nowhere doing their jobs thence the regular confrontations with the government that the erring media houses upon arrest of their operatives cry foul against the government.

Though we at Somalilandsun are part and parcel of the local media that operates in the country as opposed to the Diaspora two items that are making the news rounds now in the country prompt the questioning of ethics and professionalism

Now let’s sample some of the items that raise the ire against our colleagues.

1. Genel Bribes President Silanyo

2. A local Businessman takes money to Al-Shabaab

“Is the Somaliland President Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo a Beneficiary of $100m Genel Energy oil contract funds” is the main question circulating the nation currently.

This question comes after a number of local newspapers and websites published a translated (their own) article from the Wall Street Journal posted by Somalilandsun under the title Somaliland: Tony Hayward Seeks Oil with Genel

For either reasons of poor English language skills or outright wish to smear the head of state the newspapers and websites who failed to translate the article properly but quoted it a source informed their readers that the Genel Energy Chief Tony Howard gave the Somaliland President Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo a bribery amounting to $100m during a visit to Hargeisa

But what the article in question said was and quote-Instead, Genel Chief Executive Tony Hayward flew to a city about 500 miles north: Hargeisa, the dusty capital of breakaway Somaliland. He visited the separatist president at home and told the resources minister that Genel could spend about $100 million prospecting there-unquote

Now the big question is where did the information about Tony Howard giving Silanyo bribery if the purported source informs otherwise

On the other hand a family is living in despair and fear following reports that their father, Husband, brother, relative and clansman Businessman Barjeeh is involved with Al-Shabaab an islamist militant group that is battling the Somalia federal government and AMISOM for control of the trouble country.

Investigations by Somalilandsun and the Horn Tribune indicate that the alleged Al-Shabaab connection of local businessman Mohamed Barjeeh who is currently visiting Mogadishu emanate from his refusal to pay “Gabaax” literal translated meaning bribery to a journalist who then went ahead and made the allegations of Barjeeh’s terrorism connections.

According to the editor-in-chief of the government owned Dawan media group the vibrant and growing media in the country is slowly being brought to a situation of being inconsequential by a few errand colleagues who are slowly being discerned as having turned to anti-Somaliland instruments.

Mr. Sayid Mire who urged media bosses to ensure that their publications and sites publish material with factual information also cautioned against giving translation work to those devoid of excellent skills in the languages under translation.

Said he, “Our colleagues in the so-called independent media in the country should be self-censoring in what they publish especially if it is a translation from English to Somali for it appears that much is lost in translation”

Unless we members of the fourth estate practice our trade with the necessary etiquettes then misinformation of the public fed with lies shall be the norm thence the demise of our effectiveness as the peoples watchdog. At the same time confrontations with the government which is constitutionally vested with the mandate to protect the state shall continue with resulting condemnations meted on the law enforcers whenever an ill acting journalist is detained.

So are we the country’s fourth rank of balances and checks or agents of anti-Somaliland sovereignty thence operate for the nation’s destruction for the unionists.

Read the World Street article quoted and wrongly translated Somaliland: Tony Hayward Seeks Oil with Genel