Why did Somaliland impose ban on BBC Broadcasts?


Hargeisa (Somalilandsun)- Somaliland government has announced a ban on broadcasts by the Somali service of the British Broadcasting Corporation after allegedly violating the sovereignty of Somaliland.

The Somaliland Information Minister Saleban Yusuf Ali Koore told reporters that BBC Somali broadcasts have reduced the identity and dignity of the country’s nationhood.

The minister, speaking in the Somaliland capital of Hargeisa on Tuesday, said that after long discussions, the government decided to suspend the BBC Somali Service on the grounds that the network has lost its neutrality among Somali-speaking people and is acting against the independence of Somaliland.

Somaliland’s Information minister said the BBC fails to recognize that Somaliland is a democratic country that has stood on its feet for the last 31 years, with multiple presidential and parliamentary elections.

“After Somaliland’s nationhood was placed in an unacceptable position by the BBC; After losing its neutrality for the Somali-speaking people; after it opposed the independence of Somaliland, from today, we have decided to suspend all the BBC’s operation in Somaliland,” said minister Koore.

“The ears of the Somaliland people do not deserve the statements which the BBC uses to describe Somaliland,” he added.

So far, the BBC, which calls Somaliland a “self-declared republic,” did not immediately issue a response to the allegations or the ban.

The Somaliland government has in the past years suspended the BBC Somali, VOA Somali, and other media outlets, accusing them of violating the sovereignty and existence of Somaliland.

The BBC Somali service has been the main source of news for the Somali-speaking people for a half-century, gaining the hearts of the Somali audience as their main source of independent news. But for the last decade, it has lost the faith of its audience after “mixing with Somali politics and aligning with sides”. This has been attributed to “poor leadership” within the BBC Somali service.