Somalia bans media from using 'al-Shabab' name

Mogadishu asks journalists to refer to al-shabab as 'the group that massacres the Somali people', drawing media concern.

by
    Somalia bans media from using 'al-Shabab' name
    Al-Shabab said they will not tolerate journalists calling them names and taking side in their fight with the Somali government [Reuters]

    Somali government has banned journalists from using the word al-Shabab to refer to the armed group fighting the government and instead ordered them to refer to the group as "the group that massacres the Somali people".

    Speaking to journalists in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, country's intelligence chief Abdirahman Mohamud Turyare said the al-Qaeda-linked rebel group deserves to be called the name.

    We see this as a weakness from the apostate government. No one has a right to insult us. Anyone who calls us names we will respond appropriately

    Al-Shabab spokesman,

    "The name al-shabab means 'The Youth' and that is a good name. We will not allow that good name to be tarnished," Turyare said.

    "The enemy we are fighting is called 'UGUS' - the acrnonym for the phrase in Somali. That is their official name."

    "You all know what they do. What they do is massacre people," Turyare added.

    Somali media groups said on Monday that they were greatly concerned by the government's move.

    "Somalia is one of the most dangerous places for journalists to work and the government's decision further puts our lives in greater risk." Hassan Ali Geesey, chairman of Somali Independent Media Houses Association (SIMHA), told Al Jazeera.

    "We have to be neutral. We are independent journalists. We cannot work like state media. Even the international media calls them al-Shabab. If the government doesn't go back on this decision many journalists will stop working," Geesey said.

    Apostate government

    Meanwhile, al-Shabab said they would not tolerate journalists calling them names and taking side in their fight with the UN-backed Somali government.

    "We see this as a weakness from the apostate government. No one has a right to insult us. Anyone who calls us names we will respond appropriately," an al-Shabab spokesman told Al Jazeera.

    Somalia is the deadliest country in Africa for journalist to operate, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists which in 2014 ranked Somalia as the third most dangerous place for journalists.

    Last Thursday unidentified gunmen shot dead journalist Daud Ali Omar and his wife at his home in the south-central town of Baidoa.

    Omar was a news producer at the pro-government privately-owned Radio Baidoa station. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

    Since 1992, 56 journalists have been killed in the horn of Africa country.

    Follow Hamza Mohamed on Twitter: @Hamza_Africa

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.