Where Qaybe delivers for Somaliland, Shariif Fails the TFG

WardheerNews Editorial

The recent brawl in Nairobi among members of the House of Representative was undoubtedly the result of lack of effective leadership and, hence, the blame must be on the shoulders of the leadership.

 

Road to Muqdishu is paved with many Mishaps: It is not too late to fix them

WardheerNews Editorial

The president and the prime Minister must surround themselves not with their kinsmen, as it appears now, but with professional advisors who can turn the current tide around.

Somalia 's Hope Should Not Remain Hostage to the Warlords

WardheerNews Editorial

The momentum of this important occasion should not be lost at this juncture in the history of Somalia when millions of Somalis, both at home and the Diaspora anxiously await for the reestablishment of a functioning recognized government, which would occupy its rightful place in the family of nations. Despite the present challenges, this cherished goal should be within our reach sooner than later.

The story of Somali collective memory is told and retold as being short and selective.   Here is another variation of such a story pertaining to the controversy about Ethiopian peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

The Elephant in the Room

Abdelkarim A Hassan

It's about time we challenge these warlords and demand first and foremost to bring peace and sense of human face to Mogadishu . Otherwise as the saying goes “the empty can rattles the most,”   and it will be proven that they are just using foreign troops as a scapegoat so they could continue their destruction and indiscriminate mass murders.

Beware  the BBC Somali Service

Mohamoud Oogle

What Yussuf Garad has done to the BBC Somali Service is a mirror image of what his alter egos, the warlords, had done to Mogadishu . Just as the warlords unleashed a systematic and savage ethnic cleansing in Mogadishu soon after the fall of the Siyad Barre government.

Mogadishu then
Mogadisho now
Mogadishu Int. Airport (WDN)

 

AN OPEN LETTER to the BBC World Service and the BBC Somali Section Leadership

To: Mr. Mark Thompson
Director
BBC World Service
Bush House
London

From: Former Announcers
BBC Somali Service
Date: June 2005

Dear Mr. Thompson

We the undersigned are former staff members of the BBC Somali Section who served at different times, from the early years of the Service in the 1960s to the new millennium. We belong to different age groups and come from different clans and from all regions of Somalia . If the present-day realities of strife-torn Somalia are anything to go by, such background differences as exist amongst us would ensure lack of commonality and no meeting of minds. Happily, that is not the case with us. What brings us together above all is what binds us together: our common, shared BBC experience, in particular our loyal association with the Somali Service and our determination to raise our voice in its defence whenever its integrity and reputation are on the line. Sadly, such is the situation now.

The BBC Somali Service has been until recently the paragon among Somali broadcasting stations inside and outside Somalia . Its high standards, built over a period close to half a century, have been true to the BBC's well-known reputation for impartiality, fairness and objectivity. Unfortunately, that reputation has been dealt major blows since Mr. Yussuf Garad Omar was appointed as head/editor of the Somali Service. Needless to say, complaints among listeners that we had come to know from different sources in our different ways are pervasive and are in our view well-grounded. We believe that these complaints could be dealt with sufficiently and satisfactorily by your complaints Department. For the purpose of this letter, we would like to focus on two areas that are core to most complaints raised, including ours. The first concerns the staff of the Service and the second the quality of the programmes in terms of impartiality and fairness.

Regarding the staff, Mr. Yussuf Garaad Omar, on taking charge of the Somali Section, is considered by almost all the announcers at the time and ourselves to have masterminded the termination of the services of more than half of the announcers based at Bush House-highly qualified men and women who were very popular with listeners- only to replace them with inexperienced novices almost all from his clan. He also recruited correspondents/stringers inside and outside Somalia-again almost all of them from his clan. Taken together, these actions are seen by most listeners as patently both clan substitution and clan nepotism. We are aware that this action has been sanctioned by the management of the BBC % ly we would like to believe) but the Service has yet to recover from the ing damage done to its reputation in this regard.

As for the programmes, the BBC Somali Service, under Mr. Yussuf Garaad Omar' supervision, has been turned into a platform that would support his favoured political and clan factions against others in the struggle for power and resources in Somalia . Numerous cases of bias in this respect can be cited but one glaring example is the different treatments given to the elections of former President Abdulqasim Salaad Hassan and the recently elected President Abdullahi Yussuf Ahmed. When the former, a relative of Mr. Yussuf Garaad Omar, was elected president in 2000 at a Somali peace conference organized by the government of Djibouti , he was given full supportive coverage by the BBC Somali Service, support which still continues. When, on the other hand, Mr. Abdullahi Yussuf , who is from another clan, was elected President in the Nairobi Somali peace conference, only scant and mainly negative coverage was granted to him and his government. Instead, his opponents-a group consisting of warlords, dissident MPs and Ministers almost all from Yussuf Garaad's clan- were given generous publicity. This is the group who destroyed the capital Mogadishu and Southern Somalia for the last 14 years and who are still united to keep it that way. Most Somalis would like them to be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity like other warlords in Africa and the Balkans. In giving lop-sided supportive publicity to the warlords and their associates, Mr Yussuf Garaad Omar has again done another major damage to the reputation of the Services. In the eyes of the Somali listeners, the BBC is seen to have clearly condoned Mr. Garaad biased actions entailing his support to his political favourites.

What we are advocating ourselves is not uncritical support for one side or the other but the maintenance of the BBC's well known principles of impartiality and even-handedness.

As we have mentioned earlier in this letter, these observations we have mentioned are only selected spotlights on an overall malaise that has been inflicted on the BBC Somali Service. What saddens us most is that this problem has been allowed to build over some years with apparently no action(s) taken by the BBC to redress it despite countless complaints by listeners. We ourselves are aware that many listeners had complained to the former Head of the African Service, Ms. Kari Blackburn, without receiving any response let alone any action taken to address their concerns.

It is for this reason that we, the former staff members of the Somali Service, have come together to raise this matter with you. In this regard, we appeal to you to look into the running of the Somali Service and save it from those who may willy-nilly ruin it. The BBC Somali Service after all is the most cherished heritage that the British had left the Somalis for all the hundred years of its colonial rule.

Please accept, Sir, the assurances of our highest considerations


1 Mohamed Abshir Yussuf
Staff member from 1961-66
Nairobi , Kenya
2 Osman Hassan
BBC Somali Service 1962 -1977
United Nations 1977-2004
Geneva , Switzerland
3 Osman Suguleh
BBC Staff member 1965-1981
London
4 Idris Hassan Deria
Staff member 1969-1995
London
5 Sulemaan Dahir
Staff member 1970-1976
Hargeisa , Somaliland , Somalia
6 Said Farah Mohamoud
Staff member 1977- 2000
London
7 Mohamoud Hassan
1976-2000
London
8 Mohamoud Abdi Ali Dualeh
Staff member 1984-2000
London
9 Shamsa Abdullahi Ahmed
Until 2000
London
10 Mustafa Abdi Hussein “ Shafi ”
Until 2000
London
11 Mohamed Omar Ahmed “Hydra”
Until 2000
London
12 Suleiman Hussein Barkhadle
Until 2000
13 Mohamed Hamud Sheikh
Until 2000
14 Jawahir Suleman Elmi
Until 2000
London
15 Abdullahi Hassan Fadal
Until 2000
16 Mohamed Ali Mohamed
London

(All signatures are attached with the original letter sent to the BBC World Service)°
CC: Mr. Jerry Timmins
Head, Middle East and African Services
BBC S World Service
Bush House

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