FESOJ condemns killing of journalists in Kismayo terrorist blast

Press Statement

Mogadishu- Saturday 13 July 2019: Federation of Somali Journalists (FESOJ today) strongly condemns the murders of Somali-Canadian female journalist Hodan Naleyah, the founder of Integration TV and Mohamed Sahal Omar (Ga’madere) the reporter of SBC TV in Kismayo who were among number of people including politicians ,journalists ,diaspora and business people killed on Friday afternoon in a suicide bomb blast and gun attack on a hotel in the coastal town of Kismayo, around 500KM south of the Somali capital Mogadishu.

According to the journalist colleagues in Kismayo there was a powerful bomb explosion at the Media Hotel (Ex As Aseey hotel) in Kismayo and immediately afterwards armed militants stormed to the hotel and started shooting civilians inside the hotel . More people are believed to have died in the blast, including the two journalists

“The body of late journalist Mohamed Sahal Omar (Ga’madere) was found in the second floor of the hotel on Saturday morning and bullets hit on his head. We knew his presence in the hotel during the blast attack but I can now fully confrim to his death since his body found ” Mohamed Dek Abdalla Director of SBC Television told FESOJ on the phone.

“We condemn this senseless attack which caused considerable loss of life, including our journalist colleagues’,” said Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu, FESOJ General Secretary. “It is a stark reminder of the dangers Somali media are exposed to in their daily work. We demand an urgent reaction from all sides to ensure their protection.”

“We are saddened and outraged by this loss of life, and condemn in the strongest possible terms this appalling massacre,” said Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu . “Our thoughts are with the families of our colleagues Hodan Nalayeh , Mohamed Sahal Omar (Ga’madere) and with the families of all the victims of this senseless attack.

Armed group al-Shabab, which is believed to be linked to al-Qaeda claimed it carried out the suicide attack.

Integration TV established by Hodan Nalayeh is one of first English language online TV connecting Somali communities of diverse backgrounds to share inspiring stories that enhance our society. Hodan Nalayeh was committed to setting a new standard for television content, where that outside of and inside of our communities’ benefit from shared stories. Her goal was to enlighten, empower and inspire through the power of storytelling while sharing Somali success & learning from the success of others globally.

Nalayeh was born in Somalia in 1976, but spent most of her life in Canada, first in Alberta and then in Toronto before coming back to Somalia to show the world the positive stories in Somalia.

The late journalist Sahal is one of the journalists participated in FESOJ (formerly known NUSOJ) trainings in Kismayo with Finish Foundation for Media Development (VIKES) and he was an active, brave journalist who was arrested several times due to reports he made.

“This is another dark day, we are demanding the preparators masterminded the deadly blast followed by the gun attack who massacred innocent civilians including the two journalist colleagues to be caught and bring to justice “ Abaadir Abdulakdir Elmi FESOJ President said .

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