Abdi Hajji Hussein – AHN News Correspondent
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Abdudwaq, Somalia (AHN) – Radio Abudwaq, which is based in the Abdudwaq district of the Galgudud region of central Somalia, was closed down by fighters loyal to Somalia’s moderate Ahlu Sunna Waljama’ (ASWJ), witnesses said late Wednesday.
“All the journalists were shocked and surprised when they’ve seen tens of gunmen who are at center of the studio,” a stringer said. Abdikarim Ahmed Bulhan, a journalist who works at the station, told local press that heavily armed fighters from Ahlu Sunna Waljama’ got into the station and ordered it off the air.
Bulhan told Shabelle, a local radio station, that Ahlu Sunna ordered the radio station not to reopen until the station’s administration got permission from Ahlu Sunna Waljama’ authorities.
The moderate group, which signed a power-sharing treaty in March with Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government, hasn’t yet commented on the reason behind the move.
It is not the first such occurrence of its kind for ASWJ. Several moths ago, the group shut down the same radio station, although it later relented.
Infringement against freedom of speech has become routine in Somalia. In April, Hizbul Islam’s chairman for the Banadir region, Moallim Hashi Mohammed Farah, ordered local radio stations to stop playing music.