MOGADISHU (Onkod Radio) , Somalia 26 May 2022 – Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) concluded a two-day journalists training on security, safety and promotion of ethical journalism in Mogadishu supported by the British Embassy in Mogadishu on Tuesday.
Thirty journalists from across Somalia’s regional states as well those selected from media institutions in the capital had benefitted from the training which took place from 23 – 24 May. Among the topics covered the training were: Safety and security for journalists, the ethical code for journalism and responsible way of reporting during disasters, digital safety, risk assessment and assignment planning for field reporters as well as digital storytelling: Techniques and tools for successful storytelling.
During the two-day training, officers from the Somali Police Force, representatives from Somali National Army joined journalists for an interactive session about the safety and security of journalists. Police and journalists also discussed on the protection of journalists and provision of access to journalists during crisis.
The Deputy Police Commissioner for Banadir Region, Col. Said Baryare underlined the importance of a free press in Somalia, and also condemned acts of violence against journalists in the country. He called on journalists and media associations to report any violation of their rights even if it is committed by senior police officials.
“We are really glad to be here with you and join your conversation. I see you had criticised us. Relations between police and the media has been always very bad. Sometimes we are scared from the media. We want to change that and we are ready for that,” Col. Baryare said “A responsible and independent media is what flourishes democracy in our country.”
On the wrap up of the training activities, British Ambassador, Kate Foster and the Secretary-General of SJS, Abdalle Ahmed Mumin were accompanied by the Deputy Police Commissioner for Banadir Region, Col. Said Baryare to award certificates to the participants as well as winners of the climate change reporting award.
“We are extremely grateful to the British Embassy in Mogadishu for the timely support. I thank Ambassador Kate Foster and her team for giving us the funds to train 30 journalists from all across Somalia: Mogadishu, Puntland, Jubbaland, South West State, Galmudug and Hirshabelle,” the Secretary-General of SJS, Abdalle Ahmed Mumin said “I also thank police officers who joined us for their time. I call commander Said Baryare and his team to protect journalists and carry out investigations into the killings of journalists in Somalia.”
Ambassador Foster emphasized that a more stable Somalia requires accountability and freedom of expression at its heart as she commended all on the courage and determination of the Somali journalists to carry out their work in the midst of many challenges.
“I’m delighted to host this reception today, bringing together everyone that took part in UK supported media training in the past year. We’ve been deeply concerned by the harassment and attacks that have targeted journalists here,” Ambassador Foster said. “As I’ve talked to many of you over the past 18 months, you’ve told me how vital it is to raise mutual awareness between security personnel and journalists of each other’s role and how to work together. We listened to you, and I’m delighted that we are joined today by journalists and security colleagues from the recent training, in particular I’d like to welcome Banadir Deputy Police Commander Colonel Said Ali Mohamed.”
Ambassador Foster also thanked the Somali Journalists Syndicate and its members as well as the media trainer Mohamud Ali for facilitating both sets of training (the safety training and the climate change reporting).
With the conclusion of elections and inauguration of the new President, SJS notes the new opportunity that has emerged to look forward, and to improve press freedom in Somalia. British Embassy in collaboration with the members of the international partners and the Somali civil society must push for a more regular dialogue between the Somali Federal Government and the media including to pushing for amendments to the 2020 Media Law.