The Somali Media Association (SOMA) is expressing deep concern over the confiscation of the entire equipment from Radio Bal’ad by Al Shabab militant Group after briefly taking over Bal’ad district of Middle Shabelle region, Hirshabelle Regional State.
The Bal’ad district is located about 30Km north to the Somali capital Mogadishu.
FM Radio Bal’ad is active member of the Somali Media Association (SOMA) established five years ago, which is consisting of more than 38 media houses operating across Somalia.
According to reports received from Mr. Abdihakim Hussein Islow, Director of Radio Bal’ad indicated when Al Shabab forces briefly took over the Balad district on Friday morning March 2, 2018 they went directly to the radio Bal’ad Station, then encircled and seized all the equipment of the FM radio station which was included:
- Transmitter of 500 watts
- Mixer – one piece
- Six laptop computers
- One Desk top computer
- MP-3 Voice Recorder – 3 pieces
- Table Fans – 4 pieces
- Standing fans – 5 pieces
- Electric Extension Reel Connection – 10 pieces
- Small size TV screens – relaying sports program live
- Receivers for relaying transmission of the VOA and BBC Somali service
- Dishes – 2 pieces for relaying the transmission of VOA and BBC Somali service
- Microphones – 7 pieces
- Monitoring Office equipments
- Camera – two pieces (Nokio Zoom and Sonny – 7 D three legged for photo provision services to the website)
‘‘Al Shabab militants also ransacked the archive of the radio and destroyed most of them’’ abdihakim , Radio Bal’ad Director explained.
“As we lost most of the valuable radio equipments, we are appealing to all the Somali media stakeholders to provide us with necessary support enabling Radio Bal’ad to resume its operation again.” Mr. Abdihakim Hussein Islow, Director of Radio Bal’ad said.
The Somali Media Association (SOMA) is expressing deeply its concern over the confiscation of the only FM Radio in Bal’ad town and condemns in the strongest term to crackdown the independent media.
The Somali Media Association (SOMA) strongly urges Al Shabab forces to respect the work of the independent media and the freedom of expression.
SOMA understands the FM Radio Bal’ad was the only radio which widely listened and followed by in the community residing in Bal’ad district and its surroundings.
The Somali Media Association (SOMA) believes the community in Bal’ad Town has now regrettably lost access of essential information and entertainment they used to get from Radio Balad station.
In that context, the Somali Media Association (SOMA) suggests the Somali media stakeholders to consider rendering possible assistance facilitating Radio Bal’ad station to restart its services once again for promoting the established momentum and spirit of independent media information and freedom of expression process.