The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is saddened by and condemns in the strongest terms the death of journalist Ahmed Mohamed Shukur, a reporter for Somali National Television (SNTV), who was killed today at around 11:30am, in a landmine blast in the Basro neighbourhood of Bal’ad district.
According to preliminary reports, Shukur, a young and courageous war correspondent, was on assignment to cover the counter-terrorism operations by the Somali security forces, aimed at dislodging elements of the Al-Shabaab militias from the area. Banadir Region Police Commander, General Farhan Mohamoud Adan (Karole), was also killed in the same incident.
“We are saddened and mourn the needless death of yet another young and brave journalist in the line of duty. Shukur was the victim of a blind weapon that should not be used anywhere in modern warfare. We condemn this cruel attack that claimed the life of a promising journalist who sacrificed his personal safety to bring details of this operation to the people of Somalia and the world in general,” said NUSOJ Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman.
“Shukur’s death is all the more painful because it comes after a welcome break, which had given us the false hope that Somalia was finally turning its back on the dubious reputation of being among the deadliest places to be a journalist in the world,” Osman added.
NUSOJ expresses its deepest condolences to the journalist’s family. He was a dedicated journalist, who often assumed great personal risk, to factually report on what was going on in the Middle Shabelle Shabelle region despite previous threats by Al-Shabaab because of his affiliation with government media.
Born in the year 2000, he becomes the first journalist to be killed in Somalia this year. He represents the irrepressible desire of a growing number of young journalists who are joining the journalism profession despite the dangers associated with being a journalist in Somalia. His death underscores the safety and security challenge that journalists in Somalia face on a daily basis.