Friday, January 05, 2007


Charles at Hargeisa Club, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

In the meantime, I am alarmed to read an article, published by Journalists Sans Frontieres, whereby it appears that a broadcaster in Baidoa, Somalia has been arrested and, more alarmingly, three journalists in Hargeisa working for the Haatuf newspaper, including the owner Yusuf Abdi Gabobe. Somaliland is supposed to earn respect from the world as a haven of peace, democracy and the rule of law. This sort of nonsense cannot be excused.

I am not exactly sure if this is the man, but his name is Baashe Abdi Gabobe, so a very close fit and he mentioned that he was owner/editor of Haatuf. He was kind enough to show us around Hargeisa when we were there, including the Hargeisa Club, where my parents used to spend so much of their time when they were living there.

The link I have on this blog is to Somaliland Times, an English language sister newspaper of Haatuf. The paper is often critical of certain actions of certain ministers and rightly so, if the stories are to be believed. It would be such a tragedy if Somaliland were to follow the road of so many African countries towards oppression, secrecy and dictatorship.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Charles
The picture you showed is actually yousuf’s elder brother. Yousuf and his colleague are currently incarcerated by Somaliland authorities following an article published the Somali language mass reading news paper, accusing the president of corruption and misappropriation of the meagre public funds.
It is unfortunate, as you have noted that the un-recognised infant republic authorities do not respect the rule of law that existed as they themselves have been once elected by the people as well as the constitution. Indeed, it seems now that the authorities simply hate to govern the country by the constitution and the rule of law that accommodates democratic norms, freedom of speech, transparency, accountability and respect of human rights.

08 January, 2007 07:08  
Blogger Charles Roffey and Fred O said...

Dear Mohamed,
Thank you very much for passing on this information. I had wondered whether or not he might have been Yousuf's brother.
I suppose it can be put down to teething troubles, but once things start falling apart, they usually only get worse, rather than better. Maybe a stern warning from Somaliland's friends may have some effect.
The soft institutions of state are highly neceessary for a country to prosper and however annoying a free press can sometimes be, countries which have thme tend ot do better in the long term than countries which do not.
Best wishes, Charles

08 January, 2007 23:35  

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