Nairobi – Unidentified armed men on Wednesday night shot dead Somali journalist, Daud Ali Omar, at his home in Somalia, according to local journalists and news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities to identify the motive in the murder and apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators.
The gunmen broke in to Daud’s house at around 1 a.m. in the Bardaale neighborhood in the south-central city of Baidoa while the journalist and his wife, Hawo Abdi Aden, were sleeping, news reports and local journalists said. The gunmen shot the two dead and fled the scene before the police arrived, the reports said. Daud and his wife leave behind three children, local journalists said.
“We condemn the murders of Daud Ali Omar and his wife, Hawo Abdi Aden, and call on the south-central administration of Somalia to do their utmost to investigate the terrible crime,” said CPJ East Africa Representative Tom Rhodes. “Allowing the killers to remain at large will only add to the cycle of impunity and increasing violence we are witnessing in Baidoa.”
Daud, 35, was a producer for the pro-government, privately owned station Radio Baidoa, which covered regional violence and local politics, according to local journalists. The station shared news and reporters with the state-run Radio Mogadishu, the same sources said. Daud had also worked as a news reporter Radio Baidoa. Local journalists said he produced a morning talk show called “Good Morning” a few years ago.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Local journalists and police said they suspected the militant insurgent group Al-Shabaab was responsible for the attack and cited the station’s links to the government, according to news reports.
The local Somali Independent Media Houses Association condemned the attack and called for a thorough investigation, news reports said. Police are currently investigating the crime, according to local journalists and news reports.
The murder of Daud and his wife are the latest in a string of attacks in Baidoa in recent months, according to news reports. In the last two months, at least three moderate Islamic scholars have been killed by gunmen suspected of being affiliated with Al-Shabaab, news reports said. In December, a car bomb explosion in a popular restaurant in Baidoa killed Mohamed Isaq, cameraman for the privately owned Kalsan TV station, and freelance journalist Abdulkadir Ahmed.
Somalia is the deadliest country in Africa for journalists, according to CPJ research. (chidoonumah.com)
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