A Somali TV journalist working for UK-based Universal TV nearly escaped violent death, but was seriously injured after unknown gunmen shot repeatedly at his car on Tuesday, as he was driving to work early at 7am, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported yesterday.
Mohamed Mohamud (28), who sustained six bullet wounds in his neck, chest, and shoulder, has undergone surgery in the capital Mogadishu and is still unconscious, CPJ said, calling on Somali authorities to quickly identify the murder attempt’s motive, and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Universal TV, which was established in 2005, covers news for the Somali diaspora with correspondents based in countries including Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Kenya.
The Horn of Africa is a nest for journalists’ killers, jailers and torturers, with countries such as Eritrea and Ethiopia leading the mediaphobics’ pack that also comprises Djibouti and Somaliland.
“The pace of attacks on journalists in Mogadishu may have slowed slightly, but the capital is still an unacceptably dangerous place for journalists to work,” CPJ East Africa consultant Tom Rhodes said in a statement posted on the media watchdog’s website.
No one has so far claimed responsibility for the attack on the reporter, but militia group Al-Shabaab is routinely linked to attacks on journalists, although some cases are linked to personal grudges from officials volleying for power, CPJ said, quoting local media reports.