Somaliland the irrelevance of the BBC Somali service


Lately various Somaliland media outlets, from the national broadcaster to the independent media have been preoccupied with the anti-Somaliland rantings of the Somali Service of the BBC World Service. What else is new? And why should we give relevance to an irrelevant media outlet.Somaliland the irrelevance of the BBC Somali service

There was a time that this service adhered to the highest principles of journalism. It was staffed with educated and brilliant journalists, but those days are long gone. Every single professional journalist has left for greener pastures. Today, this service is filled with young kids who have neither the intellectual capacity nor the journalistic ability.

I know the service very well. I recall back in the late 1980’s when the civil war was raging in the region, and the then military junta of the late dictator, Siyad Barre, was committing atrocities in Somaliland. A young Somalilander had just arrived in London from the region via the refugee camps in Ethiopia. She had been a first hand witness to the ghastly situation in the region.

At that time, the current Somaliland Foreign Minister, Sacad Ali Shire was working at a community centre in London, Oxford House. He, along with several other community members contacted the BBC Somali Service to interview this young lady. A witness to the destruction of Hargeisa, of the slaughter of the people fleeing the city and the dire conditions of the refugee camps in Harshin & Gashaamo. The Somali Service didn’t want to know and declined to interview the young lady.

Can you imagine, a service funded by the British Foreign Office, with a mandate to inform the Somali people, would not even interview a credible witness to the devastation in Somaliland?

Luckily, a friend of mine from what is now South Sudan was working with the BBC Africa Service, and agreed to arrange an interview with the witness. This interview was the first international account of what was happening to the people fleeing the bombardment and the devastation taking place in the region. A few days after the interview aired on the BBC World Service, the Somali Service called to arrange an interview!

In the nearly three decades since, nothing has changed. The majority of the staff at the Somali Service are and will always be opposed to Somaliland. To it’s peace, progress and democracy.

Fortunately, Somaliland is today blessed with a vibrant media sector. From the national broadcaster, SNLTV and Radio Hargeisa, to the abundant independent ones, from HCTV, KALSAN, BULSHO, and STAR, to name a few, along with a buoyant social media network.

There are also other international broadcasters, such as Al-Jasiira and Reuters.

So, who needs the Somali Service of the BBC with its web of lies, fabrications and intrigue?

Let us not get too worked up about them and give them any relevance, because, they are irrelevant.

Ahmed Khayre


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Madar Duale Editor Of Somaliland Nation News one of the English Somali media online reliable news from Horn of Africa ,West Africa and Middle east. Contact