Somalia bans media from reporting Al-Shabaab attacks


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s government on Saturday banned journalists from covering stories of Al-Shabaab attacks, weeks after the government launched an offensive against the militant group.

In a press conference, Somali deputy information minister Abdirahman Yusuf Al Adala said the government had banned local media from reporting Al-Shabaab attacks in accordance with national media regulations and those who breach the order will face justice.

He added that dozens of social media accounts linked with the group had been removed and a number of others would be next.

The move came days after an offensive by allied Somali government troops and clan militias failed to make progress in the central regions of Hiran and Galgadud, where militants killed dozens of people and reversed gains by allied forces.

Somali media associations have not yet commented on the decision. The government had previously restricted reportage of conflict stories by local journalists, with dozens killed, others arrested and many more wounded in crackdown to stifle media.

Local media reported on Saturday that the government had banned former Islamist leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys from sharing videos of him addressing current situation of the country on social media. The man, who has been under house arrest for hours, is still critical of the federal government.

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