Radio Shabelle
Radio Shabelle

Reporter killed in Mogadishu; third Somali fatality this year

New York, May 22, 2009–The Committee to Protect Journalists mourns this morning’s death of radio journalist Abdirisak Mohamed Warsame, left, who was killed during renewed fighting in Somalia’s war-ravaged capital, Mogadishu.

Warsame, a producer for the leading independent broadcaster Shabelle Media Network, was scheduled to present this morning’s 8 a.m. news bulletin, Station Director Moqtar Mohamed Hirabe told CPJ. Warsame was shot in crossfire while on his way to work just before 7:30 a.m., according to the station.

The gunfire came after Transitional Federal Government forces launched a pre-dawn assault against hard-line Islamist guerrilla strongholds. Local journalist Mustafa Haji Abdinur told CPJ the shooting occurred south of Mogadishu’s Bakara Market area.

“We offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Abdirisak Mohamed Warsame, including his colleagues at Radio Shabelle who are mourning the death of a third journalist since 2007,” CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Tom Rhodes said. “We call on both sides of the conflict to take measures to protect journalists who are its unarmed witnesses.”

Warsame is the third Radio Shabelle journalist to be killed in the line of duty since 2007; the station also lost Hassan Mayow Hassan, and Bashiir Noor Gedi. Warsame, 24, joined Radio Shabelle in 2007, according to Hirabe. He had been married for six months. In an e-mail to CPJ, former radio Shabelle journalist Mohamed Amiin Adow said he remembered Warsame as a “talented” journalist and a “workaholic.”

Three Somali journalists have died in the line of duty so far this year, CPJ research shows. Since 2007, 12 journalists have died in Somalia in connection with their work, half killed in crossfire and half targeted for murder.