Abukar Hassan Mohamoud (NUSOJ)
Abukar Hassan Mohamoud (NUSOJ)

Gunmen murder veteran radio journalist in Mogadishu

New York, February 28, 2012–Unidentified gunmen today assassinated a veteran journalist who had been trying to relaunch a radio station that extremist group Al-Shabaab had shut down and looted in 2010, local journalists said.

Abukar Hassan Mohamoud, nicknamed Kadaf, the former director of the private station Somaliweyn Radio, was shot five times in the head and chest around 6 p.m. local time at his home in Wadajir district in the capital Mogadishu, local journalists told CPJ. The gunmen then fled the area. Hassan, 49, died from his injuries at Medina Hospital soon after the attack.

Wadajir District Governor Ahmed Hassan said authorities were determined to find the culprits, according to reports. The reason for the attack is unknown.

“We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of Abukar Hassan Mohamoud and urge authorities to do their utmost to find the killers,” said CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes.

A former colleague of Hassan told CPJ that he had been trying to relaunch Somaliweyn Radio, which was forcibly closed and looted by Al-Shabaab insurgents in May 2010. While the station was closed, Hassan had worked for several civil society organizations and advocated for peace, according to local journalists. Hassan is survived by his wife and four children.

CPJ has documented the killings of four journalists in the capital in the past six months, including the former Shabelle Media Network Director Hassan Osman Abdi , who was shot to death in January. The killings have occurred despite the fact that government and African Union troops managed to push Al-Shabaab forces out of the capital last year.

Somalia is the most dangerous country in Africa to work as a journalist, CPJ research shows.