Attacks on the Press
ttacks had become so pervasive in this conflict-riven state that the National Union of Somali Journalists described 2006 as "the most dangerous year for press freedom for more than a decade." Then came 2007--a year in which conditions grew dramatically worse.
With seven journalists killed in direct relation to their work, Somalia was the deadliest place for the press in Africa and second only to Iraq worldwide. The deaths came amid widespread violence in this Horn of Africa state, which has had no effective central government since 1991. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees reported that nearly 600,000 people had fled during the year, as the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), backed by Ethiopian troops, clashed repeatedly with the militias of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), a coalition of fundamentalist law courts that had held power for six months in 2006.