An EU funded learning event to foster collaboration between Somali media and security agencies was held in Mogadishu on Monday bringing together media, academic, political and security stakeholders to discuss research findings on the complex relationship between media and government and how to improve their relationship.
The event was organized by Albany Communication Trust and the Somali Disaster and Resilience Institute (SDRI) affiliated with Benadir University and attended by Minister of Information Hon. Abdirahman Omar Osman, Deputy Minister of Internal Security Hon. Abdinasir Said Muse and Tom Vens, EU Head of Political, Press and Information Section. The media was represented by civil society officials including the National Union of Somalia Journalist Secretary General Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu.
The learning event was held as part of the unveiling of two EU funded research papers by SDRI and Oxford university project dubbed strengthening the role of media and universities to hold security services to account. The research concluded that freedoms like speech/ expression, and movement are fundamental in upholding peace and security that is so much sought in Somalia.
“The EU attaches particular importance to promoting security, freedom of opinion and expression. We believe that without freedom of media and expression, an informed, active and engaged citizenry is impossible. The interrelationship between the Somali security forces and the Somali media is complex and we hope today’s event will lead to a better understanding between both sectors,” EU Head of Politics, Press and Information Tom Vens said.
Minister of Information Hon. Abdirahman Osman stated that “The Ministry has made it a priority to facilitate greater access for journalists in knowledge development via trainings and to assist in creating stronger channels of communication between the media and the Ministry of Security.”