AN OPEN LETTER to the BBC World Service
AN OPEN LETTER to the BBC World Service and the BBC Somali Section Leadership
BBC, HornAfrik Radio, Yusuf-Garaad and Inside the Numbers!
It has been painful for us to follow the recent discriminatory and mediocre journalistic performance of
the BBC Somali Section and its diminishing standards. This honorable and centuries old institution
employs a great number of decent and hardworking Somalis who wake up every morning to do a job and make
Unfortunately, because of the agenda of the gentleman in-charge, the hardworking men and women of the
BBC Somali Section can no longer do a decent job. Mr. Yusuf-Garaad Omar, the man in-charge who
originally came in under dubious terms through the influence and under the behest of the late murderous
General Aideed of Mogadishu, is himself trying to achieve a dubious task. A task that the late General
Aideed failed to achieve, but Mr. Yusuf-Garaad Omar continues to wage. A battle he also continues to
wage on HornAfrik Radio in Mogadishu. This HornAfrik Radio project investment was originally sponsored
by the European Union and the BBC World Service in cooperation with the BBC Somali Section, but
subsequently, it sadly has become a 50% owned investment by Mr. Yusuf-Garaad Omar. By how we don't know,
but would the BBC World Service leadership come clean? The ownership of this HornAfrik Radio project is
a clear cut case of CONFLICT OF INTEREST that neither the BBC World Service nor the BBC Somali Section
has confronted. This HornAfrik Radio project has consumed almost all EU $1,500,000 donated investment
funds originally intended for all regions of Somalia. Not a bad rate of return on investment! And Mr.
Omar continues his battle on the BBC airwaves and his cohorts on HornAfrik Radio to support certain
political faction and alienate others. This is a continuing losing battle engaged by Mr. Omar that a
majority of Somalis recognized on day one. We hope the BBC Somali Section Leadership quickly recognizes
the conflicts and problems created by Mr. Omar's efforts with HornAfrik Radio. We would also advise the
BBC World Service to distribute future EU donated development funds and its own aid wisely and equitably
across all Somali regions.
Today, the BBC Somali Section airwaves in combination with HornAfrik Radio are used to pit one innocent
Somali group against another. It has prolonged the Somali civil war. We are convinced that the grant
from Her Majesty's Foreign Office was not intended to be used to harm innocent Somalis and prolong third
world civil wars. Likewise, we doubt that the Broadcast Standards Commission would, if informed, permit
Mr. Omar to continue his efforts to implement his decaying clannish agenda.
SHASNA* Editorial Board
cc: SHASNA Members
SOMALI HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA
February 15, 2001
*SHASNA is an advocacy group based in Boston, Massachusetts.
It stands for the unity and peaceful coexistence of the Somali people.
It supports the creation of a Federal system of governance to safeguard
the emerging free markets of the Recovery Zones. SHASNA encourages
corporate and individual investments in the Recovery Zones.
It has presences in both Puntland (Boosaaso, Garoowe, Buurtinle, Bacaadweyn and Gaalkacyo)
and Somaliland (Hergeysa, Berbera and Burco).