Somalia Government Prohibits Media of Covering Shabaab ‘Propaganda’


Somalia’s government announced Saturday a crackdown on media outlets that publish what it deems propaganda for the Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab and warned that offenders would be punished.

The move comes as Somalia’s armed forces, backed by local militias and international allies, wage an aggressive counterinsurgency campaign against the Al-Qaeda affiliate.

“I want to inform the Somali media and all Somali people in general that we will regard all Al-Shabaab related propaganda coverage including their terrorist acts and their ideology as punishable crimes,” Deputy Information Minister Abdirahman Yusuf said.

“The Somali government is totally banning all kinds of coverage relating to the terrorist ideology and acts of intimidation by (Al Shabaab),” he told reporters.

Yusuf said the government has also launched cyber operations against “terrorist accounts” on social media and had suspended more than 40 on Facebook and Twitter.

Somalia’s recently elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has vowed an all-out war on the jihadists after a string of deadly attacks, including a 30-hour hotel siege in the capital Mogadishu in August that killed 21 people.

Fighters from the group were ousted from Mogadishu in 2011 but they continue to strike military, government and civilian targets, often with deadly consequences.



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