Posted by: africanpressorganization | 16 March 2011

NUSOJ General Assembly Closes with National Action Pledge





NUSOJ General Assembly Closes with National Action Pledge



MOGADISHU, Somalia, March 16, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The National Union of Somali Journalists – NUSOJ’s three yearly General Assembly closed yesterday, Tuesday (15 March 2011), in Mogadishu, Somalia, after the delegates voted unanimously to set off a nationwide campaign against repression of journalists’ rights and attacks on press freedom in the country.

The General Assembly, which was supported by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), is the NUSOJ’s highest decision making body, and during this assembly the 60 delegates from six regional branches, representing member journalists have mandated the organisation to carry out national organising campaign to organise new and young journalists.

The delegates also adopted motions on gender equality, strengthening regional union branches, solidarity and safety of journalists, call for peace, professional training of journalists, protection of editorial freedom, support for Somali workers rights, continued support for regional, continental and international organisations.

Elected Officials

One of the main items in the programme of the General Assembly was to elect officials of the union who will lead the union in the next three years. Following members of the Executive Committee and Supreme council leaders were elected:

Executive Committee

1.      Mr Omar Faruk Osman, Secretary General
2.      Mr Ali Moallim Isak, Treasurer
3.      Mr Abdiqani Sheik Mohamed, Organising Secretary
4.      Mrs Hamdi Mohamed Kadie, Secretary for Gender Affairs
5.      Mr Abdirahman Omar Madobe, Secretary for Information and Human Rights
6.      Mrs Wilo Ali Bulhan, Secretary for Ethics
7.      Mr Abdirashid Abdullahi Haydar, Training Secretary
8.      Mr Ahmed Mohamud Mohamed, Secretary for Labour Issues
9.      Mr Mohamed Adan, Secretary for Public Relations

Supreme Council Leaders

1.      Mr Abdirisak Omar Ismail, Chairperson of Supreme Council
2.      Mr Abdi Adan Guled, Senior Deputy Chairperson of Supreme Council
3.      Ms Rasmi Mohmud Hebow, Deputy Chairperson of the Supreme Council
4.      Mr Ali Ilyas Abdullahi, Deputy Chairperson of the Supreme Council
The General Assembly also elected heads of the six branches of the union.

Solidarity Messages to the General Assembly

The General Assembly, which is the highest and the largest gathering of journalists’ representatives of the country, received solidarity messages from the President of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Jim Boumelha; The General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) – Africa Regional Organization, Kwasi Adu-Amankwah; Head of Africa Desk of Reporters without Borders (RSF) and the Africa team of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

On behalf of member unions in 130 countries representing 600,000 journalists around the world, the IFJ President Jim Boumelha expressed IFJ’s “warm congratulations and good wishes to your delegates gathered today at your General Assembly”. “I am very well aware of the heroic actions that your union has taken in recent years in defence of journalists and journalism in your country and the tremendous campaigns you have built over the years to defend the safety of your journalists and stand up to attacks on press freedom”.  “I can assure you that the IFJ and its affiliates worldwide will continue giving their full support to NUSOJ at every opportunity” Boumelha said in a written solidarity statement at the General Assembly”.

IFJ President, in addition, said in his solidarity message: “These are indeed difficult and challenging times for all of us. The IFJ is particularly concerned by the safety of journalists with the ongoing conflict in your country. The killing of journalists remains a terrible scar and we should fight relentlessly to bring to an end these attacks and pressure your government to take seriously the responsibilities to protect journalists and punish their killers. But beyond the safety of journalists, the fight for social justice and professional rights in journalism is a challenge to journalists everywhere. Media staff, like the workforce in every other sector of the world economy, are under pressure from voracious employers who are slashing jobs and undermining trade union organisation. I have every confidence that, although you are still a young organisation, NUSOJ has the resolve and fortitude to take journalists in your country forward and I have no doubt that our struggle would be so much stronger whenever we join forces in genuine international solidarity action in defence of workers’ rights.”

Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, General Secretary of ITUC-Africa said “I bring you fraternal greetings from the African Regional Organization of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa) on the occasion of the convocation of your General Assembly as an independent and democratic organisation.  We salute the exemplary and patriotic courage that you exhibit by your undying passion for duty. Clearly, you (delegates) have defeated those who think that through violent attacks on your persons, equipments and institution they can achieve individual and corporate censorship. We are with you in this struggle and will continue to condemn and denounce all forms of attacks on journalists, other media persons and outfits”.

“We salute the exemplary and patriotic courage that you exhibit by your undying passion for duty. Clearly, you have defeated those who think that through violent attacks on your persons, equipments and institution they can achieve individual and corporate censorship. We are with you in this struggle and will continue to condemn and denounce all forms of attacks on journalists, other media persons and outfits” said Kwasi Adu-Amankwah.

The ITUC Africa General Secretary said in his solidarity message “Comrades, brothers and sisters, let me inform you that we have been working very closely with the leadership of your union and also the Federation of African Journalists to wage a campaign against impunity. Precisely, we are currently reaching out to the African Union (AU) and the various sub-regional blocs to achieve policy frameworks that provide for and promote accountability and justice on issues of rights violations.  We will not relent on this struggle. We shall continue to campaign for a free and independent media and also demand that the rule of law is upheld on our continent. Furthermore, full in the knowledge that peace and stability are necessary ingredients for the enjoyment of rights, we shall continue to make our contribution to ensure that an amicable resolution that will bring about an end to armed conflicts and assure the restoration of peace in Somalia is achieved”. “Similarly, let me again salute your resolute spirit and determination to continue to work and meet your mandate of providing coverage, reports and information to Somali society and outside communities concerning the happenings and situation in the country”.

The Africa Team of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) said in solidarity statement to the General Assembly: “Upon the occasion of your March 14-15, 2011 General Assembly in Mogadishu we wish to express our support for the courageous work of all journalists and particularly you working and living in Somalia. As you know, a strong and independent press is an important pillar in an open and free society, and the work of journalists and others in the media sector plays an important role in providing news and information to the people of Somalia. The National Endowment for Democracy works in 25 African countries to support the development of strong, accountable democratic institutions, human rights, independent media and civic engagement. We believe that the solidarity and strength of Somali journalists are an important part of what can heal Somalia and we salute your willingness to come together in Mogadishu to show the world that you continue the struggle to shine light and bring hope to everyone living in Somalia. We are proud to support the National Union of Somali Journalists, the East African Journalists Association, and the Federation of African Journalists”.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) offered its full support to its partner organization, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), which is holding its General Assembly in Mogadishu, said in a Solidarity Statement issued. “Like other dangerous countries such as Pakistan, Iraq or Mexico, Somalia is a country where media freedom is in bad shape and times are hard for journalists. It has been Africa’s deadliest country for the media in recent years. When not risking their lives, journalists can be kidnapped, arrested or jailed. The media, especially radio stations, are threatened and attacked. Some have fallen under the influence of Islamist militias in the past year” said Ambroise PIERRE, Head of Africa Desk of RSF.

“At times like this, journalists need to be united and supportive of each other. And they need to have an organization to defend them. This is what the NUSOJ does in Somalia. Recognized as a reliable organization familiar with the local terrain, it has quickly established itself as part of the Somali media landscape. It helps Reporters Without Borders to follow local developments. It also helps us to provide assistance to journalists and media in trouble. We wish the NUSOJ team courage and success with the continuation of their work” Ambroise PIERRE added.


National Union of Somali Journalists – NUSOJ


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