Somaliland: Islamists Burn Newspaper
A huge number of issues of Somaliland's independent daily 'Haatuf' newspaper were burned in the town of
An estimated 1,300 issues of 'Haatuf' newspaper were burned in Buroa on Friday morning, at 10:30 "by extremists linked to the terrorist courts of
The people who publicly burned 'Haatuf' newspapers were said to be the same ones who had sent threatening telephone calls to the headquarters of 'Haatuf' in Hargeisa - the capital of self-proclaimed Somaliland - a few days earlier, in which they said they would attack and burn its offices if the newspaper did not stop criticising the Islamic Courts of Mogadishu.
The leader of the newspaper-burning group was said to be Mubarak Ahmed Diriye, who has been suspected of having ties to al-Shabaab [the Youth] wing of
During the burning of the newspapers, one of the religious extremists, Bashir Abdillahi Tagane addressed the local media and said, "We had warned the newspaper many times about the things they write but they didn’t listen." Mr Tagane also admitted that he was one of the people who had sent the threatening telephone calls to 'Haatuf', and that the newspaper had printed their phone number, therefore, they had decided to burn the newspaper in protest.
The Mogadishu ICU view 'Haatuf' newspaper as a powerful independent voice that stands in the way of their ongoing efforts to mobilise support from within
In addition to the reasons cited above, Bashir Abdillahi Tagane and Saeed Muse Faraas mentioned that the newspaper had reported that a meeting took place between the traditional elders of an east Buroa clan and clans from Puntland in Las Anod, when in fact this news item was not reported by 'Haatuf', but was reported back in May by 'Codka Shacabka' newspaper which is no longer published.
One of the newspaper burners, Saeed Muse Faras, was also reported to have said after Friday players at a mosque in the Hodan neighbourhood of Buroa, "there is nothing sacred about Somaliland's unity, the only thing that is sacred is the Holy Book," according to 'Somaliland Times'.
On Saturday evening, the 'Somaliland Times' had also contacted the governor Abdi Hussein Dheere of
'Haatuf' newspaper meanwhile does not seem to have become scared about the Islamist provocation in Buroa. In its latest editorial, the independent newspaper appeals to the
"Because given the current takeover of large swathes of southern Somalia by terrorists and the fading fortunes of the one-city 'government of Somalia' that is holed in Baidoa, Somaliland's position as a front-line state against terrorism and extremism has become much more significant," the Hargeisa newspaper's editorial wrote.