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As impunity reigns in Somalia, president takes note

(CPJ/IFEX) - 4 December 2012 - The following is a CPJ Blog post:

By Tom Rhodes/CPJ East Africa Consultant

In October, two gunmen shot Shabelle Media Network reporter Mohamed Mohamud as he left a mosque one evening; he died from the gunshot wounds less than one week later. Several members of the Somali armed forces who happened to be at the scene opened fire on his assailants, local journalists said, but Mohamed's killers have still not been identified.

The same applies for the 12 Somali journalists killed in the direct line of duty CPJ has documented this year - the deadliest we have ever recorded. "All the killings had something in common: seeming impunity for the perpetrators," writes the U.N.'s political head for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, on his personal blog. "Although a few arrests were made by authorities, they seemingly never led to conviction and punishment."

There is one sign of hope: Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud recently said a task force would be set up under the guidance of Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon to investigate all cases involving the killing of journalists. "The era of impunity must stop immediately," the new president was quoted as saying in local reports.

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