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Private TV network banned in Somaliland following political debate

A screenshot of Kalsan TV's Facebook page
A screenshot of Kalsan TV's Facebook page

Screenshot taken on

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) today urged Somaliland authorities to reconsider its decision to a ban privately owned television network, while stressing the importance of ensuring media freedom in Somaliland following the reshuffle of the cabinet.

On Monday, 22 July, authorities in Somaliland officially banned the operations of a recently established television network, Kalsan TV, in Somaliland. Kalsan TV is based in London but has offices across the country.

In a meeting with TV station managers, Somaliland's Minister of Information, Culture and National Guidance, Abdullahi Mohamed Dahir (also known as Ukuse) said that Somaliland “banned the operations of Kalsan TV with immediate effect”.

The officially stated motive of the ban is a “lack of license” to operate in Somaliland. But the management of Kalsan TV and journalists in Somaliland believe that the ban was prompted by a TV debate which was recently broadcasted by Kalsan TV. Somaliland officials, who reportedly knew when said political debate was recorded, warned the station not to broadcast this debate, but the station aired it.

According to media reports, Somaliland officials repeatedly expressed their irritation concerning words used by Kalsan TV presenters who refer to Somaliland as the “Somaliland administration” instead of the “Somaliland government”.

“We urge the authorities in Somaliland to fully respect its commitment to media freedom and to revise the decision against Kalsan TV quickly,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.

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