Shabelle headquarter, equipment confiscated and others stolen.
Mogadishu (Harar24) – Two days after the storming and takeover of the building which Shabelle Radio used as a headquarter, unfortunate details regarding the event are emerging.
According to many sources when security forces entered the building by force, before arresting the employees they started beating them, unfortunately for the security forces the radio station was still on air and the beatings were heard. Sources from Shabelle also claim that some equipment wore destroyed and damaged during the process. According to Shabelle one soldier lost his life while trying to shutdown the electricity of the building.
The head of Shabelle Abdimalik Yusuf Mahmud claimed in an interview with BBC Somali that $300,000 was stolen from the building and that equipments were confiscated. “Is this the behavior of soldiers?” he told BBC Somali. He further added they were legitimately based in the building after signing a contract with the Ministry of Transportation and the former government which would allow them to operate from the building until 2015. According to Abdimalik Mahmud, Shabelle spent a total of $45,000 on the renovation of the building.
Further details that emerged include the confiscation of all equipment belonging to Shabelle and being taken to an undisclosed location. Unverified reports however claim that the equipment were taken to Radio Muqdisho.
On the other hand governmental sources claim that this wasn’t an attack on Shabelle per se, rather to retake the building which belonged to government anyway. Police chief Mohamed Omar Madale said that the forces only stormed the building as a last resort after Shabelle employees refused to open the gate. He further claimed that all the employees were released and guaranteed that all equipment were being kept in a safe place and would be returned to Shabelle anytime it’s managers request it.
The eviction of Shabelle from their headquarter comes after the killing of journalist Tima’adde, which shows deteriorating safety for journalists in Somalia. Shabelle claims they’ll face attacks if located elsewhere from various factions