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IREX Media Partner Killed in Puntland

IREX mourns the loss of Abdullahi Omar Gedi, a journalist and technician at IREX partner station Radio Daljir, who was killed on August 31 in Galkayo, in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland. Unknown assailants attacked Gedi as he left work, stabbing him repeatedly. He was 25 at the time of his death.

Gedi’s death marks the third fatality for Somali journalists this year. Just a week earlier, Barkhad Awale Adan, the director of Radio Xurmo, a community radio station associated with Peace and Human Rights Network, was killed by a stray bullet in Mogadishu. Somalia’s media environment continues to pose threats for journalists on a number of fronts. In addition to ongoing fighting in the south and the growing influence of the Al Shabaab militia, media outlets face pressures from Islamists, government authorities and clan leaders, while struggling to sustain their outlets as viable commercial enterprises.

IREX’s Vice President for Media Development, Mark Whitehouse, said, “IREX expresses its most sincere condolences to Radio Daljir and Radio Xurmo during this difficult time and to the family, friends and colleagues of Abdullahi Omar Gedi and Barkhad Awale Adan. While we mourn the loss of these journalists, we honor their work and that of their peers throughout the Somali media sector, as they continue to fight for independent and professional media under the most challenging conditions.”

IREX and Radio Daljir have partnered in staff training and organizational capacity support activities through the Supporting Media and Civil Society in Somalia (SMCSS) program funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL).