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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Reflections on HOL and TFG Alleged violation of Journalism Code of Ethics

Wardheernews ‘s news commentary analysis posted under the heading Bad Bedfellows and corruption of Journalism has hit the headlines as it put in the public domain the unrelenting  suspected sleaze accusations that for a long time linked Hiiraan to the warlords and  politicians in Mogadishu since the website went live a decade ago.  The response from the TFG’s presidential office Wardheernews.com Got it Wrong raises more questions than answers as the gist of the communication is concentrated on technicalities of the leaked document  Authorizing Letter – the shape of the presidential seal, the telephone number and the likes – rather on the contents of the letter.
 The TFG has proved overtime that it is not trust worthy  and that its word goes not beyond the presidential dungeon were the AMISOM forces guard them and as such no one will lose sleep over their lame denial of the unholy alliance. Reliable sources close to the TFG government, who wish to remain anonymous, confirmed that the leaked letter of contract between the TFG and Hiiraan online as genuine and the same source added that the president’s office had printed in February last year some stationeries in Djibouti that carry Djibouti telephone numbers and of course the presidential stamp was also part of the same patch. The circumstance at the time dictated that some of his close associates to carry official communications on the president’s   behalf while he was trapped in Villa Somalia. It seems   that the poor clerks in the presidential office printed the contract on a sheet that has the wrong numbers but other than that minor clerical error the signature, the seal and the message is unadulterated.
Mr. Guure (first left) the man in the centre of this controversy - After high school in the late 70’s, was recruited as pilot by Somali Airlines and was trained both in Germany and in the United States. He qualified as a pilot and worked as a pilot for Somali Airlines. He sought asylum in Canada before the civil war and rushed back to Mogadishu during Ali Mahadi and Aydiid’s era to maximize his USC connections and offered his aviations skills to pilot for the war lords, as opposed to charity work, at the very time the massacre, rape and dispossession of non USC residents in Mogadishu and in the South was at its peak. That stint ended after his plane was hijacked in Gedo on its way to Djibouti. He came back to North America to further his career as pilot but with short stay and training in Virginia and Texas, he went back to Canada and enrolled in to IT training in web mastering and eventually founded and became the owner and editor-in-charge of Hiiraan website.
Since then, he was involved in the murky politics of Somalia by selling his website services to the highest bidder. He made fortune by promoting competing warlords, interest groups and number of TFGs over the years and as a consequence this leaked letter’s content is no news to the Somali Website users but just an affirmation of one of the series of the shady deals Mr. Guure is legendary to entertain.  The contents of the editorials of Hiiraanonline.com says which side the bread is buttered   as it bluntly posts one sided editorials and allows publishing articles penned(under fictitious names) by men like Mr. Abdirashid Hashi(TFG President’s  communication director) in most of the time.
HOL endorsement of Sharif’s TFGHOL Person of the Year 2006: Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed  stands in stark contrast to the negative coverage accorded to Col. Abdilahi Yusuf when he was in charge of the same TFG Bias at Hiiraan Online.  It is still fresh in the memory of many users how President Abdiqasim, in his days, used HOL to promote his TFG brand after Mr. Guure secured substantial funding - very embarrassing position indeed.   The list of shady dealings attributed to HOL is lengthy to cover and isn’t the intent of my short article to go into in-depth case by case exposure but rather to scrape the top of Mr. Guure’s  unhealthy iceberg .   I wonder why the sole proprietor is not learning when to stop? Ambassador Ahmadou Ould – Abdalla , the disgraced UN Envoy, who is locally known as “the colonial Minister” bought the service of HOL too, in promoting his image and  the barbaric AMISOM contingent that  is specialised in the bombardment of residential civilian areas  is said to have joined the band wagon three months ago and this editorial says it all Ambassador Ahmadou Ould-Abdallah: A Genuine Peace Architect . The strangest thing of all is why Mr. Guure grasps any material which he thinks will please his clients irrespective of the negative ramifications it would have on HOL? It seems he sees the Dollar sign only – third party published materials which should be put in the news section for public consumption is even used as HOL editorial Editorial: Impose sanctions on peace spoilers in Somalia 
As a concluding remark I say “You Mr Guure- demonstrated that you are a capable man who succeeded to keep HOL at the top of its league for a decade and in doing so you offered a valuable service to your country’s folks that will be remembered for a long-time to come. We love to see Hiiraan Online go from strength to strength and I am sure that is what you would like to see too but to guarantee the continuity of the site as one of the flag ships of the Somali Websites, I believe the time has come that you make way for a new independent person to take over the editorial and management of the site – new blood that can inject a new and clean life into the business.”

Mr. Abdishakur Shire 

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