Somali government has blamed international news agencies of using fake sources within the police in their news coverage of the country, in particular during security attacks from Al-Shabaab.
Security department meeting presided over by Internal Security Minister Abdirizack Omar has mentioned AFP, Reuters and Associated Press as the agencies found to be constantly using names of officers that do not exist within the Somali police force.
Security official who attended the meeting but not authorized to speak to the media has told Radio Dalsan that names of purported officers quoted by the news agencies mainly in the last Baidoa and Mogadishu SYL attacks did not exist after investigation by the police and intelligence agencies.
Senior official added that the government will submit the case to court after full investigation.
Abdirahman Osman aka Eng. Yarisow, former media advisor to President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has described the claim is “big mistake” if substantiated.
“If the government claim is proved then I think it is a big mistake for International news agencies in the country to develop such behavior,”
“It will damage their reputation as few news sources trusted by many both local and international. It is the responsibility of Editors to ensure that the quotations from government officials are genuine as this will have huge impact to the trust of the information and to the media outlet” he added.
Reuters, AFP and AP are main International news sources quoted and relied on by many news channels both local and International.
Among the agencies accused by the Somalia government include BBC Somali service which used fake sources in their news articles, especially the latest attack on SYL hotel, which BBC said that the “The Shabab forcefully entered the hotel.” A statement which is completely untrue and baised.
“In this digital age, such false reports are unacceptable to the general public.” Eng. Abdirahman Yarisow, Advisor to the Somalia’s ministry of information said, “this puts the credibility of the BBC and other news agencies in question and the Somali government will not hesitate to forward the case to the courts of law.”