Somalia Radio Shows Chafe Under Total Music Ban
Special to the NNPA from the GIN
April 19, 2010(GIN) – Under orders from the Hizbul-Islam insurgents, all but two of Mogadishu’s 13 radio stations have silenced their music programming, muting even the jingles played before the news, education and other programs.
The stations said they had to comply with the ban or put their lives at risk.
Islamist militants control large parts of the nation’s territory. The transitional government (TGF) - backed by African Union troops and UN funds - controls only a small part of the capital, Mogadishu.
The ban has inspired some creativity among the radio producers.
Abdulahi Yasin Jama, head of radio Tusmo: "We’re using other sounds such as gunfire, the noise of the vehicles and birds to link up our programs and news.” Sounds of chicken or horses have replaced other familiar tunes.
The TFG’s Information Minister, Dahir Mohamud Ghelle, called the media bans an abuse against press freedom and invited affected broadcasters to set up stations in areas controlled by the government.