December 29, 2011

MSF aid workers shot in Somalia

Associated Press is reporting that two people working for the aid group, Médecins Sans Frontières, have been shot in Mogadishu. At least one person is believed to have been killed.  The incident is reportedly related to an internal staffing issue – AP quoted MSF worker Ahmed Ali, who claimed that a recently fired employee was responsible […]

November 26, 2009

Freed from Somalia

Freelance journalists Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan are finally free and in Kenya after being held hostage in Somalia for over one year. The duo were snatched on the outskirts of Mogadishu in August, 2008. It’s a story we have followed very closely since day one, "I’m so happy to be free; it feels like […]

October 28, 2009

Petition to release journalists held in Somalia

A group of six Canadian media organisations have banded together to petition the Canadian government and help raise awareness of the kidnap of freelance journalists Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan in Somalia over one year ago, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) is launching a campaign, joined by the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ), Canadian […]

October 21, 2009

Kidnapped journalists in Somalia moved

Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan, the two freelance journalists who were kidnapped well over one year ago on the outskirts of Mogadishu, have been moved "for security reasons" according to reports coming out of Somalia, "It is true that Lindhout and Brennan are not in Mogadishu," said [Ambroise Pierre, head of the Africa desk for […]

August 22, 2009

Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan still kidnapped one year on

One year ago today, freelance journalists Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan were kidnapped on the outskirts of Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. The duo are reportedly being held in poor conditions, are in bad health and there is no indication that a release date is any closer one year on. Their Somali colleagues were released […]

August 11, 2009

Escape from Somaliland

  Xorriyo Airways, which ran flights from Dubai to Berbera in Somaliland, has collapsed. I found this out the hard way. I soon became one of more than 600 people stranded in Somaliland. At 7.40 pm one night the airline office phoned to say the flight had been ‘delayed until further notice’ and if someone […]

August 4, 2009

Amanda Lindhout in TV plea

Amanda Lindhout, the Canadian journalist kidnapped in Somalia in August 2008, has reportedly made a plea over the telephone to Omni TV. The heart wrenching plea was broadcast earlier today in Ontario. Lindhout complains of stomach problems, dentistry issues and is worried she may die of illness or be killed by her captives. The kidnappers […]

July 23, 2009

Australian PM meets mother of kidnapped journalist

The mother of Nigel Brennan, the freelance photojournalist who was kidnapped in Somalia in August 2008, has met with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. According to Sky News Heather Brennan made an unexpected approach to Rudd when she approached the PM as he was visiting Queensland today. She spoke with him for twenty minutes, "These […]

July 14, 2009

French journalists kidnapped in Mogadishu

Two French journalists were kidnapped in the Somali capital Mogadishu this morning. Gunmen snatched the duo from the Sahafi Hotel (pictured above) where most journalists stay when visiting. I’ll add more to this post as and when I get information, Somali gunmen stormed a hotel in the capital Mogadishu and grabbed two French journalists on […]

July 7, 2009

Help Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan

Freelance journalists Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan remain hostages in Somalia almost one year since they were nabbed on the outskirts of Mogadishu in August, 2008. Despite reports of them both being in a very bad health and of Lindhout reportedly being pregnant, it appears the Australian and Canadian governments refuse to cough up the, […]

June 11, 2009

That’s all I can say

Amanda Lindhout, the Canadian freelance journalist kidnapped in Somalia along with fellow freelace Nigel Brennan, has reportedly telephoned the CTV national newsroom in Canada. In what appears to be an almost identical statement to the one telephoned through to the AFP last month, the 27 year old says she is being held in a windowless […]

June 10, 2009

Few left to tell the story

These past few days have been littered with tales of misery coming out of Somalia. On June 7, a Radio Shabelle journalist shot dead, the fifth journalist killed this year. Ahmed Omar Hashi, was also shot but survived. Hashi called Frontline blogger David Axe from his hospital bed asking for help. David is trying to […]

June 9, 2009

Help Rescue a Somali Reporter, Targeted for Assassination

On Sunday gunmen shot and killed Muktar Hirabe, director of Radio Shabelle in Mogadishu, making him the fifth Somali reporter to die this year, in a country where being a journalist is one of the most dangerous jobs there is. With Hirabe was Ahmed Omar Hashi (at right in the photo), a Shabelle senior producer […]

June 2, 2009

I can’t talk about these things…

Dutch video journalist Ruud Elmendorp spent almost a week in Mogadishu, the embattled Capital of Somalia, at the end May. The insurgents led by the Al Shabab and Al Hizbul movements are trying to topple the internationally recognized government of president Sheik Sharif Ahmed. In this guest post for the Frontline Club, Ruud reports from […]

June 2, 2009

Meanwhile in Somalia…

Another very powerful slideshow of images from Mogadishu in the Boston Globe’s Big Picture section this week. The caption for the image above by Mohamed Dahir reads, 31 Local journalists take pictures at the scene of the killing of a Somali government soldier near Mogadishu stadium, on May 11, 2009. Remains of dead soldiers littered […]

May 26, 2009

Fourth journalist killed in Somalia in 2009

Another journalist died in Somalia today bringing the 2009 tally of journalist deaths in the East African nation to four. Nur Muse Hussein, a 56 year old radio journalist working with the Radio Voice of Holy Quran in Mogadishu, was shot in Beledweyne city in the Hiran region of Central Somalia in late April. The National Union of Somali Journalists […]

May 25, 2009

Somalia kidnap victims speak

The AFP says one of their Mogadishu based reporters spoke with the two kidnap victims, Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan, in Somalia fro five minutes on Sunday. Lindhout in particular sounds to be in a very poor way, if this reported phone call is to be believed, "I have been sick for months. Unless my […]

May 22, 2009

Journalist shot dead in Somalia

A journalist working with Radio Shabelle was shot dead near Bakara Market in the Somali capital Mogadishu this morning. Abdirisak Warsameh Mohamed was reportedly on his way to work when he was caught in crossfire and shot in the chest. There has been an upsurge in violence in the capital in recent weeks between government […]

May 21, 2009

“Completely stopped and broken”

In an email to 630 CHED News / iNews 880 Daud Abdi Daud, of The Somali Journalists Rights Agency, says that the recent increase in fighting in and around the Somali capital Mogadishu has stopped negotiations to release Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan, the two freelance journalists held captive since August, 2008, The savage fighting […]

May 18, 2009

‘Brave’ Amanda Lindhout

Abdifatah Mohammed Elmi, the Somali fixer who was kidnapped alongside Canadian freelance Amanda Lindhout and Australian photographer Nigel Brennan in Somalia in August 2008, has been talking about the ordeal. Elmi says he was threatened before his release and told to keep quiet about the condition and whereabouts of Lindhout and Brennan. However, he broke […]

March 5, 2009

Islamists, New Somali President Sign Peace Deal

In late January, Ethiopia withdrew its last soldiers from Somalia after more than two years of bloody occupation and insurgency. Their departure immediately catalyzed a dramatic chain of events. The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) that had been backed by Ethiopia, the U.S. and the U.N. fled to Djibouti and, in apparent desperation, signed a peace […]

February 7, 2009

Somalia kidnap victims tried to escape

There’s an unconfirmed report circulating that kidnapped journalists Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan tried to escape their Somali captors late last month. The allegation comes from a "prominent Somali contact for western journalists" Daud Abdi Daud, Executive Director of Somali Journalists Rights Agency says the pair, in his words, "came close to being killed" on […]

February 4, 2009

Said Tahlil Ahmed shot dead in Somalia

Said Tahlil Ahmed, the director of HornAfrik Radio, was shot dead this afternoon by three gunmen near Bakara market in Mogadishu according to the National Union of Somali Journalists. “This is a outrageous and appalling assassination” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. “Said Tahlil Ahmed was assassinated because of his strong and professional commitment […]

January 24, 2009

Somalia ransom now $100,000

From $2.5 million to $100,000 – that’s the reduction in the ransom demand for the release of Canadian freelance journalist Amanda Lindhout and Australian photographer Nigel Brennan according to Canwest today. The duo were kidnapped in Somalia in August, 2008, “Now they want $100,000,” [said Dad Abdi Daud, executive director of Mogadishu-based Somali Journalists Rights […]

August 24, 2008

Journalists kidnapped in Somalia

As Graham has already noted, 2 foreign journalists were kidnapped yesterday just outside Mogadishu. It’s an interesting story because not only were they working with the fixer I use out there, but also they were working probably with the same interpreter, same security guards, and the same car Philip and I used when we were […]

August 23, 2008

Foreign journalists abducted in Somalia

Frontline Club on Dipity. Bloomberg is reporting that two foreign journalists are among five people who were kidnapped in Somalia today, The two journalists, an Australian man and Canadian woman, had been staying at the Shamo Hotel and were scheduled to visit a refugee camp at Elasha, 17 kilometers (10 miles) south of Mogadishu, Ahmed […]

June 25, 2008

Mogadishu Redux

Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, is the focus of the country’s downward spiral. The constant threat from all sides means that travel around the city is always to run a gauntlet, everyone’s senses heightened from the fear and adrenaline as one watches for ambushes or Iraq-style IEDs. Very few journalists have visited Somalia in recent months on […]

May 12, 2008

Sunday Times article

You can read my article in yesterday’s Sunday Times here, although I’m not especially happy about parts of how it was edited. Can’t write too much about it now, but let me just say that the phrase, “with hatred in their hearts,” from the first paragraph is not mine.

May 10, 2008

Leaving Nairobi…but going elsewhere

Have decided to cancel my second trip to Somalia as the situation there has become too difficult to work. About 3 days ago the senior Shabab spokesman said that their group would start specifically targetting foreigners (i.e. white guys, not Ethiopians) in town, and I didn’t really fancy shelling out several thousand US dollars to […]

May 6, 2008

On the radio

Just popping in to post for Alex here… He’s back in Nairobi writing up the story he worked on in Somalia and he’s on deadline. Therefore, just a quick post from me to guide you to the BBC Radio 5 Live interview with Alex for the iPM show and, repeated again, for the Pods and […]