Garowe, August 29: The Media Association of Puntland (MAP) successfully concluded today the dialogue forum held for the Media and security stakeholders in the port city of Bosaso.
The forum gave a platform for discussions on the current challenges facing journalists in the Bari region and presented perspectives and experiences from media practitioners, as well as responses from the security agencies present at the conference. The dialogue, moderated by Mohamed Hajji, a well-rounded trainer, included the participation of members of the Bosaso media outlets, CSOs, and Bari regional police command, as well as the Bosaso district police force.
The opening session of the dialogue forum witnessed remarks from the MAP chair – Mohamed Dahir Warsame, Bari regional police Commissioner Col. Abdulkadir Jama and the Bosaso municipality council’s Secretary general Abdirizak Ahmed.
The MAP chair in his opening speech welcomed the participants and the guests for their acceptance of the invitation. Dahir gave an overview of the objectives of this Bosaso forum as well as the history of the media & security dialogue forums first launched in 2018 formerly known as the ‘’Peace councils’’ and how the initiative has widely contributed positively towards MAP’s struggle in the search of establishing an enabling environment for media practice in Puntland.
He also said ‘’Safety and protection of local journalists remains a top-thematic-focus for MAP, and today this event marks the second of its type to be held in Bosaso – with the aim to continue dialogue with security stakeholders in the region on the safety and protection of journalists in Bari region.
He added ‘’The outcomes and commitments that we hope to jointly reach at the end of this event will be part of the information that will be presented at a planned similar event participated by the Puntland police chief and other high ranks within the state security agencies’’ said MAP chair, Mohamed Dahir in his opening remarks
‘’Twinning the media and law-enforcement is something important and beneficial to society, both media and the police carry sensitive responsibilities that can be utilized negatively and or positively. I welcome the forum’s objective of improving the relationship between both sides for the benefit of the public’’ Said Abdirizak Ahmed, Secretary general for Bosaso Municipality council
‘’The law enforcement serves the public, whereas the media keep the public informed, that said, this event’s objective in improving the safety and protection of the local practitioners is one that is vital to all of us – we hope to collaborate in achieving the set objectives’’ Noted Col. Abdulkadir Jama, Bari regions’ police commissioner in his opening remarks.
During the two-day event, participants took part in a number of activities including presentations on police-media relations the importance of police respecting human rights and the rule of law; and to assist journalists do their work and not rather attack them, and open discussions on the safety of journalists’ situation in Bari region, reviewed the 2019 Bosaso peace council conference; sensitized on the UN plan of action for the safety of journalists; and deliberated a revised plan of action to improve the safety of local journalists.
The forum ended with both media stakeholders and Law enforcement participants making commitments to promote the safety of journalists and cooperate to improve media and police relations.
MAP will follow up with the Bosaso media and law enforcement in ensuring the action plans agreed upon are implemented.
The Media and Security stakeholder’s forum is part of the “Opening Civic and Democratic Space: Civil Society and Media Together” project that is funded by the EU and implemented by International Media Support (IMS) in collaboration with the Media Association of Puntland (MAP).
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