Saturday, December 11, 2010

VOA-Somali Service: an enclave dominated by one clan.

  Terror Free Somalia Foundation: Editorial
update on Problems in the VOA-Somali Service
Upon its revival on Feb 2007 the VOA Somali Section personnel were clearly recruited on clan bases, formulated in 4.5 rule. I was one of the Somali Journalists interviewed and called to serve. The VOA Somali was intended to utilize objectivity and bias free sources. An experienced journalist to become part of well selected pool of reporters was required to appear for
both the interviews & skills assessment where he/she resided, in my case, I took the test and screening interview in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Few months later, I was contacted by an official from the VOA over the phone and was informed that I successfully passed the interview & the skills test. However the same official asked me the name and the place where I was born? My response was: Hargeisa. A short while later, my telephone rung again, this time I was asked which part of Somaliland or Puntland I belong to? This later ‘quiz’ had truly shocked me and I started to question myself. What has ‘clanism’ that doomed the whole nation of Somalia--once the bright rising star of the Horn of Africa--has to do with the journalism profession that calls for fair, unbiased and a balanced reporting, free from vested interests and the sick ideology of tribalism that marred most parts of Africa.

I worked in the Somali Section of the VOA for nearly four years and in that tumultuous period, I encountered numerous situations that differed in nature. During my early days with the VOA Somali Section, which was headed by a gentleman by the name Fred Cooper, I felt a confident sense of fairness and equality among all the Somali staff members, on top of that, a well balanced programming. Unfortunately this short lived peace took a nose dive soon when Mr. Abdirahman Yabarow took the wheel. It was not surprising to the staff, given the nature of the case which had everything to do with the fact that Mr. Yabarow had no prior experience of management. In fact, he had been a cab driver for 25 years and never really managed difficult tasks in his life. He had no substantial knowledge or prior experience of journalism either. Mr Yabarow soon started designing plans to employ only Somali Nationals who belong to his clan (Hawiye) in order to ensure that whatever plan he had in mind worked. He completely blocked or tainted the selection process of the potential employees; he took every effort to make sure that a vacant position at the Service would not go public; anyone that somehow managed to find out the foul practice, was threatened or singled out on the bases of clan affiliations in particular those from Darood and Isaq clans, the two other prominent Somali Clans, apart from Yabarow’s clan.

I recall at least 12 qualified journalists who learned their faith after they were notified by Mr. Yabarow. They were told, “You failed the test, therefore, you were not supposed to be granted the jobs you sought.” Astoundingly, during the same time three other individuals with mere basic journalism knowledge--who indeed failed the test whilst Mr. Cooper was the head of the Somali Service--were all hired back, simply because they are from Yabarow’s clan (Hawiye).
Due to the above mentioned events within the corridors of the VOA Somali Service, not many could have avoided the popular norm that the new Department head embraced an open ‘clanism’ strategy. Onset, Yabarow started to make sure he removed all the previous staff members under Cooper. This was conducted as an internal conspiracy shared by few to design a Service where everyone owed Yabarow, since most of the less skilled people he hired were individuals who had to return a favor. Eventually, the new comers sided with him on all issues, including the most illogical matters.

Following are some of the most experienced, truly qualified journalist that departed from the the service, as a result.
1- Mohamed Omer Ahmed (Haydara)
2- Mohamoud Ahmed Abdalla
3- A/Salan Salwe
4- Fathia Mohamed Abssie
5- Khadra Husein Guray
6- Ali Abdi Harare

Despite, I stayed and worked very hard to get recognition from the ‘new boss.’ However, after I could no longer bear the organized chaos within the work place and pure aggressions perpetrated towards me by Yabarow, on the bases of my clan affiliations, I decided to confront him personally which led us to have a closed door meeting. I pleaded him to remain fair to all the staff members and mentioned to him that the Department is: for all Somalis, and that I would like to see him to let them do their job. For a short while, we made a little progress in the scrutiny. I had to remain steadfast notwithstanding he promoted every single person who came after me. Those individuals never delivered a news before, and were incapable to put a radio hour together, but they got the break anyway. Some of the editors whom he recruited while I was there, did not even know how to do a simple line up, and I was the one who did their job while they got paid. I had to stay because I enjoyed the journalism profession and I raise a family. Apart from the short compromise, my words fell into a deaf ears and Yabarow continued his behavior and tyrannical practices.

He even interfered with my work, as simple as picking a political discussion topic or he often directed instructions to me in order to exclude the reputable individuals in the weekly political discussion program, simply because they are either from Puntland or are known critics of the
Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (the TFG) which is led by President Sheikh Shariif (Same clan as Yabarow’s).

Per VOA Somali Section Chief instructions, the following individuals are barred to participate in political discussions program, often aired on Sundays:

1. -Professor Abdi Ismail Samatar
2. - Osman Abdi Nur Hashi
3. - Mohamed Abshie Walde
4. -Omer Farouk
5. -Awad Ashare

People in particular journalists and other intellectuals questioned why did Yabarow took extreme measures against these famous scholars? I would simply respond that my position is: a contractor with lesser rights and that the upper command decided so. To shed light to Yabarow’s scandalous acts, some Somali vigilantes complained to the Office of the Civil Rights, but nothing has been done. One has to understand how government laxity works in order to get what we had to go through.
After all, Yaborow secretly receives money by selling open positions in the service. Positions are awarded to the highest bidders. People are being brought from as far as Mogadishu when the most skilled Somalis are right here in the United States of America. Worse, there is no one who even possesses a Green Card that’s left in the Service, a strategy that puts Yabarow an advantageous position. This should make people wonder why that is. Could it be that Yabarow’s insecurity led him to practice ‘evil’ tactics? Well!, it would not be the first time that Mr. Yabarow did something illegal. It is a public knowledge, he was arrested in Saudi Arabia in an armed robbery he participated, 30 plus years ago. He was also arrested in Nairobi, Kenya on fraud charges, 6 or 7 years ago. Yabarow is an avowed candidate for corruption and embezzlement. For example, there are people in the service now, who received federal government funds for a work that they did not do. These accounts may seem incredible and hard to believe but there is a tangible evidence to back up most of the wild accusations.

The bottom line is: it does not seem that Yabarow or his superiors care about news transparency. But perhaps one of those days someone will listen carefully and hopefully something will spark that will alert authorities from the Broad Casting Board of Governors or the VOA leadership. Restoring the dignity and the respect the VOA Somali Section once enjoyed, is both crucial and worthy.
By Ali Abdi Hadhadhe Email:

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Abdirahman Warsame is the Executive Director of the Terror Free Somalia Foundation.a national grassroots organization that opposes terrorism and supports democracy in Africa. regular contributor American Thinker . .Pajamas Media and .other American conservative organization

1 comment:

Unknown said...

gWow!! What A Writer You Are My Hadhadhe I Really Apreciate It
You have Announced The Truth of all journalist as Kindly, Honest Really They Will Start Avoiding Voa somalia Campiagn Againt None-hawiye Clans

Thanks ALot

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner  General Mohamed Abshir

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater
Somalia army parade 1979

Sultan Kenadid

Sultan Kenadid
Sultanate of Obbia

President of the United Meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the Somali Republic,

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire
Sultanate of Warsengeli

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre ( A somali Hero )

MoS Moments of Silence

MoS Moments of Silence
honor the fallen

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre  and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie
Beautiful handshake

May Allah bless him and give Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan

May Allah bless him and give  Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan
Honorable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was born 1919, Ganane, — (gedo) jubbaland state of somalia ,He passed away Jan. 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) President of Somalia, from 1969-1991 He has been the great leader Somali people in Somali history, in 1975 Siad Bare, recalled the message of equality, justice, and social progress contained in the Koran, announced a new family law that gave women the right to inherit equally with men. The occasion was the twenty –seventh anniversary of the death of a national heroine, Hawa Othman Tako, who had been killed in 1948 during politbeginning in 1979 with a group of Terrorist fied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre , the Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes—one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew. Warlordism, terrorism. PIRATES ,(TRIBILISM) Replaces the Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre administration .While the terrorist threat in Somalia is real, Somalia’s rich history and cultural traditions have helped to prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. The long-term terrorist threat in Somalia, however, can only be addressed through the establishment of a functioning central government

The Honourable Ronald Reagan,

When our world changed forever

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)
Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1963 to 1966, to Italy and the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] in Rome from 1969 to 1973, and to the French Govern­ment in Paris from 1974 to 1979.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac 'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac  'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.
Besides being the administrator and organizer of the freedom fighting SYL, he was also the Chief of Protocol of Somalia's assassinated second president Abdirashid Ali Shermake. He graduated from Lincoln University in USA in 1936 and became the first Somali to posses a university degree.

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

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