A Cabinet Reshuffle, a “Hargeysa Star” demoted: A BBC Kerfuffle

Aug 23,2009(SomalilandPress)-Through a highly orchestrated “scoop” by the BBC Somali Service, we learned this week that the prime minister of Somalia has decided to reshuffle his cabinet. Ostensibly “demoted” are the former foreign minister, Mohamed Abdillahi Omaar and the former defense minister, Mohamed Abdi Gandi. They were replaced with probably more experienced colleagues who, unsurprisingly, hail from their respective clans.

Yet one man gleaned—rather doctored something no else has: that the “Hargeysa star” in the cabinet was demoted unceremoniously in lieu of a man from Puntland: Ahmed Jama Jangali. The spin doctor, as you guessed by now, is Yusuf Garaad Omar, the “star” head of the BBC Somali Service.

This former journalist-turned-maniac-politician, who mastered the art of deceptive journalism, has once again revved up his combustible energy to destroy whatever is left of our nationhood. On August 17, he wrote a profoundly dramatized piece in which he packaged as a rare capacity for gleaning information to let the unsuspecting audiences of Somalia know that a cabinet reshuffle is in the works.

To be fair, the very act of gleaning “scoops” and airing them is perfectly legitimate, and is journalistically admirable. But that was only part of Yusuf Garaad’s objectives. He inserted this interesting bit of information on paragraph seven:

“Maxamed Cabdullaahi Oomaar oo ahaa xiddigga cusub oo dowladda uga soo biiray Hargeysa ayaa isaga la sheegay in loo magacaabay Wasiirka Macdanta iyo Biyaha.” [emphasis/italics mine].

One only wonders why would Hon. Omaar be “xiddigga….Hargeysa” (the Hargeysa star) when he is a proud Somali citizen? Is there an implication that Mr. Omaar is, for some reason, a super citizen?

It’s as if I said: “President Sharif is the new star from Mogadishu and/or Jowhar,” when I really mean to say his clan.

Having been monitoring Yusuf Garaad for a very long time, I only arrived at one conclusion: that he intended to stoke a conflict between the TFG and Puntland on one side, and Somaliland on another. Because he failed to win any tangible votes for his own bid for the presidency, Yusuf Garaad has been on a mission to destroy the symbols of governance through his powerful mouthpiece: the almighty BBC.
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Alas, this whole episode further plunges the once reputable BBC Somali Service into a new low. Thankfully, we have a formidable alternative with the VOA Somalia Service.

Said Shiiq, PhD is senior consultant with international aid organizations on governance, peace and security. He can be reached at sshiiq@yahoo.com


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