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


  1. Salaam,
    My problem here is not with this garaad character is the fact that us Somalilanders depend on the BBC and VOA. The failure here is our governemnt's failure to develop a free media industry that can compete with our enemies. We have recently seen media surpurssed to only report the governments version of things and on top of that we have a minister who has been saying that Radio Hargeisa is almost ready for the past 8 years and to no avail.


  2. May I ask why do we often worry about these characters when they are only doing what benefits they people and not us. I would do the same if I was in such situation. Lets worry about how we can remove our people dependance on these people new and rather promote our enterpenourail media industry. __We need Radio Hargeisa to be online on the internet and competing with ina Garaad's radio station. I want Radio Hargeisa to speak on behalf of all Somalilanders and not just be a mouth piece for the governement. It must be a radio for the people by the people. Lets worry about how we can compete with him rather than how we can improve his organisation by listening to him and his cohorts. When we complain about what he said we are giving credence to his message. If our Minister isn't capable of producing a competitive Radio to challenge ina Garaad's market then we would have to take this upon our selfs and do it for the minister. Malcom X said, “The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”____Regards,__Aydarus Yusuf

  3. who is this PM anyways?
    A cab driver from Toronton. claims from Otwwa Carlriton universerty, without no credietials!!! , Cmeon let him back to Toronto, I shall lend anther 5.00 dollars for a piopaint !!!

  4. This guy was a cb txi driver here ion Toronto
    This guy was a cab "Taxi" driver in toronto, Canada.
    If wants another loan of 5.00 Dollars for a pint of BEER,
    may say so…………….!!!

  5. yacen,make some sense when you write and if you cannot write in english try to write in somali,just advice.