soljaThe Champion of the Modern Day Journalism in Somaliland

By Abdirahman Ahmed Shunuf

Mohamed-Rashid Muhumed Farah died on the 29th of December following complications from a neck injury sustained from a car accident near the port city of Berbera. Mohamed-Rashid was the General Secretary of Somaliland Journalist Association (SOLJA) and a prominent member of Hargeisa community.

He was given hero’s funeral by thousands of people who paid their last respect to their brother and loved leader. Upon hearing his death the news spread like a wildfire during that eventful night of December 29.

Literally thousands of people paid homage to the SAXAFI newspaper premises and Mohamed’s family house. Most people were in utter and complete shock the news of his death. Others were in disbelieve, especially the war veterans, co-workers, friends and widows of SNM war veterans.

Mohamed-Rashid was a product of the SNM, the organization that spearheaded the people’s armed struggle against the genocide and dictatorial rule of Siyad Barre.

After the emancipation of Somaliland in 1991, he worked closely with a remarkable political strategist and the father of the modern day journalism in Somaliland Mr. Mohamoud Abdi Shide.

He was the financial officer of Mohamoud’s business interests, which included ships, printing press, restaurant, telecommunication and newspapers.

When Mohamoud Abdi Shide died suddenly in November 1998, Mohamed-Rashid begun to emulate his teacher and mentor by continuing the struggle, to have an impartial and independent media.

For the past decade Mohamed worked hard in selfless manner to achieve his goal. When he was elected to run the organization that he founded (SOLJA) he did his job with pride and honour and raised the organization of journalists to appreciable height.

He fought for journalists imprisoned by successive Somaliland governments with dignity and honor never giving up the struggle. He acted as patron for the young journalist and a champion for their rights.

Mohamed-Rashid was a qualified, capable and competent journalist of exceptional courage and unsurpassed passion for the Inky Fraternity.

He attended to each call of duty with resolute and diligence. He was a man who couldn’t stand opportunism and his adherence to moral ethics, had caused him a lot of problems but at the same time won him respect among foes and friends.

May Allah he him in Heavens,

Best and imbue patience and strength:

To his family,

To all his relatives,

To his friends/colleagues and

To all Somalilnders.

Amin Amin