The Somali Media council is protesting its abolition by the government
on the day the globe was marking World Media Freedom Day, writes Dennis
Itumbi for journalism.co.za.
The Somali Information Minister Farhan Ali Mohamud announced the move and said it would now "reshape the organs dealing with the media".
The councilÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s secretary general Sharif Moalim Mohamed said by telephone fromÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â Mogadishu that the move is illegal and outside the mandate of the ministry.
"I have asked before and I will ask again, what right does the minister have to disband the council while his ministry remains shapeless and largely ineffective?" said Mohamed.
"We have struggled under very difficult times and we will not let go easily, a minister cannot use powers he does not have to wash away all our achievements."
The council has been regulating the largely private media in Southern and Central Somalia.
When reached by phone, the minister remained firm: "We are not changing our decision, it is already made and we cannot let the media run the country, the government must take charge and that's what we have began doing."
The officials of the disbanded council have vowed to continue carrying out their functions. Regulating the media is ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œa noble job that is only done by mutual trust not state appointments," they said.