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Somalia: Shabelle Celebrates Its Fifth Anniversary

Shabelle Media Network, one of the major independent broadcasters in the country, is celebrating its fifth anniversary on Sunday. A ceremony, which was held in Sahafi Hotel near Kilometer intersection, was attended by more than 150 dignitaries and spectators, including some government officials.

The highly organized ceremony kicked off with jubilation and applauding around 8:30 AM local time with Shabelle senior correspondent, Mohammed Sheik Addow, spoke to the spectators, recounting the history and the ordeals the media has experienced during its five years it has been feeding both local and international communities with information about the wars, droughts, economy, environment, education and daily events in the Horn of Africa country that has been without affective central institutions since 1991 when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohammed Siad Barre.

The independent FM station, Shabelle, was first launched in Merca, southern Somalia, on May 6, 2002 to cater the much needed information to the listeners in Somalia and give the Somali people a comprehensive picture of the political, cultural and economic sate of their country, letting them have the opportunity to express their freedom of speech on the important social and political issues in their country. Shabelle Media Network and its website, Shabelle.net will be remembered for the tangible role it took in covering the droughts in southern Somalia in 2005.

The ceremony ended around 1:30 pm local time, after several stage dramas were presented by Shabelle comedians, who have long been known with the radio drama QOMAMO (Remorse) that reached out thousands of young militias in the country.

The radio drama which exposed the ugliness of being an armed militiaman and used by warlords who cared about nobody but themselves and their wealth. Hundreds armed men repented, laid down their arms and joined the rest their average people because of Shabelle radio play that touched the real lives of armed militias in Somalia.

Shabelle Media Network Mogadishu, 6th May 2007

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