Somalia: Radio Station Returns to Air in Central Somalia, Mayor Criticizes Governor

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An independent radio station in central Somalia returned to air Sunday after Ethiopian troops forced radio employees to shut down operations last week, sources said. Al-Hikma Radio in the central Somali town of Galdogob, in the semi-autonomous state of Puntland, returned to air after local elders negotiated with Ethiopian commanders, a radio employee said.

An Ethiopian army unit crossed the border last week and headed directly for the headquarters of al-Hikma, a two-week old radio station focused on Islamic programming. Abdullahi Yusuf Haji, the mayor of Galdogob, blamed Mudug Governor Abdirashid Ali Dhubane, saying he is "opposed to progress in Galdogob" and "spreads lies about the city," the mayor told local media.

Galdogob Mayor Haji is in the Puntland administrative capital, Garowe, where he is holding talks with senior government officials regarding the situation in Mudug region. Elders in Galdogob confirmed to Garowe Online that they sent a delegation to neighboring Ethiopia to seek the two instructors' release. The talks are "going well," according to one elder.

(Garowe Online, 4 November 2007)