Musician gunned down by militiamen
Targeted ‘double-killings’ of musicians and writers in Somalia continue unabated. On 21 July 2008, militiamen from the Somali Islamist groups, armed with pistols, gunned down musician Omar Nur Basharah in the capital Mogadishu.
By Abdulkadir M. Wa’ays
The assailants shot Omar Nur Basharah several times in the chest as he was on his way home from a funeral of a relative, and by-passers immediately rushed him to a nearby hospital, said eyewitnesses who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) claimed this attack in a news report posted on their website, Qaadisiya, describing this musician as a “spy” who was working for the Somali government and its allied Ethiopian forces in Mogadishu.
Third person from right: Omar Nur Basharah singing
Stopped music activities
This musician, like all other musicians in Somalia, had officially stopped his music activities many years before for fear of his life, and has recently been serving his local community as their chairperson in Horseed division, one of the divisions in the administration of Hamarweine district of Benadir region. Yet, he sometimes used to perform at occasional events organised by local civil society organisations for public awareness raising purposes, namely in the HIV and sanitation campaigns in Mogadishu.
“First, the Islamists prevented them from making a living by practicing their professional artistic or journalistic skills. Now it seems that they cannot feel safe even if they leave their professional skills and change over to work in other capacities.”
“Not only the music but also the print media is disappearing in Somalia, while their preferred replacements such as the FM radios and their mushrooming associated websites are at least enjoying the protection of their politically influential owners as well as their respective clan militias,”said this local observer.
On 31 January 2008, gunmen shot to death Abbas ‘Galayr’ Mohamed inside a local teashop in Mogadishu. Galayr, another veteran journalist who worked for the Somali News Agency, was the immediate replacement of the late Mohamed Muhiyadin Ali.
Somali Islamists insurgent groups claimed both attacks in a breaking-news reports they posted on their websites, in which they described both victims as “spies working for the Ethiopian infidels and their puppet Somali government forces.”
Qaadisiya – 21 July 2008:
‘Jaasuus kamid ah Shaqaalaha Tikreega oo Xamar weyne lagu tooktay’
Alqimmah – 31 January 2008:
‘Deg-Deg: Allaahu Akbar… Afhayeenkii Murtadiinta Maamulka Gobolka…’
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