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Formation of National Union of Somali Journalists

IFJ Welcomes Formation of First National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) in Fifteen Years

The International Federation of Journalists, the world’s leading journalists’ organization, today welcomed the formation of the first trade union journalists' organisation in Somalia in 15 years and praised the democratic election of its leadership.

From 29 to 31 August, 170 journalists from the main regions of Somalia gathered in Mogadishu to attend the General Assembly and debate on key issues concerning security of journalists, press freedom, professional standards and social rights of journalists. The delegates also openly made important amendments to the constitution changing the Somali Journalists Network (SOJON) into a trade union named the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ).

Members of NUSOJ present at the congress adopted a professional code of conduct of Somali journalists to enable them to work in a responsible manner and to follow the highest of ethical standards.

"The union was formed in accordance with international standards of trade union movements,"said Gabriel Baglo, the Director of IFJ Africa Regional Office. "In three years of existence the organisation has made significant progress which has enabled it to develop into a national union" . "On behalf of the IFJ, we congratulate the new executive committee of NUSOJ, and we look forward to working with them and helping them to carry out their professional duties," said Baglo.

"Throughout the General Assembly, we have observed free and fair democratic practices at all times," said Herbert Lumansi, from the IFJ Executive Committee. "Somali journalists are determined to build a peaceful and democratic future country after fifteen years of civil war".

The NUSOJ is the first trade union organization to be formed in Somalia since the overthrow of the military government in 1991. The General Federation of Somali trade unions collapsed with the military regime.

The General Assembly held in Mogadishu from 29 to 31 August was supported by the National Endowment for Democracy and guided by the IFJ.

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