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Cablegate: Somalia - Puntland Administration Promises To

VZCZCXRO6858
RR RUEHDE RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNR #2152 2821418
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 091418Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1283
INFO RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CJTF HOA
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS NAIROBI 002152

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/E

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM KDEM PGOV SOCI SO
SUBJECT: SOMALIA - PUNTLAND ADMINISTRATION PROMISES TO
RE-INSTATE VOA SOMALIA SERVICE

REF: NAIROBI 2116

1. (SBU) Summary: Following a series of telephone
conversations with Puntland Administration officials since
the October 1 decision to ban Puntland FM radio stations from
carrying the Voice of America's (VOA) Somalia Service
(reftel), Puntland President Faroole's Chief of Staff October
9 called Somalia Unit to report that VOA Somalia Service
would be re-instated. He nevertheless urged the USG to do
what it could to combat what he said was the bias in VOA's
reporting on events in Puntland and he continued to worry
about what he said was the unrepresentative clan composition
of VOA's Puntland staff. End summary.

2. (SBU) A series of telephone conversations with Puntland
Administration officials since the October 1 decision to ban
FM radio stations in Puntland from broadcasting VOA Somalia
Service programming and to forbid certain Somalia Service
journalists from working for VOA in Puntland, seemed to
produce on October 9 a decision to allow VOA Somalia Service
to resume broadcasting in Puntland. The President's Chief of
Staff, with whom Somalia Unit had been in touch earlier,
October 9, called to thank the Embassy for participating in a
Puntland-related event in Minneapolis during the week of
October 12 and to announce, as a "good will gesture," that
VOA Somalia Service Puntland would be allowed to resume
broadcasting.

3. (SBU) The Chief of Staff nevertheless insisted that the
Puntland Administration's complaints about biased coverage
(reftel) remained, and that they should be addressed by the
USG. The unrepresentative clan composition of VOA's Puntland
staff should be remedied as well, he said.

4. (SBU) Comment: The Chief of Staff did not specify exactly
when the ban would be lifted, and did not say if the
Administration's decision extended to allowing the banned VOA
journalists to resume work. Embassy intends to call the
affected journalists during the week of October 12 and will
report on the implementation of the Puntland Administration's
decision.
HOZA

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