Somalia Blocks al-Shabab Media Platforms, Warns Against Spreading Terror Message

Somali deputy information minister Abdirahman Yusuf Al-adala.(PHOTO CREDIT: SONNA)

The Somali government has suspended media websites and social media accounts for spreading false information and propaganda on behalf of the militant group al-Shabab. The government said that disseminating the group message is a crime.

Speaking to reporters in Mogadishu Saturday, Somalia deputy information minister Abdirahman Adala warned the public and the media against spreading terror group threats and violent ideology.

Adala said that those found amplifying the group’s violent message will have their online platforms removed.

“Any media house or individual found spreading the group message will be removed from social media networks at the request of the Somali government,” said Adala.

“The federal government of Somalia recognized as a crime the dissemination of terrorist messages and encouraging their acts of brutality by any media or person on social media action will be taken accordingly to the law,” a statement from the ministry of information in part it reads.

The government wrote the country’s internet and mobile providers to block some pro-Shabab websites.

The warning comes as the government is on a military offensive against al-Shabab in central Somalia. The government forces and allied militias have liberated more areas from the group.

The government called on civilians to report media accounts linked to terrorist activities.

The militant group spreads its message through mass media and social media, recruits vulnerable members of society, and issues threats.

“If you spread al-Shabab messages, you are our target. The law permits us to take action,” said Adala.

Critics say the government may target and silence journalists and voices critical to its governance and security approach in the country.