By Goth Mohamed Goth
Somaliland Vice President H.E Abdirahman Abdillahi Ismail “Saylic” was the guest of honour at a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the launching of first BBC Somali services which was held in Hargeisa.
The commemoration event attracted many dignitaries including among them, cabinet ministers, representatives the national political Parties, parliamentarians, traditional leaders, religious scholars, and members of the public.
Somaliland Minister of Information and National Guidance speaking at the event said,” As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the launching of first BBC Somali services today in Hargeisa, I would like to laud the efforts of all BBC crew who organized this event today in Hargeisa for the second time.
Hon. Osman Abdillahi Sahardiid further said, “I’ll slightly touch on concerns the historical ties between the British Empire and the BBC given that it was the people of Somaliland who taught and connected the rest of Somalis with the tuning in to and listening to the BBC.
“I would also like to remind you again the BBC has veered from their traditionally neutral and impartial norm that was accustomed to and is now indulged in gross partisanship that peddles misinformation against Somaliland Republic.
He added, “Although we have filed numerous complaints with the head of the BBC World Service Africa region and Swahili and Somali sections, it seems some BBC Somali service staffers are bent on continue to spearheaded open warfare through the airwaves that grossly undermines the essence and integrity of this nation.
He said that it has completely abandoned its objectivity, neutrality and just integrity. There was a time that this service adhered to the highest principles of journalism. It was staffed with educated and brilliant journalists, but those days are long gone.
About BBC SOMALI SERVICE
The BBC Somali Service began on the 18th of July 1957 with two weekly broadcasts of 15 minutes each. By September 1958 the 15 minutes programmes were made daily.
Initially a daily news bulletin was broadcast in the morning followed by a commentary in the afternoon. From 1st July, 1961 (the first anniversary of independence of the Somali Republic) the two components were joined together and the programme time was increased from 15 to 30 minutes (1430-1500 GMT) (17:30 – 18:00 local time). And on 25th March,2000 a big change was made into our programmes. On Saturdays-Wednesdays we are on air for 45 Minutes, Thursdays and Fridays we are on air for an hour, evening Transmission are the same. This proved to be a very popular listening time in the Horn of Africa and other adjacent regions where the largest majority of the Somali Service audience lives.