Government bans Kalsan TV for airing false news report

HARGEISA – The Government of the Republic of Somaliland has revoked the license of a private Somali-owned TV station for airing false news reports, Information Minister, Osman Abdullahi Sahardiid confirmed on Saturday (Nov 4).

Kalsan TV aired a news report on a Kulmiye rally held in the far-eastern city of Las Anod on Friday, claiming that the city’s residents were violently protesting the arrival of the party’s presidential candidate, Musa Bihi Abdi.

According to the news reports from other TV stations, and sources on the ground, there wasn’t a violent protest, but rather, an encounter with police and Kulmiye supporters after a group of youth tried to forcefully climb a stage where live music was being played.

After the youth ignored requests from police to get off the stage, one police officer fired several shots into the air, which later caused a commotion. No one is injured in the incident.

Somaliland’s Information Minister, Osman Abdullahi Sahardiid, told reporters on Saturday that the airing of the false news report was a ‘serious threat to Somaliland’s nationals security’, and that his Ministry has zero tolerance on the airing of such reports.

Many news stations and journalists have come out on social media to welcome the revocation of Kalsan TV’s license and have condemned the false news report.

Kalsan TV is a private TV station, that is reportedly owned by individuals hailing from neighbouring Somalia.

Las Anod, which came back under Somaliland’s control in 2007, after being illegally occupied for years by militia forces loyal to Somalia’s autonomous Puntland region. Many believe that the report was aired to falsely mislead viewers into believing that Las Anod residents were protesting against the notion of being part of Somaliland.

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This is a developing story. Please check back at The National for more.

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