Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia, witnessed the funeral of Abdifatah Moalim Nur, popularly known as Qeys, the director of Somali Cable Television, who tragically lost his life in a suicide bombing. The incident took place the previous night at Blue Sky restaurant near the presidential palace and National Museum. According to the police, a suicide bomber detonated himself in front of the restaurant, resulting in Qeys’s death and injuries to four others.
Abdullahi Hersi, the Director of Universal TV East Africa, spoke highly of Qeys, describing him as a calm individual who valued and prioritized the collective interests of everyone. Qeys was known for encouraging his colleagues to pursue the greater public good, fostering the development of the media sector.
Abukar Sky, the Director of Radio Shabelle, paid tribute to Qeys and recognized his significant contributions to the media industry in their country. Sky expressed deep sorrow over Qeys’s passing, acknowledging the profound impact it had on their community.
The Federation of Somali Journalists (FESOJ) expressed their heartfelt condolences to Qeys’s family and colleagues. FESOJ highlighted Qeys’s role as a pioneering journalist in Somalia and his unwavering advocacy for press freedom. Secretary-General Farah Omar Nor conveyed their sympathies and support to Qeys’s loved ones and fellow journalists during this difficult time.
However, Qeys’s tragic demise followed closely on the heels of the acquittal of freelance journalist Mohamed Ibrahim BulBul by a court in Mogadishu. BulBul had endured 56 days of imprisonment before being declared innocent of all charges by the Banadir Regional Court. He had been arrested on August 17 due to an investigative report he wrote, which exposed corruption within a training program funded by the European Union and involving the Somali police. Accused of “bringing the State into contempt” and “circulating false and tendentious news,” BulBul’s release came as a relief for press freedom advocates.
Despite these recent events, the Somali media community mourns the loss of Qeys, a dedicated journalist who strived to make a positive impact through his work. His passing has left a void that will not be easily filled.