Somali gov't launches TV station, 1st in 2 decades

AP News
Posted: Apr 04, 2011 11:40 AM
Somali gov't launches TV station, 1st in 2 decades

Somalia's president inaugurated the country's first government-run TV station in two decades in the war-ravaged capital on Monday.

Islamist militants battling President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed's fragile administration have several radio stations aimed at promoting anti-government messages.

Ahmed called the launch of the new TV station a "very big step." He urged the station's staff to work for unity in Somalia.

In 2009, Ahmed's government began countering Islamist propaganda on its Mogadishu-based radio station. It has since succeeded in denting the Islamists' image.

The country's prime minister, meanwhile, said Monday that the government has asked the U.N. to relocate their Somalia offices from neighboring Kenya to Mogadishu.

Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said the relocation to Somalia's capital would have a positive impact on the country. Mohamed said he asked U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to ensure a pledge to move the U.N. offices to Mogadishu within 90 days.

Somalia has been mired in conflict since 1991.