PHOTO: Journalist Abdikarin Ahmed Bulhan, who succumbed to gunshot injuries on Thursday, 14 March 2024, in Abudwak city, in the central Somalia region of Galgaduud.

MOGADISHU, Somalia, 14 March 2024 – The Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) condemns the murder of prominent journalist Abdikarin Ahmed Bulhan, who succumbed to gunshot injuries on Thursday, 14 March 2024, in Abudwak city, in the central Somalia region of Galgaduud.

Abdikarin, a correspondent for the state-owned Somali National TV (SNTV) and Somali National News Agency (SONNA), sustained two bullet injuries on Wednesday, midday, 13 March 2024, according to family members and eyewitnesses. One bullet penetrated from the right side of his jaw to the left, while another struck his right leg. He was shot by a security guard working in a boarding school for orphaned children in Abudwak city, where Abdikarin volunteered. The motive behind the shooting remains unclear, but Hassan Ali Bulhan, Abdikarin’s uncle, told SJS that the security guard and Abdikarin had argued prior to the shooting.

Bile Abdi Warsame, who visited Abdikarin in the hospital, stated that doctors informed the family on Thursday morning that Abdikarin had succumbed to his injuries, after which arrangements were started for burial.

A senior official from the Galmudug security ministry, along with another from the information ministry, told SJS that the suspect has been arrested. SJS calls for a prompt investigation into Abdikarin’s murder and urges authorities to bring the suspect killer to the courts of law.

“We are deeply saddened by the murder of another prominent journalist in Somalia. Abdikarin Ahmed Bulhan made significant contributions to the Somali media industry, being among the first group of journalists to found a radio station in his city, Abudwak. Additionally, he was a dedicated peace activist, particularly in a city plagued by clan rivalry and violence, where he volunteered in humanitarian services as well,” said SJS Secretary-General Abdalle Mumin.

“The perpetrator must be brought to trial to ensure that the journalist’s family receives justice. Based on accounts from eyewitnesses and the family, it appears that the suspect had a personal contact with Abdikarin. This underscores the need for a thorough investigation to determine the precise motive behind the killing,” added Mumin.

Abdikarin, aged 38, was born in Mogadishu and grew up in Abudwak city, where he pursued his journalism career. Throughout his years in journalism, he dedicated himself to training and mentoring a dozen young journalists in the Galgaduud region.

He is survived by his wife and five children. Abdikarin’s tragic death marks the first journalist murdered in Somalia this year, adding to the growing list of media workers murdered in the country amid a lack of accountability for such crimes.

SJS extends its deepest condolences to Abdikarin’s family, friends, and the Somali media community at large. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. May God reward him in Jannah (Paradise) and may his soul rest in peace.