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Puntland Bans Two TV Stations
Universal TV and Somali TV Accused of Supporting Insecurity
By JAMA DEPERANI 11/01/2011
The government of Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland today banned two television stations from operating after accusing them of creating insecurity in the region.

“Today we banned Universal TV and Somali Channel TV...because they support groups that are against peace and they broadcast stories which create insecurity in Puntland's regions. We are informing security officers to enforce our order at these two Somali stations,” Puntland’s Deputy Minister for Information Abdulaahi Mohamed Farah said in a statement.

He also independently confirmed the ban to Somalia Report.

"Yes, this is true. We banned them from operating," said the minister.

Somali Channel TV officials condemned Puntland’s statement in an interview with Somalia Report.

"We are surprised by this because we are independent TV. We broadcast all events in the region. We are an impartial house media. We don’t support any government, group, or militants in Somalia. We don’t exactly know why Puntland banned us from working in their region,” said the head of Somali Channel TV in Eastern Africa, Ahmed Mohamed Jama (known as Ahmed-Suufi).

“It’s not fair. I think the government needs to broadcast their interesting news. We condemn it. We contacted the National Union of Somali Journalist (NUSO) to condemn Puntland’s step against the media,“ he added.

Universal TV has not yet commented on the ban.