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AFP reporter to tell UN Council about covering war
Wednesday, July 03, 2013

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Agence France-Presse's award-winning correspondent in Somalia, Mustafa Haji Abdinur, is to give a keynote presentation to the UN Security Council this month on journalists in conflict.

With attacks growing on journalists around the world, Abdinur will be one of four reporters to get a rare chance to appear in the Security Council chamber.

The United States is organizing the July 17 meeting as president of the 15-nation council for the month.

"Since the council last considered the protection of journalists in 2006, worldwide violence against journalists has worsened and there has been a particular increase in murders and imprisonment arising from conflict situations," said acting US ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo.

DiCarlo said the meeting would be "an opportunity to hear directly from journalists about the acts of violence they face while operating in conflict areas."

According to the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ), nearly 1,000 journalists have been murdered or killed either in conflict or while covering other dangerous assignments since 1992.

Somalia is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a reporter, with 12 journalists killed there in 2012 and two already killed this year, according to CPJ figures.

Abdinur is a correspondent for AFP and editor-in-chief of the independent Radio Simba. He won a CPJ International Press Freedom Award in 2009.

The CPJ said then that Abdinur "faces danger every day" covering the country that has been in near constant turmoil since 1990.

His work "has made him a target of both insurgents and government authorities," the CPJ said in making the 2009 award, highlighting the "death threats" that his family has faced.

The government has since changed but the danger of attack from Shebab Islamist militants remains throughout Mogadishu.

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, a correspondent for British newspaper The Guardian in Iraq, Richard Engel, a veteran correspondent for US television network NBC, and Kathleen Carroll of the Associated Press news agency will also address the Security Council.


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