Abdiasis Mohamed Ali at a union Gender Workshop
Sad news from Mogadishu, but Somalian unions will survive
Yesterday we received the awful news that another Somalian trade unionist had been murdered. Our colleagues in Mogadishu, from the ITUC-affiliated FESTU, reported that Brother Abdiasis Mohamed Ali, a journalist and a member of the journalists’ union NUSOJ, was killed by two men armed with pistols.
Ali was a committed trade union activist who had just last week attended a National Gender Workshop that ITUC-Africa, LO-Sweden and the Olof Palme Centre had put on in the troubled Somali capital. He was one of three NUSOJ representatives at the workshop, sitting as he did on his union’s Gender Committee.
FESTU General Secretary Omar Faruk Osman, himself a NUSOJ member, wrote:
“As a grief-stricken union, we will have to cope with the dangers of politically motivated assassins who are mercilessly out to eliminate our colleagues. We have to bury tomorrow another union activist, a precious colleague and dedicated member. Impunity continues!”
The ITUC is planning to raise Somalia from its ‘watch list’ to the full-blown list of the ten worst countries for abuse of trade union rights, and Omar has recently returned from Geneva where he persuaded the British Government to add freedom of association (the right to join a union) to the motion it is drafting for the UN Human Rights Council.
The TUC has sent a message of condolences and solidarity to FESTU.