The global labour body ILO has admonished the government of Somalia for what it termed as systemic frustration of the journalists union NUSOJ urging it to formally recognise the embattled secretary general Omar Farouk as the legitimate union boss.
In a report today, the International Labour Organisation called on the Ministry of Information to recognise Osman as the democratically elected secretary general of NUSOJ and forthwith cease any interference in the internal affairs of the union.
In its ruling following complaints filed NUSOJ, the ILO committee said the government of Somalia had arbitrarily and on several occasions interfered with the working of the union citing instances where the government cancelled union meetings and stopped the secretary general from travelling for union events abroad.
In what is likely to be another a long drawn supremacy battles in the troubled union, the ILO also dismissed as puppet any parallel leadership of the union in veiled reference to the Mohamed Bakistan led wing.
In its memorandum May 2015, the government acknowledged cases of violations of rights of the union officials but stood its ground on the official leadership of the union. The ministry of information, under which NUSOJ is registered said it did not recognise Farouk as the union secretary general.
NUSOJ has been engaged in running battles as two parallel groups claim leadership. Both Farouk and Bakistan, in their twitter accounts identify themselves as the secretary general of NUSOJ.
The ILO noted in its report Farouk was elected in 2006 as secretary general of NUSOJ and still legitimately holds the same position.
ILO has also called on the government to allow the Federation of Somali Employees Trade Union Festu, which Farouk doubles up as secretary general to carry out its activities without interference adding that death threats against FESTU and NUSOJ leaders must be investigated and prosecuted.
International Federal of Journalists, IFJ president Jim Boumelha lauded the ILO for ‘urging the Somali government to take the necessary measures to protect union leaders and we urge Somali authorities to investigate the perpetrators of such illegal acts, take appropriate action and implement ILO recommendations.’