The BBC has been prohibited from broadcasting from Somaliland’s territory by the government, which has accused it of bias and negative coverage.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Yusuf Ali Koore, the information minister for Somaliland, said that the BBC had “put the honor of the Somaliland people in an unacceptable position.”
The BBC, according to Koore, “opposed the independence of the Somaliland government” and had lost its “neutrality.”
Following the overthrow of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre’s government, the Somaliland region in northern Somalia proclaimed its independence in 1991. However, no other nation has acknowledged its independence.
According to a tweet from The Somaliland Times journalist Yusuf Gabobe, the Somaliland government has “strong grievances” against the BBC because it has aired “news and commentary promoting religious extremism & terrorism including [a] March interview with a wanted Al-Shabaab fugitive Sheikh Adan Sune.”
Large portions of Somalia are under the authority of the radical Al-Shaabab organization, although they have not been able to make significant advances in Somaliland.
However, several Twitter users connected the decision to a BBC program that featured star athlete Mo Farah and in which he said, “I was born in Somaliland north of Somalia,” without referring to Somaliland as an “independent” country.