MOGADISHU, May 11 (Xinhua) -- The Somali government and the Africa Union mission (AMISOM) plan to establish communities radio stations in three regional states in June as part of efforts to foster peace in the country, officials said.
The UN Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) which is supporting the project said in a statement on Thursday evening that the community radio stations will be established in HirShabelle, Jubbaland and South West.
"The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the three federal member states have already approved the project, which will be launched in Kismayo, Baidoa and Belet Weyne," UNSOS said.
Speaking at a meeting attended by key stakeholders including representatives of community based organizations in Mogadishu, both AU and Somali government officials hailed UNSOS for supporting the initiative aimed at promoting peace and unity in communities.
"I want to thank UNSOS specifically for availing the equipment and for responding to your application through AMISOM to have these radios," said Simon Mulongo, the Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for Somalia.
It is hoped that the community radios will help inform and alter attitudes, by providing the ordinary people with a voice, thereby empowering them, through targeted messaging on issues such as peace-building, countering violent extremism, constitutional review and the 2020 elections and federalism among others.
Abdinur Mohamed Ahmed, Director of Communication in the Office the President, said the government was grateful to UNSOS for its role in making the project a reality.
"I want to thank UNSOS and AMISOM for the support in establishing these radios," Ahmed said.
The UN support mission offered to provide the equipment for the establishment of community radio stations in the three federal member states following a request by community based organizations, channeled through AMISOM.