Somaliland: Prominent Somali journalist dies in Ethiopia

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HARGEISA, (HargeisaPress) — A prominent Somali journalist has died in Ethiopia’s Somali region on Monday night, after a sudden heart attack, his colleague said.

Ahmed Hassan Owke, 63, a former popular BBC presenter was one of the longest serving reporters for the BBC before he resigned few years ago.

 

Tributes have been paid to the “pioneering” journalist who once worked as a special reporter for the late Somali president Mohamed Siad Barre before his government was overthrown by warlords in 1991.

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Born in Togwajale town near Ethiopia border, Mr. Owke has joined the national radio in 1972, and worked as a TV and radio reporter, as he also served as the president’s spokesman.

 

 

Mr. Awke has later moved to the BBC Somali service. During his long run at the station, he worked as a presenter, reporter and editor before he left the BBC and joined the VOA Somali Service followed by brief Somali TV stations’ stints.

Mr. Owke is survived by six children, three of them by his former journalist wife as well as a colleague Sadiyo Abdullahi.

Thousands of Somalis took to the social media, describing the towering journalist’s death as ‘huge loss’, with many of his childhood friends mourned his death, and said he would be deeply missed.

 

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Somaliland government officails are in Wajale where the body was escorted from Jigjija by officials of Somali regional adminstration in Ethiopia.

 

The demise of Ahmed Hasan Awke who was widely known in Somali speaking territory was born and grew up in Wajale, a town that lies in the border between Ethiopia and Somaliland.

 

Presidents of Somaliland, Ahmed M. Silanyo, Somali President, Hasan Sheikh Mohamud and the president of Somali regional adminstration in Ethiopia, Abdi Mohamud Omar sent sincere condolences to the family of late veteran joursnalist who passed away.

 

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