Sunday November 17, 2019
Somalia’s largest telco is fighting back claims it aided militant groups to attack communication structures in Kenya in exchange for protection.
Instead, Hormuud Telecom says it has equally been a victim of the terrorist group, losing staff and property it owns and has not aided the group.
Reacting to a report by the UN Panel of Experts on Somalia, Hormuud argued it was committed to supporting the Mogadishu authorities and the African Union Mission in Somalia to defeat terrorism, for the better of communities.
The company’s spokesman, Mr Abdulahi Mohamud, said Hormuud has usually been caught in the crossfire of government forces and the Al-Shabaab.
“Hormuud Telecom is a business that follows international standards of ethics. On the contrary, we have lost 59 staff since 2009, often caught in the middle as government and Amisom forces fight against terrorists,” he said.
“On many occasions, Hormuud has been a victims of terrorism, a circumstantial regional war. Eleven of our employees have been killed by militants linked to ISIS after they refused to pay up extortion to them.”
The Panel of Experts, initially known as the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea, said in the report that Hormuud had several times been caught in the middle of factions of Al-Shabaab as they extort companies to raise revenues.