President of Somali Sports Press Association Travels to Austria

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It was a travel of a very long distance and going through many countries which took several days until the president of Somali Sports press Association Mr. Abdi Aziz Godah Barre reached the scene of AIPS 75thconference in Innsbruck, Austria.

Since there are no international flight connections in war-torn Somalia, the president had to travel though neighboring Djibouti, then Paris, and then Munich before he reached the conference site late on Thursday.

“It was not something easy to go through such long distance,” said Somali Sports Press Association President Abdi Aziz Godah Barre who talked to local journalists via phone overnight on Thursday.

Somali Sports Press Association President Abdi Aziz Godah Barre in Innsbruck
Somali Sports Press Association President Abdi Aziz Godah Barre in Innsbruck

He praised AIPS and Austrian sports journalist association for the good organization and the top level hospitality.

“There is a lot of ice and I can see the ice about one meter above from the ground here in Innsbruck,” the president added.

He said despite the hard circumstances under which he has been working since SSPA came into existence in 1997, he is very proud of what he is doing for his country where some journalists are similarly arrested, tortured, extorted, robbed and killed.

The 75th AIPS conference will be under way in Innsbruck until the 16th of January. During the global conference Somali Sports Pres Association boss is expected to hold different meetings with AIPS president Gianni Merlo, President of the European sports journalists Union Yanni Darras, both Somalia’s close friends and other dignitaries. He will return in Mogadishu on 20th of January.

Founded in 1997, Somali Sports Press Association “SSPA” has been working hard in the war-weary horn of African country. The SSPA was the first journalist association to be established in Somalia and it has its own branch which lobbies for the rights of journalists, freedom of expression and the spread of democracy throughout all Somalia. The branch is called “Journalists and freedom of expression watch in Somalia “JOFEWSOM”.

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Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar is the NewsBlaze Somalia reporter, an experienced journalist. Shafi’i writes news stories, features and sends photos relevant to the current situation in Somalia.Shafi’i is also an international sports journalist and member of the international sports press association AIPS.He is a long-time sports journalist and reported from many international competitions including the Olympic Games.The photo shows Shafi’i at London 2012 Olympic Park.