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Somali television station blocked from satellite network

The Thai geostationary communications satellite provider Thaicom 5 has blocked access to the Somali television Horn Cable, terminating its years-long contract this week with the station, sources said.

 

The reason behind the decision remains unclear. Subscribers were unable to watch the Hargeisa-based popular television this week after the channel was taken down, leaving subscribers in Hargeisa the only viewers of the television.

Sources privy with the HCTV told Somalinote that television station’s subscription was cancelled after it reported about a raid by Ethiopian military in a Somali-dominant village in the east of the country last week, killing at least 20 people, including women and children.

According to sources, Ethiopian government which had earlier complained of the report might have lobbied the termination of the television’s subscription with the support of its close ally, Israel which partially controls the Thaicom 5 satellite provider.

PR, an Israeli satellite provider is a co shareholder of Thaicom 5.

It’s the second time the Thai satellite company had cancelled Horn Cable Television’s subscription. In 2013, the channel was taken down for the first time after a complaint by Ethiopian government which accused the television station of broadcasting reports in favor of ONLF, an ethnic-Somali rebel group fighting the government.

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