- On 28 January, Hassan Osman Abdi (“Fantastic”), director of the Shabelle Media Network, was shot by unknown gunmen. He reportedly died on his way to hospital.
- On 20 September, three journalists – Abdirahman Yasin Ali, director of Radio Hamar; Abdisatar Daher Sabriye, head of news at Radio Mogadishu; and Liban Ali Nur, head of news for Somali National TV – were killed during a suicide attack on a popular restaurant in Mogadishu. At least 12 other people were killed and dozens injured, including four journalists.
- On 27 September, the body of Abdirahman Mohamed, who worked for a sports website, was found beheaded close to a livestock market in Mogadishu.
- On 4 March, Ali Ahmed Abdi, a journalist with Radio Galkayo, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen. Farhan Jemiis Abdulle, a reporter for Radio Daljir, was killed on his way home on 2 May 2012 by two unidentified gunmen. Both journalists were killed in the northern part of Galkayo town, controlled by the Puntland authorities.
- The Puntland Minister of the Interior closed Radio Horseed in October, accusing it of spreading false news to destabilize Puntland. Horseed Media, owner of Radio Horseed, also had access to its website restricted in areas of Puntland.
Internally displaced people, refugees and asylum-seekers
Fighting, insecurity and acute malnutrition continued to displace hundreds of thousands of people. Almost 1.36 million Somalis were internally displaced in 2012, mostly in southern and central Somalia, according to UNHCR, the UN refugee agency.
IDP camps in Mogadishu continued to grow. There were regular reports of aid being diverted by government officials and camp managers, including from the UN Monitoring Group. Poor security also had an impact on service delivery to the camps. Reports of sexual violence against women and girls continued. IDPs were reportedly forcibly evicted from former government buildings to make way for rehabilitation projects, and from camps close to the airport for security reasons.
- In February, at least 60,000 people fled from the Afgoye corridor, the road linking Mogadishu with Afgoye town, ahead of an anticipated government and AMISOM offensive to retake Afgoye from al-Shabab.
- In September, over 10,000 people fled Kismayo ahead of an offensive that captured Kismayo port from al-Shabab.
There were over one million Somali refugees in the region, particularly in Ethiopia and Kenya. In November, Ethiopia's Dollo Ado refugee complex became the world's second largest, after Kenya's Dadaab complex – also for Somali refugees.
Restrictions on humanitarian aid
Humanitarian operations continued to be hampered by fighting, general insecurity and access restrictions.
- In January, al-Shabab announced a ban on the ICRC from operating in areas under its control. It alleged that the ICRC had handed out unfit food and had accused al-Shabab of blocking aid. Al-Shabab announced a ban on Save the Children in March, accusing it of distributing expired food, corruption and failing to comply with al-Shabab's rules for aid agencies. On 8 October, al-Shabab announced via Twitter that it was banning Islamic Relief Worldwide.
- In May, Ahmed Mohamed Noor, a humanitarian worker, was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen outside a mosque after leaving evening prayers in Mursil, close to Baidoa.
In Mogadishu, official government figures stated that four executions were carried out. However, there were indications that at least five executions were carried out. At least 51 death sentences were passed, following military court trials that lacked guarantees of fairness.
In Puntland, seven death sentences were reported and at least one execution was carried out.
Thousands of people were displaced by fighting in eastern Somalia between the Somaliland Army and militias affiliated to the newly created Khatumo state.
Freedom of expression was increasingly curtailed. Dozens of journalists were arbitrarily arrested and detained. Some reported being beaten in custody. One journalist was killed. A traditional elder was detained for four months for making statements criticizing the government.