His Excellency President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud today commemorated the Somali and American lives lost during the Battle of Mogadishu on 3-4 October 1993.
"Twenty years ago Somalia was plunged into anarchy as the result of the collapse of the central government and the international community intervened to stabilise the desperate humanitarian situation. Unfortunately, far too many lives were lost during Operation Restore Hope in Mogadishu," the President said.
"On the other hand, 20 years later, the United States was the first government to recognize our new government after the end of the transition and today our two great countries stand together as friends and allies. As we celebrate our recovery we also mark with sadness and respect the lives lost on both sides in the madness of that conflict and we say firmly, never again."
The President paid his respects in Villa Somalia and said it was important to honour the victims of the fighting on both sides.
"Many people around the world know Somalia only through the distorted lens of Black Hawk Down. Yet, Somalia has moved on into a new chapter with a recognized government that is healing the wounds of war."
"Somalis have known nothing but conflict and suffering for two decades. Today we have at last emerged from the ashes of war. We are establishing Africa's latest democracy, we are rebuilding our government and resurrecting our economy."