21 October 2017

Somalia: AMISOM and UN Join Somalia in Mourning Victims of Mogadishu Attack

Photo: Damien Glez/This Is Africa
#MogadishuMourns, #PrayforSomalia cartoon.

Top African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and United Nations officials yesterday joined the Federal Government of Somalia in mourning the victims of last weekend's bomb attack.

The event, organized by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, was also attended by the diplomatic corps and residents of Mogadishu.

Speaking at the event, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Francisco Madeira, urged the people of Somalia to unite and work closely with the security forces to defeat Al-Shabaab and other agents of terror.

"On behalf of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, the entire AMISOM family and my own behalf, I wish to appeal to the Somali population to remain united and provide the government and its security agencies with information that will help bring to book the perpetrators of this barbaric incident that took many lives and destroyed property," Amb. Madeira said.

He noted that individuals who commit heinous crimes against innocent civilians live in the community and urged peace loving citizens to volunteer information to security forces to help arrest the criminals.

"The individuals who planned and executed this attack live in the middle of the population and the explosives that we used were assembled in the midst of a habitational area and transported via the population; hence some of us should have the information that is necessary to stop these people. We must provide this information to the government," the SRCC observed.

For his part, the Head of United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), Hubert Price, condemned the attack and reiterated the United Nations continued support to the Federal Government and the people of Somalia.

"The United Nations family strongly condemns the carnage, the continued loss of life and destruction of property by terrorists here in Somalia. We reiterate our commitment to continue to stand with the people and government of Somalia and to support all efforts towards ensuring the safety and security of the Somali people," said Mr. Price.

The Minister of Transport, Mohamed Abdullahi Salad, echoed Mr. Price's sentiments saying the attack by Al-Shabaab will not break the resolve of the Somali people in their quest for peace and security, but make them stronger and more united.

"We are here to condole with each other and to help the victims of the bomb attack to the best of our ability," Mr. Salad explained.

At the event, Abdirahman Omar Osman, the Federal Minister of Information, described October 14, 2017, as not only a dark day for Somalia but for the entire world and thanked all countries that supported Somalia in overcoming the tragedy.

"Today is a day for mourning and your presence here shows your commitment and determination and that you want to share your grief with the Somali people," Mr. Osman noted.

Ambassador Madeira said AMISOM and Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) have stood with the people of Somalia, sending much needed medical and logistical support.

The gathering observed a moment of silence in memory of the more than 300 civilians who died after a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) exploded at a busy neighbourhood in Mogadishu. Hundreds of residents injured in the blast are still nursing injuries in various hospitals in the city.

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