By Osman Mohamed in Somalia
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his envoy to Somalia strongly condemned today’s attack on a hotel in the capital, Mogadishu, where the country’s new President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, was giving a press conference and which resulted in one death and several injuries. “The Secretary-General is convinced that such acts will not reverse the recent achievements or weaken the determination of the Somali people to achieve peace and security in their country,” the spokesperson said. “He reiterates the commitment of the United Nations to support President Mohamud and the Somali people in their efforts,” he added.
Initial reports indicate that three suicide bombers dressed in Somali uniform attempted to enter the Jazeera Hotel, which reportedly also serves President Mohamud’s temporary residence, while he was speaking to the media and meeting with the Kenyan Foreign Minister, Samuel Ongeri. The insurgents were intercepted by security forces and were killed before they were able to enter the hotel, according to a news release issued by the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS).
A number of Somali security personnel were injured in the attack, and one soldier serving with the UN-backed African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) was killed and three more wounded. “The Secretary-General expresses his sincere condolences to the families of those killed and wishes a rapid recovery for those injured,” his spokesman said. “He pays tribute to AMISOM and Somali security forces, whose courage and determination has helped to deliver crucial progress in Somalia.”
Meanwhile the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Prof Hassan Sheikh Mahmud, has condemned the explosions by al Shabaab at a hotel where he was residing. He said that such actions will not have an impact on national initiatives by the government for the Somali people. The president, who is now based at the presidential palace, passed his condolences to the families of the killed police officers who were fulfilling their duties at the time of the blast.
He described the explosions as foiled attempts aimed at killing the spirit and morale of the Somali people. "I would like to inform the Somali people that what has occurred today, as well as other major events, will not deter us from our path. Our compass will not alter the set path, pledges we have made and oaths we have taken on the Holy Koran." The president stated in his speech that al Shabaab's attack will not alter the transformation and leadership that the country has attained so far.
"I want to reassure the Somali people that today's incident will not affect our new-found unity and our change in government. We will from now henceforth continue with the positive actions that were previously initiated." The president called on security officials and the Somali people to work together in ensuring peace which has been brought about by the armed forces and AMISOM (African Union in Somalia).