Monday, September 17, 2012
The President of the United Nations General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, has condemned in the strongest possible terms last week's attack on the hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia where the country’s new President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, was giving a press conference and which resulted in one death and several injuries. “President Al-Nasser expresses his deepest sympathies and condolences to the families and Governments of the victims of this attack,” according to a statement released by his spokesperson that stressed that the act violated international law.
Initial reports indicate that three suicide bombers dressed in Somali uniform attempted to enter the Jazeera Hotel, which reportedly also serves as Mr. 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.
In his statement today, recalling his joint visit with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to Somalia in December 2011, Mr. Al-Nasser called on the international community “to intensify their support to the fledgling administration in Mogadishu and to the people of Somalia who have been seeking peace and security for many decades.”
Mr. Ban also strongly condemned the attack and Mr. Ban’s Special Representative and head of UNPOS, Augustine P. Mahiga, noted that this “atrocious” attack came only two days after a milestone vote where the Somali Parliament overwhelmingly and transparently elected Mr. Mohamud as President.
The President’s election marked the culmination of a series of landmark steps to bring an end to the country’s eight-year political transition. Those other steps, over recent weeks, included the adoption of Somalia’s provisional constitution, the establishment of the New Federal Parliament and the appointment of that body’s Speaker.
(Adapted from a UN Press Release)