Mogadishu/Addis Ababa, 24 March 2014 – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, condemned the brutal killing of eight traditional elders yesterday in the Bay region of Somalia as well as the violence that erupted in Baidoa between supporters of different state formation initiatives.
“I condemn these cruel murders and express my heartfelt condolences to the families and communities of the elders” said SRSG Kay while calling at the same time for a full investigation into the attack and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice swiftly. “I remind all parties to exercise the utmost restraint and avoid provocative actions that could pose a security threat and lead to further instability” SRSG Kay noted.
The community elders were participating in a state formation conference in Baidoa after which they were according to the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) ambushed and killed by Al Shabaab.
Speaking to the African Union Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa earlier today, SRSG Kay called for an urgent response by the Federal Government to lead the peace-building process. “It is imperative that all stakeholders meet without delay to address the issues in Baidoa and support a peaceful state formation process under the leadership of the Federal Government.”
He welcomed the Government’s proposal to bring together urgently political and traditional leaders from all parties for immediate consultations. “UNSOM is committed to supporting the Government’s efforts and will work closely with its international partners, particularly the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and European Union (EU), to move forward the reconciliation and state formation process” he added.