Somalia’s government reassures UN of its solidarity and support
Mogadishu, 15 January 2019: Somalia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ahmed Isse Awad, met with senior United Nations officials in the Somali capital today, following the 1 January mortar attack on the UN compound.
“I came to express solidarity with the UN family against the attack that happened on January 1 by Al-Shabaab, which injured three of their members,” said Mr. Awad during his visit to the facility that houses offices of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) and a number of UN agencies, funds and programmes.
The meeting was hosted by the Officer-in-Charge of UNSOM and Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Raisedon Zenenga, the Head of UNSOS, Lisa Filipetto, and the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia and Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Peter de Clercq.
“The Somali government is committed to protecting the UN and ensuring their safety and security,” stated the Foreign Minister, who commended the important work the UN is doing in Somalia.
“We are very much appreciative of his visit. We appreciate the expression of support for our work. We have had a very good discussion on how to build a constructive working relationship and also on the measures that are required for us to get more enhanced protection in terms of security for our staff,” noted Mr. Zenenga.
Mr. Awad later toured the sites damaged by the shelling and reassured the UN of his government’s unwavering support and commitment to their safety and protection.
“My second purpose of the visit was to reassure the UN leadership in Somalia and the larger family of the UN of the support of the Somali government. We are here to support the UN, to cooperate with them and to support the execution of their mandate without hindrance,” he pledged.
Seven mortars landed inside the main UN compound in Mogadishu on the afternoon of New Year’s Day. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the indirect fire attack, which was strongly condemned by the federal government of Somalia, the UN Secretary-General, and international partners.