SRSG Keating condemns terrorist attack on Mogadishu hotel
PRESS STATEMENT 13/2016
The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) in Somalia, Michael Keating, condemned in the strongest possible terms yesterday’s attack on the Ambassador Hotel in Mogadishu that reportedly killed at least 15 people and injured many dozens more.
Among the dead were two members of Somalia’s Federal Parliament, Abdullahi Jama and Mohamud Mohamed Gure, as well as other prominent individuals.
A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the gates of the hotel in the late afternoon yesterday. Between four and six militants then entered the premises, exchanging fire with hotel security guards and Somali security forces until the situation was brought under control earlier this morning. .
The incident occurred only days before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack on the hotel, which is frequented by Somali politicians. The deceased included pedestrians who just happened to be in the vicinity of the hotel when the blast took place.
SRSG Keating said the incident was a stark reminder of the ruthless tactics employed by violent extremists. After decades of war, the vast majority of Somalis reject the resolution of differences through violence, death and destruction. The attack happened as the country prepares for an electoral process scheduled to take place later this year.
“This is a despicable act,” said SRSG Keating. “It may be intended by those who did it to be a show of strength. Its effect is the opposite. Killing civilians is an act of desperation, political inability and moral bankruptcy.
“Our deepest sympathy goes out to the families and friends of those who have died. Somalia has suffered yet another terrible loss. Our wishes for a swift recovery go out to those who sustained injuries in the attack. ”