SRSG Keating strongly condemns terrorist attack near Mogadishu seaport
PRESS STATEMENT 31/2016
The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia Michael Keating condemned in the strongest possible terms this morning’s terrorist attack outside the Somali capital’s seaport. Most of the victims were civilians.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the suicide truck bombing, which occurred near a police tax revenue office. A spokesman for the militant group told news media outlets that al-Shabaab had targeted security personnel assigned to the seaport facility because they “had been trained to provide security for so-called elections.”
“This latest atrocity by al-Shabaab militants, taking place on a religious holiday, provides fresh evidence of their disregard for the lives and hopes of Somali citizens" said Mr. Keating. “The bombing may be intended to signal al-Shabaab’s rejection of the 2016 electoral process. If so, it is a bloody and deeply counterproductive way to do so, and won't have the desired result. Terrorism will not stop the momentum".
Most of the voting for the House of the People has now been completed, with 226 of the 275 seats now done and nearly all remaining seats expected to be filled in the coming week. Last week, Somalia's National Leadership Forum determined that the election of the President will take place by the end of December.
The SRSG praised the essential role that Somali and African Union Mission in Somalia security forces have played in protecting electoral sites around the country while recognising that security in Mogadishu, a sprawling city with millions of people, remains the greatest challenge.
The SRSG extends his condolences to the families and friends of the deceased and wishes the injured a full and speedy recovery.