9 September 2010 The United Nations has voiced its strong condemnation after today’s terrorist attack at the main airport in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, which has killed two African peacekeepers and several civilians.
In a joint statement, the heads of the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) described the attack as a “heinous act of terrorism.”
Media reports state that a series of militants from the Islamist al-Shabaab group used two cars to attack the airport terminal today, with some of the attackers blowing themselves up and others shooting at the AMISOM peacekeepers.
The statement noted that the attack occurred on the eve of the holy feast of Eid al-Fitr, which is a solemn day of peace, compassion and mercy.
Augustine Mahiga, the head of UNPOS and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, called on all Somalis to reject violence and use peaceful means to restore security and stability to their conflict-wracked country, which has not had a functioning national government since 1991.
Today Mr. Mahiga and officials from IGAD and the AU made a joint visit to Mogadishu for “candid and successful discussions on a wide range of critical issues relating to the Somali peace process” with Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, the President of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG).
The UN has been voicing concern in recent days over an apparent upsurge in fighting between Islamist rebels and the TFG, which is backed by AMISOM. Thousands of civilians in Mogadishu have been uprooted from their homes and more than 230 residents have been killed in the past two weeks alone.
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