21 February 2014 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his Special Representative in Somalia, Nicholas Kay, joined members of the Security Council in strong condemnation of the attack against the compound of the President of Somalia in the capital, Mogadishu, and urged the authorities and people to fight against extremism.
In a statement from his spokesperson in New York, Mr. Ban paid tribute to the Somali National Forces and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for their “efficient and professional response” in repelling the attackers from the palace, known as Villa Somalia.
The UN chief also reached out to the families of the killed, expressing his condolences, and wishing the injured a speedy recovery.
Somalia’s Al-Shabaab insurgent group has claimed responsibility, according to media reports.
The attack comes just days after Al-Shabaab insurgents allegedly launched an attack near a UN convoy near the Mogadishu airport.
In today’s statement, Mr. Ban said he was concerned that the recent attacks perpetrated by Al Shabaab “are clearly aimed at destabilizing the country at a time when many efforts are being mobilized to restore peace and development.”
He reiterated the UN’s “unwavering” support for efforts to build a peaceful and stable Somalia.
In a separate statement, the members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Somali authorities in this regard.
“This is another desperate and criminal act which does nothing but harm to the people of Somalia” said Mr. Kay, after speaking to President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who was not hurt in the attack.
“The Somali people are tired of shootings, bombings and killings,” noted Mr. Kay who heads the UN political mission in the country (UNSOM). “It’s time for a new chapter in Somalia’s history and we cannot allow a slide back at this critical time.”
UNSOM is mandated by the Security Council to support State building and peacebuilding with a focus on good governance, security sector reform, rule of law, human rights, providing “good offices” for mediation and political reconciliation and coordination of international assistance which is done by UN agencies and partners.
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