UN, AU condemn hotel attack in Somalia

The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and the United Nations have condemned the hotel terrorist attack that occurred in the capital, Mogadishu on Friday in which nine people were killed and ten others wounded.

In separate statements, the AU mission and UN in Somalia said terrorist attacks including the latest on Pearl Beach Hotel in Mogadishu by al-Shabab extremist group will not dissuade efforts to stabilize Somalia.

“The targeting of civilians going about their lives is an act of cowardice and against principles of International Humanitarian Law,” Mohammed El-Amine Souef, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for Somalia and head of ATMIS said in a statement issued in Mogadishu on Saturday.

The police said six civilians and three security officers were among those killed in the incident which started at around 7:55 p.m. on Friday at the Lido Beach which is frequented by prominent persons.

The police said 84 people, including children, women and elders who were trapped in the hotel, were safely rescued by the forces.

Souef commended Somali security forces for their quick response in bringing the situation under control to save more lives, saying that “We remain resolute in the fight against terrorism to ensure a secure and stable country that progresses on socio-economic development.”

ATMIS said the attack on innocent civilians is yet another proof that al-Shabab is hell-bent on destabilizing Somalia with absolutely no respect for human lives and extended condolences to the families of those killed and wished others injured in the heinous attack a speedy recovery.

The police said Saturday that security forces ended a seven-hour siege at Pearl Beach Hotel located inside Lido Beach after killing all the seven al-Shabaab fighters involved in the attack.

The latest attack came as ATMIS is expected to withdraw 2,000 of its troops by the end of June in a phased handover of security responsibilities to the Somali security forces.

The AU peace mission is expected to fully exit Somalia by Dec. 31, 2024.

On its part, the UN in Somalia also confirmed that the Friday attack also led to the injury of World Health Organization (WHO) staff in Somalia.

“UN in Somalia wishes a speedy recovery for the injured. The UN stands resolutely with all-Somalis against terrorism,” it said in a tweet. ■

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Written by Tom Chiahemen

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