NAIROBI, Kenya –-The United Nations has received assurances from the Somali government on Tuesday regarding increased safety following the January 1, 2019 mortar attack on its compound that left three injured.
The country’s minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Ahmed Isse Awad, expressed the government’s commitment to support the UN staff to make their life in Somalia easy.
“The Somali government is committed to protecting the UN and ensuring their safety and security,” Awad said in a statement released after a meeting in Mogadishu with senior UN officials following the mortar attack on the UN compound.
Awad traveled around the sites damaged by the shelling and reassured the UN of his government’s unwavering support and commitment to their safety and protection.
“My second purpose of the visit was to reassure the UN leadership in Somalia and the larger family of the UN of the support of the Somali government. We are here to support the UN, to cooperate with them and to support the execution of their mandate without hindrance,” he pledged.
The deputy special representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Raisedon Zenenga, lauded the minister for his reassurance on security.
“We are very much appreciative of his visit. We appreciate the expression of support for our work,” said Zenenga.
Eyewitness’s account says seven mortar shells were fired on the afternoon of New Year’s Day targeting the African Union Mission in Somalia base camp, but all of them failed to hit the intended target.
Two UN staffers and a contractor were injured during the indirect attack after the mortars landed inside the UN compound. Following the incidence, the terrorist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.