New York – The United Nations political office for Somalia today strongly condemned a deadly suicide bombing at Kilometer 4 (K4) junction in the capital Mogadishu, and reiterated the UN’s continued support for the Government ahead of next week’s international conference in the United Kingdom.
“These cowardly and senseless acts of violence will not undermine the remarkable progress Somalia has made in the past months,” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Augustine P. Mahiga, said in a statement from the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS).
“Attacks against civilians are never justifiable. I call on all parties to renounce violence and contribute positively to peace and stability,” he added.
Mr. Mahiga extended his condolences to the friends and families of the victims and wished the injured speedy recovery. According to media reports, the attack, which apparently targeted a convoy carrying an international delegation, killed at least seven people and injured several others.
“The UN will continue to support the Government’s efforts to improve security in the country and will not be deterred in supporting the peace building effort in Somalia,” Mr. Mahiga stressed.
Somalia had been torn by factional fighting since 1991 but has recently made progress towards stability. In 2011, Islamist Al-Shabaab insurgents retreated from Mogadishu and last year new Government institutions emerged, as the country ended a transitional phase toward setting up a permanent, democratically-elected Government.
The attack comes ahead of the second London conference on the Horn of Africa country, co-hosted by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and UK Prime Minister David Cameron, on 7 May.
UN Deputy Secretary- General Jan Eliasson was due to leave New York today for London, according to the Office of the Secretary-General’s Spokesperson, where he will deliver a keynote address on behalf of UN chief Ban Ki-moon and meet with senior government officials.
The conference aims to provide international support for the Government of Somalia as they rebuild their country after two decades of conflict, according to the conference website.
The Somalia Conference will be one of a sequence of events in 2013 that will support Somalia, including the G8 meetings, the Tokyo International Conference on African Development in early June and an EU-hosted conference in September on the New Deal for fragile states.
Last week, the Security Council unanimously voted to establish a new UN Assistance Mission in Somalia, to be known as UNSOM, and to be based in the country’s capital, Mogadishu, beginning on 3 June for an initial period of 12 months.
Stressing the need for “effectively coordinated international support for Somalia’s Federal Government,” the Council structured the mandate of the new mission as follows: providing UN ‘good offices’ functions to support peace and reconciliation; assisting the Government and the existing African Union peacekeeping force known as AMISOM with advice on peacebuilding and State building; assisting in coordinating international support; helping build capacity in human rights and the rule of law; and monitoring and helping prevent human rights violations.