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UN envoy strongly condemns attack on Somali government compound

15 March 2012 – The United Nations envoy for Somalia has strongly condemned the suicide attack that took place yesterday at a government compound in the capital of the Horn of Africa nation.

Media reports differ on the number of casualties resulting from the blast in Mogadishu at the entrance of Villa Somalia, the seat of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). However, several people are believed to have been killed in the attack, which the Islamic militant group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for.

Augustine Mahiga, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, called on the insurgents to “cease immediately all attacks that continue to cause extraordinary suffering to the civilian population in complete disregard of the value of human life.”

In recent months, the people of Mogadishu have begun to see the “dividends of security and stability” and have themselves played a vital role in identifying explosive objects and foiling terrorist attempts, according to a news release issued by the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), which Mr. Mahiga heads.

The Special Representative urged the people of Mogadishu to “keep a high level of alertness” and promised that “such acts of terrorism will not derail the peace process.”

He also called on the TFG to provide assistance to the victims of terrorism and stressed the importance of strengthening the Somali national security forces.

“The UN remains ready to continue its support to the TFG towards peace, stability and national reconciliation,” he added.

Last week the UN Security Council voiced its grave concern about the threat posed to Somalia and the international community by terrorist attacks by Somali armed opposition groups, in particular Al-Shabaab, and welcomed the commitment made at recent conference in London for renewed international action to address this threat.

It did so after hearing from Mr. Mahiga, who told the 15-member body that Somalia currently has the best opportunity to end its two decades-long conflict and bring lasting peace and stability to the country. However, doing so will require greater efforts by all parties and sustained support from international partners, he added.

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