MOGADISHU — The African Union and the UN on Monday condemned Sunday’s hotel bombing in Mogadishu which killed at least 16 people, saying the attack will not jeopardize efforts to stabilize Somalia.
In separate statements, the Africa Union Mission in Somalia and UN mission in Somalia called for unity among Somalis to resolve their differences peacefully.
“This abhorrent attack should not and will not deter Somalis, and the entire United Nations family in Somalia reaffirms its commitment to and solidarity with all peace-loving Somalis in the face of such violence,” James Swan, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia said in a statement issued in Mogadishu. Swan said the attack at the Elite hotel, along the busy popular Lido Beach strip in Mogadishu targeted civilians, including government workers. “This savagery has no place in the country being built by Somalis and it merits the strongest condemnation,” he added.
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack, which involved a car bomb at the seaside hotel, followed by a gun battle between the terrorists and Somali security forces. Five attackers were killed during the five-hour siege at one of the hotels frequented by government officials and business persons in Mogadishu. The attack began when a car bomb detonated at the gates of the Elite Hotel and gunmen then stormed inside.
Francois Madeira, AMISOM head of mission said the heinous attack on innocent and unarmed Somalis was aimed at causing maximum harm on innocent Somalis. “I would like to appeal to the population to remain resilient and reaffirm the African Union Commission’s continued support and solidarity with the people and the government of Somalia as they resist the enemies of peace, unity, progress and development in Somalia,” he added.
Ismael Mukhtar Omar, the government spokesman, said 205 people were rescued after Somali security forces ended the siege at the hotel. The insurgents have stepped up their assault against the government and African Union Mission in Somalia bases across south and central parts of the Horn of Africa nation.