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Statement by AU Special Representative for Somalia
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STATEMENT BY THE AU SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR SOMALIA AMBASSADOR NICOLAS BWAKIRA ON THE SUICIDE ATTACK ON AMISOM FORCE HEADQUARTERS IN MOGADIHU ON 17 SEPTEMBER

 

 

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o  
Members of the Media, Ladies and Gentlemen:

o   Thanks for attending this press briefing. I have invited you here today to provide an update on the horrific events that occurred on Sept.17 when AMISOM Force Headquarters in Mogadishu came under a suicide attack by elements bent on perpetuating instability and lawlessness in Somalia. 

o   At around 12:00hrs yesterday, Al Shabaab insurgents launched a suicide attack on AMISOM Force Headquarters and a DynCorp office in Mogadishu within the vicinity of the Aden Abdulle International Airport. The attackers are said to have rammed through the compound gate in two vehicles believed to have UN logos. 

o   One vehicle focused its attack on the Force Headquarters while the other one targeted a DynCorp office located in the area. The attack was carried out as a high level TFG/AMISOM security meeting was ending. Following the explosions, insurgents in the area launched a mortar attack to maximize the number of casualties. 

o   According to the latest estimates, 21 people died (4 Somalis, 5 Ugandans and 12 Burundians) including the Deputy Force Commander of AMISOM, Major General Juvenal Niyoyunguruza. At least 40 other people were injured.  

o   AMISOM has begun the evacuation of those injured in the attacks; so far, 26 people have been evacuated from Mogadishu to Nairobi for medical attention. 

o   AMISOM strongly condemns these barbaric attacks on its peacekeepers and the people of Somalia. I however want to reiterate that the African Union remains resolute in its commitment to support the Somali people and the TFG in their peace and reconciliation efforts. 

o   On behalf of the African Union, I wish to extend condolences to the Troop Contributing Countries of Uganda and Burundi, the TFG and the people of Somalia, and the family and friends of the bereaved.

  

Nairobi, 18 September 2009

Office of the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission for Somalia