AU condemns deadly suicide attack in Mogadishu

21:59, August 24, 2010      

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The African Union (AU) envoy to Somalia has condemned Tuesday's suicide attack in a Mogadishu hotel that led to deaths and injuries of civilians including lawmakers.

Suspected Somali militant group, Al-Shabaab stormed a hotel close to the presidential palace and killed several lawmakers on the second day of an Islamist offensive.

Reports from the Horn of Africa nation said the men were disguised as government soldiers approached the Muna hotel, opened fire on a guard, then one of them blew himself up inside the building.

"It's sad to learn that Armed Opposition Groups do not see the wisdom of giving peace a chance in their country," said Ambassador Boubacar Gaoussou Diarra, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for Somalia. "Today's attack on innocent civilians clearly demonstrates the cowardly and barbaric mindset of those opposed to the peace process and cannot be condoned," Diarra said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

The AU envoy said it was unfortunate that those opposed to the peace process continue to kill innocent civilians even during the fasting month of Ramadan which is one of the key pillars of the Islamic faith which they claim to profess. "I, on behalf of the African Union, would like to call upon all warring parties in the Somali Conflict to stop such barbaric attacks on innocent civilian population," Diarra said.

He condoled the President, the Transitional Federal Government and the people of Somalia for the dead and prays for quick recovery of those who have sustained injuries in the attack.

Diarra reiterated the AU's resolve to helping the people of Somalia find a lasting solution to the conflict and calls on all warring parties to join the peace process.

Al-Shabab, along with a number of other anti-government groups, controls much of southern and central, as well as most of Mogadishu.

The transitional government, which has long promised to launch a major offensive against al-Shabaab, controls only a few streets of the capital.

Some 2 million people in Somalia, or about one-third of the population, need food aid, according to UN report which was released on Monday.

The country's central government is extremely weak and the drought-stricken nation is essentially lawless. What security does exist is provided by militia and rebel groups.



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