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Somalia assures UN of enhanced security after attack

Somali government on Tuesday assured the United Nations of increased security following the Jan. 1 mortar attack on its compound that left three injured.

Ahmed Isse Awad, minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, expressed the government’s commitment to support the UN staff to make their life in Somalia easy.

“The Somali government is committed to protecting the UN and ensuring their safety and security,” Awad said in a statement issued after a meeting in Mogadishu with senior UN officials following the mortar attack on the UN compound.

Awad toured the sites damaged by the shelling and reassured the UN of his government’s unwavering support and commitment to their safety and protection.

“My second purpose of the visit was to reassure the UN leadership in Somalia and the larger family of the UN of the support of the Somali government. We are here to support the UN, to cooperate with them and to support the execution of their mandate without hindrance,” he pledged.

Raisedon Zenenga, deputy special representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, lauded the minister for his reassurance on security.

“We are very much appreciative of his visit. We appreciate the expression of support for our work,” said Zenenga.

Seven mortar shells were fired on the afternoon of New Year’s day targeting the African Union Mission in Somalia base camp, but all of them failed to hit the intended target.

Two UN staff members and a contractor were injured during the indirect attack after the mortars landed inside the UN compound. The terrorist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.