SOMALIA: AMISOM Reassures Mogadishu Business Community in Bakara Market

Published: May 21, 2011

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), condemns Wednesday’s indiscriminate shelling of civilians in Mogadishu’s Bakara market which killed an estimated 14 and wounded several others. The deaths in Bakara were purely the responsibility of the extremists.
AMISOM Force Spokesman, Major Paddy Ankunda, said:
“AMISOM has designated Bakara market a “no fire zone” and does not fire artillery or mortars into the market.  We know that the extremists, who extort money from the businesses, have established a stronghold in the market and deliberately shield their reign of terror behind the civilians and business community who make their living there”. 
“AMISOM will conduct operations in support of the TFG, to free Mogadishu from the stranglehold and tyranny of the insurgents and these operations are aimed at stopping such attacks on civilians, not just in Bakara market, but also in the surrounding districts of Hodan, Hawlwadag, Wardigley, Bondere and Medina.
“We reassure all civilians and the business community that plans to flush extremists out of the market will be conducted with the greatest care to ensure minimal harm and damage. 
“AMISOM understands the importance of Markets to the city and to the people and has proved constantly that it is business friendly.  We are working hard to reopen access routes; to assist the Mayor in creating new markets around the city; and we have protected the port and the airport to ensure that commercial supplies reach the city. It cannot be us to destroy what we strive to protect everyday.”
“There will undoubtedly be difficult days ahead and we urge people to take precautions and minimise unnecessary movement into areas of the city outside Government control.  However, very soon, the TFG forces, supported by AMISOM, will prevail and peace and normality will return to Bakara, as it has in other parts of the city.”
On 12 May, government troops supported by AMISOM launched the current operations which have so far resulted in the capture of the Russia Estate, Shanta Gate water well and the killing of several extremists’ commanders.
Source: AMISOM

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