Al-Shabaab’s suicide bombing on a bus carrying UN staff members in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland on Monday has been widely condemned.
At least seven members working with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) died in the blast, with four of them foreigners – 2 Kenyans, 1 Afghan and 1 Ugandan – while six others were injured in Garowe. They were identified as;
- Woki Munyui Kenya
- Stephen Adero Kenya
- Payenda Gul Afghanistan
- Brenda Kyeyune Uganda
”The UNICEF colleagues were an integral part of UNICEF’s work in Somalia, dedicated to improving the lives of others,” UNICEF said in a Press release.
Puntland’s acting President Abdihakim Amey appointed a fact-finding committee consisted of cabinet ministers and senior army officials to investigate the terrorist attack, after visiting the scene of attack.
Somalia president Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, according to a statement released by his office, expressed sympathy with the families of the victims and instructed the local authorities to bring to justice those behind the bloody offensive.
“I am horrified at this brutal attack targeting the United Nations. I send my deepest sympathies to the families of those who were killed or injured this morning. Those involved will be in my prayers- remembered for their faithful work in support of a peaceful and prosperous Somalia.
He added: “This attack is not just targeted at the United Nations, but in attacking UNICEF, al-Shabaab has also attacked Somali children. It is an attack against the future of our country and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms.
UN Special Envoy to Somalia Nicholas Kay condemned the attack and said that he was ‘’shocked’’ and ‘’horrified’’.
“I am shocked and horrified by what took place today in Garowe. The complete disregard for the lives of people working on the humanitarian and development needs of the people of Somalia is despicable’’.
Echoing UN envoy, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia and Head of AMISOM, Ambassador Maman Sidikou described the attack as ‘’gruesome’’.
He said :’’ Al-Shabaab is targeting the lives of unarmed humanitarian workers performing their duty of helping the people of Somalia and that such an attack amounted to a crime against humanity.
Meanwhile, Somalis from all walks of life have termed the attack on UN staff as a coward act and denounced it through social network.