Attack on UN Mogadishu compound condemned


United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres condemned Tuesday’s attacks against the UN compound in Mogadishu saying intentionally attacking UN personnel may constitute “a violation of international humanitarian law.”

Seven mortars landed inside the compound, injuring two UN staff members and a contractor. None of the injuries is life threatening.

Guterres wished the injured a speedy recovery and urged Somali authorities to “investigate the attacks and swiftly bring those responsible to justice.”

The Secretary-General reaffirmed “such acts will not diminish the strong resolve of the UN to continue supporting the people and government of Somalia in their efforts to build peace and stability in the country.”

South African Nicholas Haysom, Guterres’ Special Representative in the country and head of the Assistance Mission UNSOM, condemned the attack “in the strongest possible terms.”

Al-Shabaab reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.

Deploring “unwarranted act of aggression against our personnel,” Haysom stressed “no political agenda can be served through violence that deliberately targets staff members of international organisations supporting consolidation of peace and strengthening governing institutions in Somalia.”

Soon after the attack news media reported the Somali government declared Haysom persona non-grata and asked him to leave the country, saying he violated international diplomatic norms by interfering in national sovereignty.

Unfolding news reports detailed the UN diplomat wrote the Somali government a letter asking, among other things, to explain the legal basis for arresting Mukhtar Robow, the former al-Shabab deputy leader who was the main challenger in the South West State elections for regional presidency.