An East Africa bloc said Sunday increased terrorist incidents in Somalia by Al-Shabaab will not prevent the international community with its efforts to stabilise the Horn of Africa nation.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)’s Executive Secretary Mahboub Maalim, who strongly condemned Friday’s deadly terrorist attack on the Central Hotel in Mogadishu by Al-Shabaab, said despite attacks, war and violence is now fading in Somalia.
“Al-Shabaab’s latest act of terror at the Hotel Central was an attempt to demoralize the Federal government and people of Somalia, and to deter the international community from operating in the country,” Maalim said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
“In these attempts, the criminals have failed. Such attacks against innocent civilians betray the desperation of Al-Shabaab, who faces the continued loss of territory, the defection of its fighters and the waning of its overall relevance in Somalia.”
The Friday attack resulted in the death of 28 civilians, including two lawmakers, and 54 others were injuries. Deputy Prime Minister Mohamed Omar Arte, who was among the wounded, was flown to Turkey on Saturday for treatment.
According to Maalim, the Somalis seek to build where the militants aim to destroy, adding that in collaborating with the international community, the people of Somalia have built a federal government, a functioning parliament and established security forces.
“The government continues to promote order, the Somali economy continues to grow, and services such as schools and hospitals have been opened,” Maalim said.
“Violence, war and terror are fading, and continued development indicates the return of a stable and prosperous Somali homeland. Despite the terror Al-Shabaab continues to carry out, the will of the Somali people remains unbroken,” he added.
The executive secretary offered the regional bloc’s condolences to the government, the people of Somalia and the families of the civilians, governmental officials and security personnel.
The Horn of Africa nation face huge tasks of reviewing the constitution, important discussions on power and resource sharing, and a Constitutional Referendum planned for early 2016.