An assassination attempt made on the life of Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Gedi, which occurred as he rode in a convoy in Mogadishu yesterday, was deplored today by the United Nations political office for the strife-torn country on the Horn of Africa.
"These continued acts of violence are to be condemned," Babafemi Badejo, Deputy Special Representative of Secretary-General Kofi Annan for Somalia said. "They are an assault on the peace process and on the hopes of the Somali people for an end to 14 years of insecurity."
Mr. Badejo added that he was relieved Prime Minister Gedi had escaped harm, but was saddened by the loss of life and injuries suffered by those in the prime minister's entourage.
Mr. Annan's chief representative for Somalia, Francois Lonsény Fall, was in New York this week to brief the Security Council on the situation in the country. He called the Prime Minister immediately after learning of the attack, also expressing relief at his safety and condolences to the families of those who were killed.
The UN is leading international efforts to find a peaceful solution to differences within the transitional governmental institutions in the country. Tensions between Jahwar-based Prime Minister Gedi and President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed on the one hand, and the Speaker of Parliament, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan and ministers based in Mogadishu on the other, have been exacerbated during the last few months. There are also increasing reports of violations of the arms embargo.
The Security Council last month expressed its deep concern about the persistent state of insecurity in Somalia and the absence of political dialogue. The Council also urged the international community and neighbouring countries to continue to support an inclusive political dialogue among the leaders.