A United Nations official today strongly condemned the killing of Mustafa Haji Maalim, a member of Somalia's new parliament, and called for an independent investigation on the crime and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
“I am shocked and outraged by the killing of Hon. Maalim,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Augustine P. Mahiga in a statement. “These cowardly acts of targeted assassinations and indiscriminate bombings cannot deter the remarkable courage of the Somali people, whose tenacity and determination has overcome formidable obstacles and brought us where we are now.”
According to media reports, Mr. Maalim was shot by unidentified armed men earlier today in Mogadishu, the capital, and later succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.
After decades of warfare, Somalia has been undergoing a peace and national reconciliation process, with a series of landmark steps over recent weeks helping bring an end to the Horn of Africa nation's eight-year political transition period. These steps included the adoption of a provisional constitution, the establishment of a new parliament and the selection of a new president.
“The MPs were selected in a transparent, consultative and representative manner and were called upon to serve at a critical moment in the history of the country,” Mr. Mahiga said. “This loss has come very early in the life of the new Parliament whose work is central to the new path that Somalia has chosen. It is a reminder of the challenges faced by the new institutions and administration.”
The incident follows a double suicide attack in Mogadishu on Thursday, which targeted a popular restaurant and killed at least a dozen people, including journalists and police officers.
“My deepest condolences go to the family and friends of the victim including former President Sheikh Sharif, son-in-law of the deceased, as well as to the members and speaker of parliament.” Mr. Mahiga said.