The United Nations political chief today visited Somalia to express solidarity in the aftermath of the recent attack on the world body's compound, and to reaffirm the Organization's resolve to continue its support to the Government and people of the East African nation.
The 19 June attack on the UN Common Compound in the capital, Mogadishu, resulted in the deaths of one UN staff member, three contractors, four Somali guards and innocent civilians.
“The memories of our colleagues killed during this heinous attack will remain in our hearts and minds and strengthen our resolve as we continue our vital work in Somalia,” said Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman.
“The United Nations will not be deterred and our commitment is to stay and work together with the Somali people for a brighter future for their country,” he added.
This is the second visit to Somalia this year by Mr. Feltman, who met with Somali President Sheikh Hassan Mohamud, diplomatic missions and UN staff affected by last week's attack.
“We are very proud of each one of you and grateful for your courage and dedication,” he told staff members.
During the visit, Mr. Feltman discussed security and safety measures for UN operations in Somalia, where a new UN political mission (UNSOM) began work earlier this month. The mission is tasked with offering expertise in areas ranging from the political process to disarmament to help the country consolidate and build on hard-won gains towards peace, reconciliation and stability.
“The United Nations is here to help and deliver critical support for the country at the most promising time in the last two decades,” Mr. Feltman stated.
Following 20 years of strife and humanitarian crises, Somalia turned a new page in its history last year with the establishment of a representative Government and the approval of a draft constitution.