A crisis meeting bringing together the African Union, United Nations and the government of Somalia and other key stakeholders reviewed the recent bomb attack and agreed on key measures aimed at deterring future attacks.
The Joint Crisis Management Team meeting, organized by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), was attended by senior UN officials led by the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Somalia, Raisedon Zenenga, and top FGS security chiefs, including the new Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), Maj. Gen. Abdiweli Jama Hussein.
Speaking after the meeting, the Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (DSRCC) for Somalia, Simon Mulongo, noted that the consultation was meant to avert and mitigate future incidents, through improved security and enhanced coordination.
“The meeting has agreed on putting in place some mitigating measures of better response in future. We have a technical team that is going to work out more details in terms of sequence and form of response and how quickly that response can be, and secondly, we shall have our efforts coordinated in a manner that is more orderly and ensure that command and control issues are properly fleshed out,” Mr. Mulongo explained, adding that the meeting also agreed to have a standby team to respond to future incidents.
The DSRCC added that the meeting had agreed on measures to ensure the enemy, Al-Shabaab, is denied the freedom of organizing and instigating attacks against innocent civilians.
On October 14, 2017, terrorists detonated a huge Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) at a busy junction in Mogadishu, killing more than 300 people and injuring many more. AMISOM and UN joined hands in organizing a search and rescue operation and also offering other forms of aid to the Federal Government of Somalia.
In his remarks, DSRSG Zenenga observed that though the meeting will take stock of the incident, there is need to focus on post blast initiatives.
“Now that the recovery operations are over and we are in the period of reconstruction and rebuilding, the main task falls on our UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) and UNOPS (United Nations Office for Project Services) colleagues who are helping the government to assess the structural damage to the remaining buildings and what can be done to reconstruct the buildings and also to build the capacity that has been lost in the adjacent ministries,” the DSRSG observed.
Going forward, Mr. Zenenga said, there was need to help build the capacity of the Federal Government to effectively respond to crisis caused by acts of terror and other factors.
The CDF of the Somali National Army (SNA), Maj. Gen. Abdiweli Jama Hussein, who represented the Minister of Defence, hailed the international community for the swift response in the aftermath of the incident but noted that a lot still remains to be done and appealed for more support.
“There are a lot of challenges that need to be addressed at the moment which requires us to be united. We have to move forward and that means you have to do your part. We need the support of the international community to find solutions to these issues,” Maj. Gen. Abdiweli stated.