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Somalia: UN Flag at half mast on Thursday, 20 June 2013

Posted on June, 20 2013



The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General condemns and is outraged by today’s violent attack on the United Nations Common Compound in Mogadishu, in which United Nations humanitarian and development workers reside and work.  The Secretary-General is deeply saddened by the loss of life in the United Nations family, its contractors and among Somalis.  Among the fatalities at the United Nations compound, we can confirm at this time that among those killed are one international staff member, three contractors and four Somali security guards.  A number of Somali civilians were also wounded and killed outside the compound.  Our thoughts are with the families and friends of all those killed, injured and affected.

The Secretary-General expresses his sincere appreciation to the Federal Government of Somalia and the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for their immediate responses to secure the area and protect United Nations personnel.  He also commends United Nations security guards who bravely engaged the assailants after they entered the compound following the detonation of a car bomb at its entrance.

Malicious terrorist attacks of this nature will not deter the United Nations or weaken its resolve to stand by the people and Government of Somalia as they work courageously to build peace in their country.

In memory of the United Nations staff killed in the attack in Mogadishu on 19 June 2013

The Office of the Secretary-General has instructed that the flag of the United Nations be flown at half-mast on Thursday, 20 June 2013, in memory of the United Nations staff and other personnel and civilians killed in the attack on the United Nations Common Compound in Mogadishu on 19 June 2013.

Remarks of the Secretary-General
(read by SRSG Kay on 20 June, in Mogadishu, in a repatriation ceremony)

Dear colleagues,

It is with a heavy heart that I send this message to the United Nations family in Somalia.

I was personally very saddened and affected by yesterday’s attack on the UN Common Compound in Mogadishu: a place where our humanitarian and development workers reside and work to support the people of Somalia.

I strongly condemn this terrorist attack. It is outrageous that our colleagues, who worked tirelessly to build peace in Somalia, are killed in this kind of malicious attack.

I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of our colleagues who lost their lives or were injured. Among them is a UNDP Somalia Operations Manager, Rita Wairimu Muchucha, who had been with UNDP since 2005. I have been told that she was a kind, dedicated, and effective colleague and friend to our UNDP office, the broader UN family and the Somalis we serve. I was told as well that she was a remarkable wife and mother to her young daughter. I believe that her legacy will live on in the people of Somalia she has touched through her work, her friendship and her family life.

Your work in Somalia is important as ever, especially as Somalia is finally emerging from the long-lasting war. The malicious and cowardly attack of this nature will not deter our commitment to work together with the people and government of Somalia as they build a better, hopeful future for their country. I highly commend your bravery, dedication and integrity. I believe that we share a common resolve and a belief in a better future for Somalia, a kind of future that many Somalis deserve but have not enjoyed for decades. You yourselves represent the best of the United Nations and what it was established for.

This is why we take your safety and security very seriously. We have taken a number of mitigating measures, without which the consequences of yesterday’s attack would have been more severe. We are committed to continuing these efforts.

We will continue to work closely with my Special Representative for Somalia and the Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator to ensure that you get the support you need in order to carry out the important work of the United Nations in these very difficult circumstances.   We are very proud of each one of you and grateful for your courage and commitment. 

My hearts and thoughts are with you.

Thank you.