Today’s suicide attack on the UN Common compound in Mogadishu, Somalia, claimed to have been carried out by the al-Qaeda linked Islamist group, al-Shabab is senseless on all grounds.
The United Nations, UN, holds a neutral position in the country by promoting and supporting efforts towards peace and development, thus has no particular interest in either the government of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud or the various greedy groups fighting for power or the control of divided territories.
For close to two decades, Somalia has been without any central, functioning government, and the damage and disintegration of the entire country as a result of continuous internal fighting has been devastating and disgraceful as well.
Abandoned to itself to ruin, Somalia instead became a haven for pirates and they target oil tankers or heavy vessels far afield in the India Ocean and the gulf of Alden.
While many western countries after failing to establish peace in the country considered Somalia as a failed state, but the UN decided to return to gather the ashes and broken pieces and to rebuild it again for the interest of the millions on innocent and helpless Somalis that have suffered for too long and are yearning for a better life and future.
For al-Shabab to turn around and attack the UN compound hosting offices and accommodation for UN humanitarian and development workers, it is indirectly sending a message to everyone, even its supporters that it has lost its head and has no valuable interest or ambition for Somalis and Somalia, except for destruction and disorder.
Shameless, senseless al-Shabab
After being chased from all its strongholds in the South of Somalia, al-Shabab now relies on suicidal attacks on the interim government at Mogadishu and also targeting the buildings of some Western embassies and international organisations that are returning to the country as the security situation has recently improved.
Having lost the battle to the African Union backed forces on the ground; al-Shabab insurgents are now trying to discourage all reconstruction and reconciliation endeavours.
However, the attack on the UN compound, simply has sent a strong signals to the international community to dig deep and back the UN, through UN Assistance Mission in Somalia, UNSOM, to rebuild Somalia by providing advice and assistance to the government of President Hassan and also to contribute logistics and equipment for the AU forces to defeat al-Shabab that continues to fight a senseless war in Somalia.
According to top UN officials that condemned the assault, today’s deadly attack would not deter the organisation from helping Somalia and its proceeds on the path to stability and development.
After almost 20 years in the doldrums of strife and humanitarian disasters, Somalia moved back into the limelight last year with the establishment of a representative government and the approval of a draft constitution.
UNSOM, began its operation earlier this month, and is tasked by the UN Security Council to offer expertise in areas ranging from political process to disarmament to help the country consolidate and build on hard-worn gains towards peace reconciliation and stability.