The UN has condemned Monday’s mortar attack on Somalia’s Parliament.
The attack, which Al Shabaab has taken responsibility for, occurred as newly elected parliamentarians were in a joint session.
The new members of the Lower House and the Senate were sworn in on Thursday following a complex indirect election that took over a year to be executed.
Intergovernmental Authority on Development also strongly condemned the mortar attack.
“IGAD wishes quick recovery to the injured, and stands in solidarity with the Somali government and people in their fight against terrorism,” it said in a social media post.
During the attack, the lawmakers had approved measures to hold election of the leadership of the two Houses on April 26 and 27.
‘UN Somalia wishes a speedy recovery for the injured, and stands firm with Somalis in their efforts to complete the electoral process and progress on national priorities,” UNSOM said in a stamen on Monday.
Eyewitnesses said a single mortar shell landed at the entrance of parliamentary building while the parliamentary session was in progress, exploding and injuring several people, including security guards and civilian officials.
The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia had anticipated a potential attack last week, announcing a total lockdown at its Halane Base Camp between April 10-16.
ATMIS, however, said in a statement that the lockdown was a precautionary measure to prevent attempts by terrorists to breach security in times of heightened imminent security threats, festive periods, and other high-level government/partner activities.
“Its sole purpose is to facilitate operations aimed at ensuring that the Base Camp remains a safe, secure, and conducive place during this critical electoral period, including the swearing-in ceremony, the celebrations of the 62nd Somalia Army Day and the entire Ramadan period,” the AU mission said in a statement on Sunday.
ATMIS added that it is working with Somali Security Forces to ensure the completion of the elections in completed in a conducive and violence-free environment.