The Catastrophe of Terrorism on Peace Agents: Evidence of Suicide Attacks on UN Vehicles in Garowe

The increasing number of terrorist attacks in recent times call for  greater attention. On 20th April, 2015, the Al-Shabab Islamist terrorist group launched an attack on the United Nations staff who work for the children’s agency UNICEF in the north-eastern town of Garowe, Somalia. The insurgent group set off a huge bomb which ripped through the UN staff bus while travelling from their guest house to the office. Just like the recent attack against the Garissa University students in Kenya that resulted in the killing of nearly 150 people, the Al-Shabab group has also attacked Somali children.

Abdulaziz Abu Musab, spokesman of the insurgent group, stated that the Al-Shebab had carried out the attack. “We targeted the UN in Garowe, we killed some and wounded others. They are part of the colonization force in Somalia,” he told AFP. Shebab, which means “youth,” evolved from astringent insurgency against Ethiopia, who’s troops entered Somalia in a 2006 US-backed invasion to topple the Islamic Courts Union that was then controlling the capital, Mogadishu. The frequent attacks of the insurgent groups against peace agents (the UN and AU troops) are not uncommon. In June 2013, Shebab gunmen stormed a UN compound in the capital Mogadishu, killing 16 people. Also, there were recent attacks in which Shebab gunmen shot dead a Puntland lawmaker, Adan Haji Husan, on Saturday and on Sunday killed three African Union troops in an ambush in the south of the war-ravaged country.

The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, described the incident as “barbaric attack”, acknowledging that a total of seven had been left dead while at least four suffered serious injury. However, he maintained that UN operations in Somalia would continue as such terrorist attacks would not erode the commitment of the whole United Nations family to supporting the people and government of Somalia in rebuilding peace and prosperity in their country. African Union envoy Maman Sidikou described the attacks on the peace agents who are trying to help others as “a crime against humanity”. Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud condemned the April 20, 2015 attack as one against the future of Somalia. While the United Nations and African Union will continue to work towards maintaining peace in Somalia, it is important for citizens to cooperatively work with these peace agents.

Oyewole Oginni
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