AU, UN envoys urge Somalia to continue work towards stability

African Union and United Nations envoys in Somalia have urged urged the country’s citizens not to let the death of Mogadishu mayor – who died on Thursday – derail efforts to stabilize the country.

Abdirahman Omar Osman passed on from injuries sustained in a bomb attack on 24 July, orchestrated by the al-Shabaab Islamists militant group.

Francisco Madeira, special representative of the chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, and James Swan, special representative of the UN secretary-general for Somalia, both called for the arrest of those behind the attack.

At least seven people died from the attack, which also left scores others injured.

“As we come to terms with the passing of the mayor, terrorists should be aware that their cowardly attack will not break the people’s resolve to forge ahead,” a statement from Madeira said.

The AU envoy pledged the organization’s support for Somalia’s peace efforts.

Somalia has been dogged by violence for more than a decade, as al-Shabaab attempted to topple the government and forcibly instill an extreme jihadist system of governance.

The war has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions others, making Somalia one of Africa’s biggest refugee problems.

Regional forces have teamed up with local and international forces to fight the militant group.

While gains have been made in the fight, the militant group occasionally manages to stage attacks, often by deploying suicide bombers.

The Somali government is however confident the group will be defeated, even as the regional troops plan to exit the country and leave the security responsibilities to local forces.