Accessibility links

Breaking News

Somalia Government Condemns Calls for More Suicide Attacks

Somali's government has sharply condemned an opposition leader's call for more suicide attacks against the administration as well as the African Union peacekeeping mission (AMISOM).

This comes after Hassan Dahir Aweys leader of the Hizbul Islam rebels urged his followers to increase bombings following last week's suicide attacks that killed several AMISOM troops.

Hard-line insurgent group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attacks at AMISOM's headquarters in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Washington describes al-Shabab as a terrorist group with strong ties to Al Qaeda.

Somali government spokesman Abdi Kadir Walayo said that the government is prepared to thwart any more suicide bombings.

"You know the government's position is clear, and the government does not encourage war mongering. And such a statement the government condemns categorically," Walayo said.

He said Somalis are tired of the escalating violence.

"The people of Somalia especially the people living in the capital and its surroundings, they are sick of war and now they want to get peace," he said.

Walayo described calls for more suicide attacks as unpatriotic.

"Any person from any quarter that encourages war we condemn. So any person anywhere in Somalia who encourages war will be castigated by Somali people," Walayo said.

He said the government has tightened security after the suicide bombings.

"The government has previously established security plan and the government will (review) the security plans and the lessons learned from the last suicide bombers will also be considered," he said.

Walayo said the bombings did not shake AMISOM's resolve.

"As you heard from the African Union and AMISOM leadership including the government of Somalia, what has happened does not (discourage) the participation of AMISOM in pacifying Somalia," Walayo said.

He said Mogadishu will prevent future attacks.

"The government has taken all precautionary measures to stop such incidents," he said.

Walayo said the government backs the African Union calls for Somalia's arms embargo to be lifted.

"The government has always asked this embargo should be lifted. And we do support the position of the AMISOM… to lift the arms embargo and to bring arms to Somalia," Walayo said.

Meanwhile, beleaguered President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed condemned the attacks, saying that last week's suicide bombings did not reflect Somalia's culture or the Muslim religion.