AFRICA/SOMALIA - "Symbolic targets have been hit," said Mgr. Bertin

Monday, 15 April 2013

Mogadishu (Agenzia Fides) - "Symbolic places were hit," says to Fides Agency His Exc. Mgr. Giorgio Bertin, Bishop of Djibouti and Apostolic Administrator of Mogadishu, where yesterday, Sunday, April 14, at least 34 civilians were killed in a series of attacks in which 9 attackers were killed. Headquarters of the civil courts, a security building and a Turkish humanitarian convoy were hit, just when the Somali President Sheikh Hassan Mohamud is in Ankara at a summit with the authorities of Somaliland, led under the Turkish mediation, to bring together the two States (Somaliland declared its independence in 1991, although no State has officially recognized it)
"The Turkish humanitarian convoy was hit despite Ankara has tried to initiate a mediation with the Shabaab," notes Mgr. Bertin. "But the commitment shown by the Turkish authorities in supporting the new Somali state institutions evidently irritated the Shabaab or other opponents of this normalization."
As far as the court is concerned one must remember that the Shabaab were originally linked to the Islamic courts that had taken control of Mogadishu few years ago. It is therefore not a case that the new civil forum was hit. Mgr.Bertin in fact emphasizes that "the new court draws the sources of law not only by Sharia but also by the new Constitution. Justice is one of the priorities of the new government institution born since August last year. The police, the judiciary and the army are the three top priorities of every government to ensure minimum security. Hitting the court means hitting one of the main tools for the reconstruction of the State."
The Bishop who has traveled recently in Mogadishu adds: "Unfortunately, the path of normalization of Somalia is still an uphill struggle." "In one of my previous work on your agency (see Fides 12/04/2013), I pointed out that if on the one hand the new institutions are beginning to operate, the control of the territory remains largely uncertain. I had gained the impression that if the Shabaab wanted to hit a target they could have done it quite easily. Unfortunately I was right," concluded Mgr. Bertin. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 15/4/2013)