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The UN Independent Expert on Somalia calls for nation-wide, grassroots action to prevent further bloodshed

GENEVA – 26 August 2010: The Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, Dr. Shamsul Bari today appealed to all Somalis, at all levels of society, to condemn in the strongest manner the attack of 24 August on the Muna Hotel in Mogadishu which killed 33 people.

“I urge a grassroots effort to prevent a repetition of this atrocious act,” Bari said.

“The Somali people, both inside and outside the country, are yearning for peace and they must not be denied. This deplorable attack once again demonstrates that the extremists will stop at nothing in their desperate attempt to seize power by force. However, the perpetrators of these desperate acts during the Holy month of Ramadan will never win the hearts and minds of Somali people,” he said.

Four Members of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Parliament died in the attack, along with five members of the security forces and many other innocent people. According to local sources, radio director Barqad Awale was also killed the same day while fixing the transmitter of the radio station as fighting raged in the capital.

“I am shocked and greatly saddened by the clearly deliberate, cold-blooded murder of these people,” he said.

The Independent Expert called on Somalis to help prevent any more atrocities of this type from taking place and to assist in bringing those responsible to justice.

“I appeal to the international community, as a matter of urgency, to rethink and renew its commitment to giving the protection of civilians and their access to humanitarian assistance the highest priority in Somalia,” he said.

"I offer my heartfelt condolences and prayers to the families and loved ones of those killed and injured, as well as the Government and the people of Somalia” Bari said. "It is another terribly sad day for a country that has already suffered so much, for so long."