Somalia’s prime minister, Hamza Abdi Barre has vowed that there would be accountability after the latest al-Shabab attack, on a popular Mogadishu hotel that killed 21 people and injured 117 others.
He also said the government would take responsibility for the tragedy that happened following Friday’s attack on the Hayat Hotel.
The prime minister who disclosed this after visiting hospitals where the injured were receiving treatments said those who failed to “perform their duties, anyone who fell short, and anyone who infringed will be held accountable.
He added, “A repeat of what has happened is not acceptable.” The comments aired late Sunday on state television.
But he did not single out any person or government branch for specific blame.
Also, former deputy leader of al-Shabab, now the country’s religious affairs minister, Mukhtar Robow has condemned the attack as well in a televised speech along with other religious clerics.
“This is not right and you know it. Give up and repent.”
Robow, also known as Abu Mansour, called for unity against the Islamist militant group.
It would be recalled that government troops ended al-Shabab’s siege on the hotel after a 30-hour operation.
But Al-Shabab has been carrying out raids on hotels, government ministries, and installations since 2010. While this attack is not unique, observers believe the group was responding to recent rhetoric from new Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who said he has come up with a new strategy to weaken the group before opening the door for possible negotiations.
The government and its allies will wage military, ideological and economic war against the group, the president said.
However, the Executive Director of the Hiraal Institute, a Mogadishu-based research institution, Samira Gaid, said Al-Shabab was attempting to counter the government’s pronouncements.
He added, “It was also a message to the administration and the public as well that they cannot be simply eradicated”.
Also, the Spokesman of the Al-Shabab, Abdiaziz Abu Mus’ab, in his reaction said the group was responding to the president.