President Mohamud pledged an “all-out war” against Al-Shabab, arming various clans to fight them.
Qatari authorities condemned last Saturday’s brutal truck bombing in Somalia’s Beledweyne that killed at least 21 people and injured dozens more.
In a statement, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry expressed “its strong condemnation and denunciation of the truck bombing in the central Somali town of Beledweyne, which resulted in deaths and injuries.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs carries the State of Qatar’s condolences to
the families of the victims, and to the government and people of Somalia,
wishing the injured a speedy recovery. The statement affirmed the State of
Qatar’s full support for the Republic of Somalia’s counter-terrorism efforts to
achieve stability,” it added.
The statement also reiterated Qatar’s position on rejecting violence and terrorism, regardless of the motives and reasons.
The bombing struck Beledweyne, a key area for the government’s military offensive against militant groups, notably Al-Shabab, which control parts of central and southern Somalia.
Abdifatah Mohamed Yusuf, director general of the Hirshabelle ministry of humanitarian and disaster management, said 52 people were wounded in the attack, 17 of which are in critical condition and have been airlifted to the capital.
So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the Beledweyne attack, however militant group Al-Shabab is active in the area, putting more pressure on counter-terrorism measures.
The attack occurred just one day before US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin met with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in Djibouti. During the meeting between the two officials, Austin praised Somalia’s military for its progress against the militant group.
Last year, President Mohamud pledged an “all-out war” against Al-Shabab, arming various clans to fight them on the ground.
Meanwhile, relations between Somalia and Qatar have been on an upwards trend.
Somalia’s Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre landed in Qatar earlier this month for a five-day visit where he met with top officials in a bid to expand ties between Doha and Mogadishu across multiple fields.
In May, Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud travelled to Doha for an official visit where he met with Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Discussions at the time were centred on political developments on the ground in Somalia.
Speaking to Doha News at the time, Somalia’s Deputy Prime Minister Salah Jama noted that Qatar’s leadership in conflict resolution and peace-building could significantly assist Somalia’s pursuit of peace and stability.
“Qatar can play a very significant role in our pursuit of peace and stability, economic growth, and political agreements and settlements,” he told Doha News during his visit to the Gulf state.