Senseless assassination of Hon. Mohamed Mohamud Hayd

Mogadishu, 3. July 2014 – One of the most experienced and steadfast Somali politicians of Somalia, Adm. (ret.) Mohamed Mohamud ‘Hayd’, a Member of the Somali Federal Parliament, was killed today,Thursday, morning in Hamarweyne district of Mogadishu, when alleged al Shabaab gunmen opened fire on a group of legislators.

Hon. Mohamud Hayd and a security officer were shot and killed on the spot. Another parliamentary official, Abdullahi Ahmed Onka, accompanying them was severely injured while another MP reportedly escaped unharmed.

The legislators were attacked as they exited Masjid Marwaaz, a mosque adjacent to the hotel they were staying at. The armed assailants allegedly shot at the MPs in a drive-by shooting before quickly fleeing in their vehicle. No arrests have been made so far.

Lawmaker Abdi Barre Yusuf confirmed to Radio Shabelle that the MPs were getting ready to come to today’s parliament session. Pro Al Shabaab radio Al Furqqaan immediately reported that the al Shabaab militia group claimed the responsibly for the attack.

A fellow legislator, lawmaker Dahir Amin Jesow, told Reuters, that this was the fifth such attack in as many days. “Hon. Hayd was a former admiral and a hardworking lawmaker who has been in parliament for over a decade. I understand the gunmen escaped – it is very unfortunate, he stated.”

Al Shabaab, who have since also claimed officially the responsibility for today’s assassination of the well liked parliamentarian and his bodyguard, had threatened to step up attacks during the Ramadan fasting month which began on Sunday.

Sheikh Abdiasis abu Musab, al Shabaab’s spokesman for military affairs, pledged to continue killing Somali legislators “one by one”, Reuters published.  “The so-called lawmakers are the ones who brought the enemy Christians into our country. We shall continue killing the legislators in bundles,” Musab reportedly told Reuters, a reference to the support Mogadishu receives from Western governments and African Union members who have sent in troops to battle the rebels.

The diplomatic relationship especially of Somalia and Kenya, have become strained since Kenya first invaded Southern Somalia and then became part of the AMISOM detail. It further deteriorated since Kenya recently started arresting also legally documented refugees and embarked on the deportation of many Somalis after an attack on a shopping mall in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, whose true masterminds have not been found out clearly, though Al-Shabab also for this case claimed responsibility.

They killed the wrong man

“They got the wrong man,” is the impression of many Somalis, who know that Hon. Hayd, who had studied in Russia, was one of those straight-forward Somali politicians, who always put the interests of the Somali people and their nation first.

The foreign backed Islamist militants were pushed out of the capital by military force with the assistance of AMISOM, the African Union lead peacekeeping forces, in 2011 but have since waged a bombing and assassination campaign to try to overthrow the government and impose their strict version of Sharia.

President Hassan Sheikh Mahamoud and Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed sent their deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of Veteran MP Mohammed Mohamud Hayd, who under earlier Somali Governments had also served as Minister of Fisheries and Minister for Tourism and Environment.

“This criminal act only promotes violence, distress and grief in our community. Taking a human life is abhorrent and only affects an innocent family and strikes them with grief. This criminal act will be investigated and justice will be brought forth,” the Prime Minister said and added “Mohammed Mohamud Hayd was a man who served his country and his people. We condemn this and any other murders especially during the holy month of Ramadhan. Islam does not support the killing of innocents, brothers slaying brothers and criminal acts. Mohammed Mohamud Hayd will be remembered for his unwavering patriotism and devotion to the great nation of Somalia.”

The Acting Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Honorable Lydia Wanyoto Mutende, who in a media briefing had boasted: “We are confident in the ongoing political process. Our mandate is to ensure a safe and secure environment for the government and the people to conduct their business,” stated she learnt with sadness the assassination of Honourable Mohammed Mohamud Hayd who until his death was a well respected Member of the Federal Parliament. “At this time when Somalia is trying to lay the critical foundations of a stable and a democratic state, the assassination of legislators who represent the voices of the people remains an intolerable crime, ‘she said. The AU Special Representative offered her condolences to the Federal Parliament of Somalia, relatives and friends for the death of the Honourable Mohammed Mohamud Hayd. She also prayed for quick recovery of another parliamentarian, Honourable Abdullahi Ahmed Onka who was wounded in the same attack.

“I am appalled to learn of the murder of Mohamed Mohamud ‘Hayd’ and condemn his brutal murder in the strongest terms. Ramadan is a time for peace and reconciliation; to commit such callous crimes during the holy month demonstrates how little regard the perpetrators have for the Somali people,” UN-SRSG Nicolaus Kay said. “I call on the authorities to make every effort to bring the perpetrators to justice as quickly as possible. We remain resolute in our support for the Somali people and their representatives as they work to realise their hope for a peaceful and stable future.” he added.

A great Somali statesman, steadfast defender of Somali interests, the Somali people and their nation, a dedicated leader and a great friend and colleague fell to this senseless assassination carried out by heinous murderers.

Our deep thoughts are with the family and the many Somalis of all regions, who lost their caring and integrating father figure.




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