Today is a special day of remembrance and prayer, for the more than 587 fallen Somali brothers and sisters; and the 316 who sustained injuries.

May the Almighty Allah rest the souls of our departed brothers and sisters in peace, and continue to comfort our injured ones.

As we commemorate 12 months since the people of Somalia fell victim of the most senseless mass murder perpetrated by Al-Shabaab against innocent Somali men, women and children, I wish, on behalf of the African Union Commission, the entire AMISOM family and on my own behalf, to reiterate our rejection and strong condemnation of this heinous crime.

We pay tribute to the resilient people of Somalia, who endured the pain but did not succumb to the whims of a blood thirsty group, which rejects peace and continues to maim and destroy lives.

We Salute the Somali National Security Forces who were not deterred by this barbaric act and are, today, dislodging the terrorist group from its strong holds in Balcad and Marka, in lower and Middle Shabelle regions.

I reiterate the AU and AMISOM continued commitment, and engagement with the people and the government of Somalia, in our joint endeavor to restore peace and stability in the country.