By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
September 13, 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) - The Ethiopian government on Friday condemned an attack carried out by the militant group Al-Shabaab on the leader of Somalia’s Jubaland.
An explosive-laden car on Thursday hit president Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed Islam’s motorcade at the Southern port city of Kismayo.
The regional president, who is commonly known as Madobe, came under attack while he was returning home from Somalia where he held talks with president Mahmoud and prime minister Abdi Farah Shirdon.
Madobe survived the attack unhurt but at least 20 people including his security guards died in the attack. Many others were injured.
In a statement on Friday, Ethiopia, a US regional ally on the war on terror, deplored the terrorist attack
“Ethiopia strongly denounces the terror attack as an act of desperation aimed at derailing the peace process between Juba[land] and the Federal Government of Somalia. Addis Ababa reaffirms to stand by the people of Somalia and to continue necessary assistance for peace process and to combat terrorism” Ethiopia’s ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement.
“Ethiopia will continue to offer its full support to bring peace and stability in Somalia and for the implementation of the recent agreement signed between Somalia Federal Government and the Juba Delegation” the statement further said.
The attack which targeted president Madobe came two weeks after the Federal Government of Somalia and the semi-autonomous Jubaland agreed on a series of issues in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, under bilateral talks brokered by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
The agreement includes fighting against the Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab group and respecting the legitimate Provisional Federal Constitution (PFC) of Somalia.