Canada Condemns Attacks on African Union Forces in Somalia

(No. 262 - September 18, 2009 - 1:55 p.m. EDT) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement on the deadly suicide bombings that targeted African Union troops in Mogadishu, Somalia:

"Canada strongly condemns the September 17 attacks against the African Union Mission in Somalia compound at Mogadishu’s international airport. The suicide bombing killed at least 16 peacekeepers, including the mission’s deputy commander, Maj.-Gen. Juvenal Niyonguruza from Burundi. At least 30 people are reported injured ,including the mission’s commander, Gen. Nathan Mugisha from Uganda, and a number of civilians.

"On behalf of all Canadians, I would like to express our sympathies to those who were injured and offer our sincere condolences to the friends and families of those who were killed during this vicious act.

"Canada supports peace operations around the world and is committed to sustained international support for the African Union’s peace and stabilization operations in Africa. Attacks against peacekeepers serving in internationally mandated missions are unacceptable in any region, and are a threat to global security.

"Somalia has suffered almost two decades of civil war, and we encourage the Transitional Federal Government, opposition groups and Somalis to work together to form a stable and functioning government and to bring an end to the conflict."

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada