African MPs laud Turkey for airlifting injured Somalis
17 Oct 2017 - 9:43
JOHANNESBURG: Somali lawmakers representing their country at the Pan African Parliament on Monday lauded the Turkish government's decision to airlift injured victims of Saturday's terrorist attack in capital Mogadishu.
Forty Somalis, who got critically injured in the blast, were airlifted to Turkey for medical treatment on Monday. The truck bombing claimed at least 276 lives, according to Somali National News Agency, SONNA.
"I would like to thank the Turkish government for their support and solidarity to the Somali people. The Turkish came and took our injured people for medical treatment," Somali lawmaker Abdulazizi Abdullahi Mohammed said during a parliamentary session on Monday.
He said many African people were dying daily due to increased insecurity on the continent.
Another Somali lawmaker, Lufti Sheriff Mohamed, said in a statement, he was grateful to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish people for their unforgettable efforts in supporting the government and people of Somalia.
"The Pan African Parliament condemns the terrorist attack in Somalia and has sent its condolences to authorities there," PAP president and Cameroonian lawmaker, Roger Nkodo Dang said as several lawmakers joined in condemning the incident.
Somali MP Abdihakim Moalim Ahmed said there was urgent need for the Somali government to be supported by the international community in training and equipping its troops.
He also urged fellow parliamentarians to lobby for lifting of the arms embargo imposed against Somalia in 1992, a year after the country plunged into a civil war. The UN embargo was to halt the flow of weapons to warlords.
Mohamed agrees that lifting of the arms embargo will equip the Somali army, enabling them to defend their country from the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab terrorist group.
Turkey has stood with Somalia since 2011 when then Prime Minister and current President Tayyip Erdogan visited the country with his family during a devastating famine. Turkey has since provided infrastructural, humanitarian and medical assistance to the East Africa country.
Last month, Turkey launched its largest overseas military training academy in Somalia, which will help rebuild the Somali army by training them to secure their country.