Mogadishu, 12 June 2023 - The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) is deeply saddened and profoundly alarmed by the tragic incident on 9 June involving unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia, which has claimed the lives of 27 civilians, including 22 children, and has left 53 others injured.
“UNMAS expresses its sincere condolences to the families affected by this devastating event and shares in their grief and pain during this incredibly difficult time. The loss of innocent lives, especially children, is an immense tragedy that underscores the urgent need for heightened efforts to address the dangers posed by explosive ordnance in Somalia,” said Mr. Justin Smith, Chief UN Mine Action Service in Somalia.
The incident serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing threat faced by civilians, particularly children, in conflict-affected areas. It highlights the critical importance of swift and decisive action to mitigate the risks associated with explosive remnants of war.
The United Nations, through UNMAS and its partners, renews its commitment to working with the Government of Somalia, international organizations, and relevant stakeholders to strengthen mine action efforts. “Together, we must intensify our collective efforts to eliminate the risks posed by explosive ordnance and safeguard the lives of vulnerable individuals, particularly children,” Mr. Smith highlighted.