The East African 4 May 2017
By ABDUKADIR KHALIF
- Initial reports indicated that government forces opened fire on the minister’s vehicle near Villa Somalia, the state house in Mogadishu.
- They were reportedly suspicious that the approaching vehicle was ferrying insurgents.
The new Somalia government has been dealt a major blow following the killing of the Public Works and Reconstruction minister Abbas Abdullahi Siraji.
Mr Siraji was shot dead in Mogadishu on Wednesday evening.
Initial reports indicated that government forces opened fire on the minister’s vehicle near Villa Somalia, the state house in Mogadishu.
They were reportedly suspicious that the approaching vehicle was ferrying insurgents.
Information minister Abdurahman Osman Yarisow stated on Twitter that the government troops fired at the minister’s vehicle and that investigations into the matter had commenced.
Four bodyguards of the Attorney-General were subsequently apprehended on suspicion of killing the minister.
Mr Siraji was the youngest member of the new Cabinet and a Member of Parliament from Jubaland State in South Somalia.
Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre reportedly rushed to the hospital in the city where the body of the slain minister was taken.
Mr Siraji was born in Afmadow District in Lower Juba in 1982. His family moved to the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, following the collapse of the central government of Somalia in 1991. He spent most of his early life in the refugee camp before returning home to join politics.
Mr Siraji contested the Kismayu parliamentary seat, 500km south of Mogadishu, in 2016.
Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo stated on Twitter that he would cut short his visit to Ethiopian to attend the funeral of the youthful minister in Mogadishu.