Bristol honours victims of Somalia attack: 67509595 10157484149852803 7858107619716628480 n

01 Aug 2019

Bristol honours victims of Somalia attack

The flag of Somalia will be flown at half-mast at Bristol City Hall following a ceremony to show the city’s empathy with the victims of a suicide bombing in the African country’s capital last week.

Six government officials  were killed as a result of the attack on Wednesday of last week and the mayor of Mogadishu, Abdirahman Omar Osman, died of his injuries today (1 August 2019). A militant Islamist group affiliated with al-Qaeda have claimed responsibility for the attack.

Elders from Bristol’s Somali community and Councillor Hibaq Jama (Lawrence Hill), the council's International Trade & Investment Ambassador, were among those who attended the ceremony outside the council building on College Green this afternoon to show their sympathy and solidarity with the killed, injured and their relatives.

Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees expressed his sorrow over the attack earlier this week, outlining the friendship shared with his counterpart in Mogadishu, and said: “Our thoughts are with the people of Mogadishu and Somalia as well as the many members of Bristol’s own Somali community in the wake of this horrifying attack.

“The Mayor of Mogadishu was an inspiration to all who came into contact with him. Having worked in the UK at a senior level in local government, he returned to his home country to reinvest his skills. He created hope and aspiration amongst the diaspora.

“The warm contact we made at the United Nations gathering for the Global Compact on Refugees in Geneva put the foundations in place for a great friendship. He was the first person to come over and welcome me to the conference. The special relationship between Bristol and Mogadishu was taken forward in those moments but built on the families and identities we shared through our populations.

“I am both sad and angry at the loss of his life and the lives of those ordinary people. We totally reject all types of extremism and stand alongside all communities in the face of the hateful ideas and actions of these sorts of extremist individuals and groups.

“Communities in Bristol continue to be united in their belief in freedom, democracy and the rights of all to live together peacefully.’’

The Somali city’s deputy mayor also visited Bristol last year for the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM) summit, with Mayor Rees co-signing a letter from the Global Parliament, expressing its sympathy with the victims and condemning the bombing.