On May 3, Wednesday, 31-year-old Abbas Abdullahi Siraji, minister of public works and reconstruction in Somalia, was shot dead by the bodyguards of another official who took him for an assassin. His funeral next day was attended by President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed who has ordered an investigation into what he called an “unfortunate tragedy”.
Siraji was shot near the presidential palace in the capital by the soldiers protecting auditor-general Nur Jimale Farah. The minister was driving his car alone, which is unusual, and was following the vehicle of the auditor. His bodyguards mistook Siraji for an assailant and shot him dead.
According to the police three soldiers have been arrested in connection with the killing, two are bodyguards of Farah and one was Siraji’s bodyguard, and there is an ongoing investigation.
Somali President, who is known by his nickname Farmajo, shared his determination to punish the guilty in a series of posts on Twitter, stating that he would “make sure the perpetrators are brought to book”.
After the shooting auditor-general Farah said:
“What happened was gunfire involving soldiers who had become suspicious of each other, and what happened was very bad – a brother was killed.”
He also asked to not “speculate about the details before the results” of the investigation become available.