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Our support for Somalia is steadfast- US diplomat

Storyline:National News

Several countries and international organisations moved in to provide relief efforts following the October 14 terror attack in Mogadishu. Among them is the US which sent in planeloads of medical supplies. Goobjoog FM chief editor Ahmedweli Mohamud talked with US Mission to Somalia Charge d’Affaires Marty Dale on his country’s contribution.

US Mission to Somalia Charge d’Affaires Marty Dale (R) during an interview with Goobjoog News in Mogadishu Oct 22, 2017. Photo: Goobjoog News

How did the US respond following the October 14 attack in Mogadishu?

First and foremost I want to extend our utmost sincere condolence to the people and the government  of Somalia following this devastating attack on October 14. It is a day the world will live in infamy; the tragic loss of so many lives is very saddening and we are deeply saddened by this horrible event that was perpetuated by extremists and terrorists on the people of Somalia. And the US states extends its sincerest condolences and wishes the people of Somalia a speedy recovery as we help facilitate the resilience of Somali people following this horrible attack.

One thing that I did was to declare a disaster declaration that authorised the US Agency for International Development office of foreign disaster assistance to provide an immediate $100,000 to support the delivery of medical services and emergency teams to hospitals and trauma centres treatment the victims of the attack.

In addition to that we provided three planeloads of medical supplies and we’ve coordinated with many of our partners to work to deliver other assistance.

What specific areas of assistance did you provide?

Some of our assistance for instance the department of defence has provided 3.5 metric tonnes to hospitals. We’ve deployed medical doctors teams comprising of doctors, surgeons, nurses and medical assistants  and supplies to Mogadishu’s Medina Hospital to support emergency response activities. In addition we have also provided some heavy equipment to facilitate the removal of debris and rubbish following the attack but first of all to help find the victims who were buried underneath these buildings and then also to cleaning following the attack.

What role will the US play in supporting victims of the attack?

USAID is providing assistance to provide meals and other assurance for victims who are in hospital. We are also working with the mayor of Mogadishu Thabit Mohamed to facilitate the reconstruction of a lot of infrastructure that was destroyed in the attack and we hope to reinvigorate municipal services for the people of Mogadishu.

Questions have been asked about who is behind the attack the attack. Technically, how is the US government helping Somalia to investigate the attack?

The security authorities for the federal government of Somalia are responsible for the investigation. This is a Somali led investigation and your security authorities will be working to find out who did this horrible crime and to bring them to justice.

So they (Somali government) never asked you for support on investigations?

We are helping through humanitarian response. No no.