Somalia’s prime minister said the government would be held accountable over the deadly Mogadishu hotel siege by Al-Shabaab jihadists that he branded “children of hell”.

Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre also called on Somalis to unite in the fight against the Al-Qaeda-linked group which has been waging a bloody insurgency in the impoverished Horn of Africa nation for more than 15 years.

“There will be accountability in the government, no one in the government will escape accountability, anyone who neglected the responsibility he was entrusted with will be held accountable,” Barre told reporters late Sunday.

He was speaking after visiting a hospital treating wounded victims of the bomb and gun attack on the Hayat Hotel that the health ministry says claimed the lives of 21 people.

The 30-hour siege was the deadliest attack in Somalia since the new President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was elected in May after a protracted political crisis.

“There is only one of two choices here, we either allow Al-Shabaab — the children of hell — to live, or we live. We cannot live together,” said Barre, who was appointed prime minister in June.

“I call on the Somali people to unite to fight against the enemy and unite to liberate so that what they did now will never happen again.

“The fight against them is already started taking places around several locations,” he said, without elaborating.


© Agence France-Presse