African Union probes death of ex-diplomat in Somalia


The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said on Friday it has opened an investigation into the alleged killing of a Somali-Canadian peace activist and former diplomat, who died after being hit by a bullet in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Wednesday.

In a statement, the AMISOM said it “yesterday commenced preliminary investigations into the heart-wrenching and unfortunate death of Ms. Almaas Elman Ali Ahmed […] who was hit by a bullet.”

Ahmed was on her way back to the Aden Abdulle International Airport after attending “a meeting within the Base camp,” the mission’s statement said.

There were a total of three people — a driver, a non-injured passenger and the peace activist — in the vehicle of a private transport when she was travelling to the airport.

“Pending a final report, preliminary investigations indicate Ms. Elman was hit by a stray bullet, especially as no firearm discharge was reported within the Base camp at the time of the incident. The Base camp in the past has recorded similar incidents of stray bullets,” the statement said.

“AMISOM will work jointly with the FGS [Federal Government of Somalia], Somali security forces and other agencies to fully investigate the incident,” the mission said, adding the investigation’s results will be made public.

In the past, Almaas has worked as a first secretary at the Somali Embassy in Kenya.

She was actively involved with the Elman Peace Foundation, which was founded by her father who also was killed in Mogadishu in 1996, the Somalia-based Hiiraan news website reported on Wednesday.

The foundation supports vulnerable women and former child soldiers in Somalia.
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