The recently appointed Public Works and Reconstruction Minister, Abbas Abdullahi Sheikh Siraji, 31, was shot and killed in a vehicle in the capital city of Mogadishu, Somalia last night. Local media has reported that the minister’s bodyguards had falsely identified Farah, who was travelling in a bulletproof vehicle and opened fire. He was driving near the Villa Somalia, also known as the Presidential Palace, but officials have yet to determine why the minister was identified as a potential member of the militant group Al-Shabaab.
— Farhan Jimale (@farhanjimale) May 3, 2017
President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmaajo” Mohamed said he was “deeply saddened” by the news and said he would postpone his visit to Ethiopia to attend the minister’s funeral. He praised Siraji as “diligent and patriotic.”
Siraj, who was born in a refugee camp in Kenya, was elected earlier this year through an indirect election due to most of the country not being stable enough for a national vote. Officials have said Siraj was elected to Somalia’s Parliament because “Somalis who stayed at home have strong sympathy for returnees like Mr Abas, who grew up in refugee camps.” according to BBC Somali Analyst Mohamed AAfter finishing school, Siraj returned to his home country in 2011 in hopes of making a difference by working with humanitarian agencies, and would later end up being the youngest cabinet member in Somalia.