, NAIROBI, Kenya, June 21 – A United Nations staff member killed in an Islamist insurgent attack in Somalia was named Friday as Rita Muchucha, a Kenyan citizen.
Praising an “open, friendly and fun-loving colleague, tragically lost to us in the prime of her life,” the UN Development Programme announced her death with “great sorrow”.
Muchucha, who only recently relocated to the Somali capital from Nairobi having worked for UNDP since 2005, is survived by her husband and five-year old daughter.
She was one of 11 people killed when the seven-man team of suicide commandos from the Al-Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab insurgents shot and blasted their way into the UN compound in Mogadishu Wednesday, before Somali and African Union forces battled their way inside to kill the gunmen.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon later expressed outrage at the “despicable” attack, but said that the organisation would not end its work in Somalia.
“Rita was a young, dynamic, committed woman,” the UN tribute added.
“Her spirit will live on in every smile brought on by her memory and in the hearts of all of us who have been honoured to know her.”
Two South African contractors, a Somali UN contractor, four Somali security guards and three civilians in the surrounding streets were also killed, officials said.