Somali-Canadian peace activist was killed by stray bullet, African Union says | CBC News

The peacekeeping mission in Somalia says preliminary investigations show a young Somali Canadian peace activist was killed by a stray bullet earlier this week in Mogadishu.

Friday's statement by the African Union mission says Almaas Elman was hit while travelling Wednesday inside a heavily defended base near the international airport.

The former diplomat was the latest member of Somalia's diaspora to be killed after returning home to help rebuild the country after decades of conflict. Her family founded a prominent peace centre in Somalia and her sister Ilwad was reportedly short-listed for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

The AU statement says there was no record of a weapon being fired inside the base at the time and other stray bullets have been reported previously.

It calls the death "heart-wrenching."

Federal cabinet minister Ahmed Hussen called Elman's death devastating news for many people, including him.

Hussen, a former president of the Canadian Somali Congress, immigrated to Canada in 1993, and after years of civil-society work, including to help women in East Africa access education, got involved in politics.

MP Ahmed Hussen said the Elman family has a long history of demonstrating Canadian generosity in Somalia. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Speaking after a cabinet meeting Thursday, Hussen said the Elman family has a long history of demonstrating Canadian generosity in Somalia, and expects them to carry on that tradition.

"The Elman family has been amazing ... and finding that news was really difficult for a lot of people, including myself, because I know the contributions of that family and it has made and continues to make in Somalia," Hussen said.